Sioux Falls Stampede 1 @ Lincoln Stars 4
The Lincoln Stars closed out game three of their USHL Western Conference semifinal playoff series with three unanswered goals to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series on Friday. Vinni Lettieri put Lincoln on the scoreboard with this first USHL career playoff goal midway through the first period. Zeb Knutson responded to tie the game early in the second frame with his second of the postseason. Zach Aston-Reese then took over as he regained the lead for Lincoln two minutes later and then scored again in the third period to push the advantage to two goals. Eric Scheid added an insurance goal for the Stars late in the contest.
Michael Bitzer earned his second straight victory after making 32 saves in net for the Stars. Game Four of the series is on Saturday night in Lincoln.
Sioux Falls Stampede 2 @ Lincoln Stars 1
With their backs against the wall and facing elimination, the Stampede won a tight contest on Saturday to force a decisive fifth game with Lincoln. Following a scoreless first period, defenseman Vincent Muto scored his first USHL career playoff goal just 1:28 into the second frame. Sam Rothstein made it a two-goal lead with his first postseason goal midway through the third period. Defenseman Paul LaDue netted a shorthanded goal with six minutes left to pull Lincoln within a goal, but the Stampede would hang on thanks to 11 saves in the third by Charlie Lindgren who stopped 22 for the game.
The deciding fifth game of the series will take place on Tuesday in Sioux Falls with the winner advancing to the Western Conference Finals.
Highlights from Game 4 courtesy of USHL’s YouTube Channel.