Sioux Falls Stampede

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Sioux Falls Stampede
2016–17 USHL season
Sioux Falls Stampede logo.svg
City Sioux Falls, South Dakota
League United States Hockey League
Division Western
Founded 1999
Home arena Denny Sanford Premier Center
Colors Dark blue, gold, black, white
Owner(s) Sioux Falls Sports, LLC.
Head coach Scott Owens
Media KELO (AM)
Argus Leader
Franchise history
1999–present Sioux Falls Stampede
Regular season titles 1 Anderson Cup (2005–06)
Playoff championships 2 Clark Cups (2007 and 2015)

The Sioux Falls Stampede is a Tier I junior ice hockey team based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They are members of the Western Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The Stampede play their home games at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, the largest facility in capacity and size in the USHL.

The Stampede have qualified for the Clark Cup playoffs in 13 of their 18 seasons, winning twice, most recently in the 2014–15 season. The team has won two conference championships and were awarded the Anderson Cup in 2005–06 for the highest season win percentage. For the past two consecutive seasons, the team have broken the USHL single-season attendance record, and are a four-time USHL organization of the year winner.



The United States Hockey League began discussions to bring an expansion team to Sioux Falls as early as 1994, but talks failed on two separate occasions due to the city's failure to provide a permanent home and publicly-backed funds. The Minnehaha Ice and Recreation Center and Expo Ice Arena at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds were in contention to host the team, however, both lacked sufficient locker rooms or accommodations for fans to meet league demands.[1] The Sioux Falls Arena was also presented as an option, but was written off due to poor sight lines and potential scheduling conflicts with other tenants.[2]

In 1998, Minnesota-based investment firm Central Ventures, Inc. expressed interest in adding a USHL team to the Sioux Falls sports landscape. The firm and local investment group Sioux Falls Sports, LLC. made an official proposal on January 26, 1998, to the league at its annual board of governors meeting held in Lincoln, Nebraska. Unlike other proposals, the investment firm was willing to help privately fund improvements at an existing facility or the construction of a new arena with help from the city.[3]

On May 26, 1998, league president Gino Gasparini awarded Sioux Falls a franchise to begin play in September 1999.[4] The city finalized a deal that would upgrade the existing Sioux Falls Arena for an estimated $1 million funded between the city and team.[5] In choosing the team name, the ownership group set up a telephone line fans called to make suggestions. On September 30, 1998, after more than 140 name submissions were filed, the official name Stampede and American bison logo were unveiled to represent the new Sioux Falls franchise.[6]

First seasons and early struggles: 1999–2005[edit]

On October 7, 1998, former Miami University of Ohio associate coach Bob Motzko was named the inaugural head coach. Motzko had previously led the defunct North Iowa Huskies to the 1989 Junior A Championship and was an assistant to Herb Brooks at St. Cloud State University during the 1986–87 season. For Motzko, the plan was to recruit high-caliber players and win, "I want to win as fast a possible" "You do not win in this league without veterans and our first year we might not have many veterans. But I want to get at it right away."[7] Motzko would recruit several key players that played an instrumental role in the success that was to come, including forwards Chad LaRose, Thomas Vanek, James Massen, J.B. Bittner, Marty Sertich and Joe Jensen; defenseman Jamie Mattie; and goaltenders Zack Sikich and David Bowen.[8]

The Stampede was put in the Western Division and played their inaugural game at home against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on September 24, 1999, to a sold-out crowd of 4,660, including an estimated 2,000 season ticket holders.[9] The team completed its inaugural season 37–17–4, the highest for a first-year expansion, and qualified for a Clark Cup playoff match-up against the Twin Cities Vulcans. The team was led by forward Rick Gorman, who finished the season scoring 68 points, 25 goals and 43 assists. Motzko was named general manager of the year and Gorman was named to the all-USHL first team.[10] The following season the team found similar success as it qualified for back-to-back playoff appearances with a 40–14–2 record. The Stampede beat the RoughRiders in the first round before losing to eventual Clark Cup champions, the Omaha Lancers. Following the season, coach Motzko left the Stampede to pursue an assistant coach role at the University of Minnesota.[11]

The team's ownership elected to hire Stampede assistant coach Tony Gasparini, the son of now former USHL president Gino Gasparini, to fill the head coach role.[12] Gasparini's team finished the 2001–02 season 35–21–5, earning the team's third playoff appearance in as many years against the Sioux City Musketeers. However, the organization was once again knocked out in the early rounds. In the same season, star forward Thomas Vanek set a league-leading, team record of 91 points in a season, with 46 goals and 45 assists in his final year with the team. The city of Sioux Falls hosted the 20th USHL Prospects All-Star Game, attended by NHL scouts, while the organization was awarded its first USHL Organization of the Year award.[13][14]

The Stampede accumulated an 112–52–11 overall record in its first three years of operation; however, the team's top four scoring players from the previous season, including Vanek, would not return for the 2002–03 season. Coach Gasparini's 21–25–6 team was in the midst of a six-game losing streak and ranked last in goals allowed per game after 52 games into the season. The poor performance prompted the ownership group to relieve Gasparini from his coaching duties and appointed assistant coach Ted Belisle as interim head coach in an attempt to salvage the team's playoff chances.[15] The team finished its remaining eight games 3–5–0. The team failed to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a 24–30–2–4 record while also accruing a total of 1404 penalty minutes, the most of any team that season. Belisle was not retained as head coach.

The Stampede announced the hiring of former San Jose Sharks assistant coach Mark Kaufman as head coach for the 2003–04 season with the intent of making a more disciplined defensive team.[16] However, the team suffered its worst season record to date, 15–42–3. The following 2004–05 season allowed a franchise-high 252 goals over 60 games and the team failed to make the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Stampede fired Kaufman on April 6, 2005, after posting a 42–70–3–5 record over two seasons.[17]

Finding success and first Clark Cup championship: 2005–2007[edit]

In an attempt to reinvigorate the franchise, Sioux Falls hired former University of Minnesota player and Twin Cities Vulcans head coach Kevin Hartzell.[18] During the 2005–06 season, Hartzell led the club to its only Anderson Cup title, awarded to the team with the most points in the regular season, and first division championship. The team was led by future NHL players Andreas Nödl, Nate Prosser, Ryan Thang, Ben Holmstrom and Zach Redmond; and goaltenders John Murray and Alex Kangas. The Stampede advanced in the playoffs, dispatching the Tri-City Storm 3-games-to-2 and the Lincoln Stars 3-games-to-1, moving on to the Clark Cup Finals. They lost to the Des Moines Buccaneers in five games in the best-of-five series.

The 2006–07 season started slowly with the Stampede earning a single point in their first six games. After residing near the bottom of the standings for the entire first half of the season, the Stampede became one of the best teams during the second half of the season. They entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the West and swept the Lincoln Stars in four games. After losing to Des Moines in the first game of the round robin, Sioux Falls defeated the Tri-City Storm in overtime to make it into the final four as the fourth seed. The Indiana Ice were their next opponent in the Clark Cup semifinal game. The Ice had been undefeated through the playoffs until the Stampede prevailed over them in overtime to advance to the championship game against the host team of the event, the Waterloo Black Hawks. The Stampede shutout the Black Hawks 3–0 to win their first Clark Cup.

Second Clark Cup championship: 2014–15[edit]

In the 2014–15 season, the Stampede followed a similar path to their previous 2007 championship. The team moved into the brand new Denny Sanford Premier Center, drawing a sellout crowd of 10,678 for their first game in the new arena against Waterloo. Sioux Falls struggled to win early in the season with just four returning players from the previous year and started 3–7–1. Towards the beginning of January, the team's performance improved, and at the end of the season they qualified for the fourth seed in the Western Conference and last playoff spot in the Clark Cup Playoffs with 69 points. During the season the Stampede, who had led the league in attendance during their final year at the Sioux Falls Arena the previous season, smashed the USHL's all-time attendance record with 191,280 fans. In the Western Conference semifinals, the Stampede faced their arch rivals, the Sioux City Musketeers, who had led the Western Conference with 81 points. After splitting the first four games, the Stampede dominated the decisive fifth game in Sioux City, scoring five times in the second period en route to a 6–1 victory and 3-games-to-2 series win. In the Western Conference Finals, the Stampede faced the second seeded Tri-City Storm. After dropping the opening game of the series, Sioux Falls won the next three to capture the Western Conference Championship. In the Clark Cup Finals, Sioux Falls faced the fourth seed from the Eastern Conference, the Muskegon Lumberjacks, marking just the second time in USHL history the two lowest seeds in the playoffs had advanced to the league championship. After winning the first two games in Muskegon, the Stampede returned to Sioux Falls to play game three on May 15. In front of 8,178 fans in a "Blue Out", Sioux Falls defeated Muskegon 4-2 to complete the sweep and capture their second Clark Cup championship.


Radio and television[edit]

Radio coverage is provided by flagship station KELO (AM 1320). The Stampede radio broadcast team is led by Jim Olander and in-studio host Dan Lund. The radio network broadcasts pregame coverage, games with commentary, guest appearances by coachers and players, and postgame wrap-ups.

Season-by-season record[edit]

United States Hockey League[19]

Season GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1999–00 58 37 17 4 78 239 179 963 2nd of 7, West Lost Quarterfinals, 0–3 vs. Twin Cities Vulcans
2000–01 56 40 14 2 82 267 182 1023 2nd of 6, West Won Quarterfinals, 3–1 vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Lost Semifinals, 1–3 vs. Omaha Lancers
2001–02 61 35 21 5 75 252 217 1372 4th of 7, West Lost Quarterfinals, 0–3 vs. Sioux City Musketeers
2002–03 60 24 30 2 4 54 179 223 1404 6th of 6, West Did not qualify
2003–04 60 15 42 1 2 33 148 252 1250 6th of 6, West Did not qualify
2004–05 60 27 28 2 3 59 178 200 1154 5th of 5, West Did not qualify
2005–06 60 43 13 1 3 90 190 135 1165 1st of 5, West
1st of 11, USHL
Won Quarterfinals, 3–2 vs. Tri-City Storm
Won Semifinals, 3–1 vs. Lincoln Stars
Lost Clark Cup Finals, 2–3 vs. Des Moines Buccaneers
2006–07 60 34 21 3 2 73 195 174 1215 4th of 6, West
6th of 12, USHL
Won Opening Round, 4–0 vs. Lincoln Stars
1–1–0 in Divisional Round Robin
(L, 2–3 vs. Buccaneers; OTW, 4–3 vs. Storm)
Won Semifinal game, 3–2 vs. Indiana Ice
Won Clark Cup Championship game, 3–0 vs. Waterloo Black Hawks
2007–08 60 35 19 2 4 76 199 175 967 2nd of 6, West
4th of 12, USHL
Lost Quarterfinals, 0–3 vs. Lincoln Stars
2008–09 60 28 28 1 3 60 182 199 956 4th of 6, West
9th of 12, USHL
Lost Quarterfinals, 1–3 vs. Lincoln Stars
2009–10 60 33 15 4 8 78 223 182 932 3rd of 7, West
5th of 14, USHL
Lost Quarterfinals, 0–3 vs. Fargo Force
2010–11 60 34 20 1 5 74 197 168 905 3rd of 8, West
6th of 16, USHL
Won Conf. Quarterfinals, 2–1 vs. Sioux City Musketeers
Won Conf. Semifinals, 3–0 vs. Omaha Lancers
Lost Conf. Finals, 1–3 vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints
2011–12 60 17 36 1 6 41 127 215 1045 8th of 8, West
16th of 16, USHL
Did not qualify
2012–13 64 45 17 1 1 92 241 187 1047 1st of 8, West
2nd of 16, USHL
Won Conf. Semifinals, 3–2 vs. Lincoln Stars
Lost Conf. Finals, 2–3 vs. Fargo Force
2013–14 60 34 19 3 4 79 202 157 1132 3rd of 8, West
4th of 16, USHL
Lost Conf. Semifinals, 0–3 vs. Waterloo Black Hawks
2014–15 60 32 23 1 4 69 191 181 1110 4th of 8, West
8th of 17, USHL
Won Conf. Semifinals, 3–2 vs. Sioux City Musketeers
Won Conf. Finals, 3–1 vs. Tri-City Storm
Won Clark Cup Finals, 3–0 vs. Muskegon Lumberjacks
2015–16 60 31 25 3 1 66 164 174 908 4th of 8, West
9th of 17, USHL
Lost Conf. Semifinals, 0–3 vs. Tri-City Storm
Won Conf. Finals, 3–1 vs. Tri-City Storm
2016–17 60 21 30 3 6 51 169 193 902 7th of 8, West
14th of 17, USHL
Did not qualify


Current roster[edit]

As of November 27, 2016.[20]

# S/P/C Player Pos Ht Wt DoB Hometown Previous team College commitment
1 Alaska Swayman, JeremyJeremy Swayman G 6' 2" 182 lb 1998-11-24 Anchorage, Alaska Pikes Peak Miners U18 (NAPHL) Maine
2 Florida Villella, A.J.A.J. Villella D 5' 11" 177 lb 1998-01-26 Davie, Florida Cedar Rapids (USHL) Northeastern
4 Ohio Wells, JustinJustin Wells D 6' 4" 190 lb 1998-07-31 North Canton, Ohio Sioux Falls (USHL) Bowling Green
5 Pennsylvania DeNaples, PaulPaul DeNaples D 6' 0" 174 lb 1998-09-19 Moscow, Pennsylvania Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (NAHL) Penn State
6 California St. Ivany, JackJack St. Ivany D 6' 1" 170 lb 1999-07-22 Manhattan Beach, California Los Angeles Junior Kings U16 (T1EHL) Yale
7 Minnesota Nelson, JaxonJaxon Nelson F 6' 4" 192 lb 2000-03-30 Magnolia, Minnesota Luverne Senior High School (USHS–MN) Minnesota
8 Michigan Bowman, NickNick Bowman F 5' 11" 204 lb 1997-12-19 Shelby Township, Michigan Cedar Rapids (USHL) Miami
9 New Jersey Acosta, KhristanKhristan Acosta F 5' 9" 180 lb 1998-05-05 Port Monmouth, New Jersey Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (NAHL) Quinnipiac
10 Germany Bergmann, LeanLean Bergmann F 5' 11" 185 lb 1998-10-04 Iserlohn, Germany Sioux Falls (USHL) Western Michigan
12 Wisconsin Passolt, JoshJosh Passolt F 6' 0" 180 lb 1996-06-06 Hayward, Wisconsin Sioux Falls (USHL) Western Michigan
13 Ukraine Novytskyy, VitaliyVitaliy Novytskyy F 6' 3" 210 lb 1997-05-07 Kharkiv, Ukraine Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede (Midget AAA) American International
14 Minnesota Hain, GavinGavin Hain F 5' 11" 187 lb 2000-04-03 Grand Rapids, Minnesota Grand Rapids High School (USHS–MN) North Dakota
15 Michigan Russell, MarcusMarcus Russell F 5' 10" 165 lb 1996-03-06 Traverse City, Michigan Muskegon (USHL) Michigan Tech
16 Minnesota Johnson, MaxMax Johnson F 5' 10" 185 lb 1998-05-12 Lakeville, Minnesota Lakeville North High School (USHS–MN) Bowling Green
17 Illinois Swoyer, ColinColin Swoyer D 5' 10" 181 lb 1998-03-31 Hinsdale, Illinois Chicago (USHL) Michigan Tech
18 Minnesota Brumm, DavidDavid Brumm F 6' 1" 175 lb 1997-08-17 Maple Grove, Minnesota Dubuque (USHL) None
19 Massachusetts Quercia, MatthewMatthew Quercia F 6' 2" 194 lb 1999-02-24 Andover, Massachusetts New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs U16 (EHL) Boston University
20 Wisconsin Reichenbacher, GrantGrant Reichenbacher F 5' 9" 160 lb 1998-09-10 Madison, Wisconsin Lincon (USHL) None
23 Ohio Perrault, MitchMitch Perrault F 5' 9" 172 lb 1996-09-03 Findlay, Ohio Omaha (USHL) Harvard
24 Virginia Cavanagh, RegenRegen Cavanagh F 5' 10" 174 lb 1997-02-02 Chesapeake, Virginia Dubuque (USHL) None
26 Finland Kotkansalo, KasperKasper Kotkansalo D 6' 2" 190 lb 1998-11-16 Espoo, Finland Espoo Blues J20 (Jr. A SM-liiga) None
27 Minnesota Becker, JackJack Becker F 6' 4" 205 lb 1997-06-14 Mahtomedi, Minnesota Sioux Falls (USHL) Wisconsin
30 Russia Berdin, MikhailMikhail Berdin G 6' 2" 163 lb 1998-10-04 Ufa, Russia Team Russia U18 (IIHF) None

Notable alumni[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Asterisk (*) denotes number of Clark Cups won

  • Bob Motzko, 1999–01
  • Tony Gasparini, 2001–03
  • Mark Kaufman, 2003–05
  • Kevin Hartzell, 2005–12*
  • Cary Eades, 2012–15*
  • Scott Owens, 2015–present


  1. ^ "United States Hockey League has eye on Sioux Falls again". Argus Leader. January 13, 1998. p. 1. Retrieved April 10, 2017 – via free to read
  2. ^ "Hockey Team: Building new arena still possible". Argus Leader. March 4, 1998. p. 3. Retrieved April 10, 2017 – via free to read
  3. ^ "Backers seek home for hockey team". Argus Leader. March 4, 1998. p. 1. Retrieved April 10, 2017 – via free to read
  4. ^ "Hockey team to start play in city in '99". Argus Leader. May 26, 1998. p. 1. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  5. ^ "City to pay $300,000 to add hockey to arena". Argus Leader. May 27, 1998. p. 1. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  6. ^ "Hockey team christened: it's Stampede". Argus Leader. October 1, 1998. p. 1. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  7. ^ "Stampede hands reins to native of Minnesota". Argus Leader. October 8, 1998. p. 1. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  8. ^ "Motzko leaving Stampede for Gophers". Argus Leader. May 21, 2001. p. 13. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  9. ^ "Fans savor first taste of junior hockey". Argus Leader. September 25, 1999. p. 21. Retrieved April 13, 2017 – via free to read
  10. ^ "Gorman an all-USHL 1st-teamer". Argus Leader. March 29, 2000. p. 22. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  11. ^ "Motzko leaving Stampede for Gophers". Argus Leader. May 21, 2001. p. 13. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  12. ^ "Stampede: Gasparani impressed team owners". Argus Leader. June 1, 2001. p. 21. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  13. ^ "USHL, Stampede ready All-Star festival". Argus Leader. February 4, 2002. p. 13. Retrieved April 13, 2017 – via free to read
  14. ^ "Stampede's Vanek named all-USHL". Argus Leader. April 17, 2002. p. 26. Retrieved April 13, 2017 – via free to read
  15. ^ "Stampede makes coaching change". Argus Leader. March 11, 2003. p. 13. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  16. ^ "Kaufman: Stampede needs discipline". Argus Leader. April 22, 2003. p. 15. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  17. ^ "Stampede cuts ties with Kaufman". Argus Leader. April 7, 2005. p. 13. Retrieved April 11, 2017 – via free to read
  18. ^ "Stampede: Hartzell confident he'll adjust". Argus Leader. April 27, 2005. p. 24. Retrieved April 13, 2017 – via free to read
  19. ^ "Sioux Falls Stampede Statistics and History". HockeyDB. Retrieved April 11, 2017. 
  20. ^ "Meet the Herd". Sioux Falls Stampede. Retrieved November 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]