Fargo Force Week 22 Recap

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The Fargo Force headed out from the friendly confines of Scheels Arena to play two different teams in Iowa with games against the Waterloo Black Hawks and Des Moines Buccaneers. The Force entered the weekend with a nine game point streak and looked to remain the top team in the USHL. 

On Friday, February 24th was another matchup with the second place Black Hawks, the teams split their previous weekend series, but the Force did manage to force overtime in the loss, and got three out of four possible points on the road. The Force would start off hot as they would score the game's first three goals, with two in the first period by Cole Knuble and Kyle Smolen. Owen Mehlenbacher would score early in the second period to cap a ten minute span on the game clock that showed the Force dominate Waterloo. That momentum would shift at the 13:06 mark of the second period as Owen Baker got Waterloo on the scoreboard. The third period was the Garrett Schifsky show as he scored twice, the first at 1:20 and then the second at 17:57 to tie things up. The game would head to overtime and in a first this season Matej Marinov would let in a goal at 2:41 to Owen Baker to give Waterloo the 4-3 overtime victory. Although Fargo lost the game they did get one point in the standings since it was a loss in the extra session.

Saturday’s game was a chance for the Force to get back into the win column with a matchup versus the Des Moines Buccaneers. The Force had their 5 winning streak snapped and looked to start another one. In a first period where the Force outshot the Buccaneers 17-7 the Force had nothing to show for their efforts. The Buccaneers scored in that period on those seven shots when Henry Bartle got one past goalie Anton Castro at 16:57 for a 1-0 lead at the first intermission. The Force would continue to get shots on goal in the second period and they would be rewarded for their efforts. When the dust settled the Force had scored three times in the second, goals by Leo Gruba, Anthony Menghini and Jacob Napier would allow the Force to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. The third period showed a desperate Buccaneers squad as they gave up a fourth goal of the game just 55 seconds into the period as Girts Silkalns scored to make the lead 4-1. Des Moines would get 22 shots on Anton Castro with Castro only allowing one past him at the 5:01 mark to make the score 4-2. Verner Miettinen would put the game out of reach as he would add an empty net goal at 19:15 in the final period. 

The Force finished the weekend with 3 out of a possible 4 points during the travels to Iowa. The Force remain at the top of the USHL and the Western Conference with an overall record of 31-8-2-3 (67 points) and lead Waterloo (29-14-1-0 59 points) by 8 points in the Western Conference. The Force will return to Scheels Arena on March 3rd and 4th when they host the Omaha Lancers (13-23-5-2 33 points).


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