The Fargo Force took the road to face a potential playoff opponent in a three game series for the second weekend in a row as they went to Kearney, NE to face the Tri-City Storm. The Force hoped to rebound after coming off their worst loss of the season last Saturday night and start a new point streak.
On Friday, March 24 the first of the three games versus the Storm started similarly to how the last game ended. A five goal second period by the Storm put this game away by the second intermission. The Force dropped their second straight game 7-4 and were looking at their first losing streak of the year. Fargo scored goals by Verner Miettinen, Bret Link and Cole Knuble..
Saturday, March 25 the Force hoped to get the defense back on track and for the most accomplished that goal. Allowing four goals throughout the contest was a step in the right direction, however the offense for the Force went in the other direction. The Force were shut out by the Storm on the scoreboard and were held in check in the shots on goal as well. Fargo managed just 24 shots during the game and had just three in the final period. The Force were now in unfamiliar territory with a three game losing streak to their name and one more game in Kearney yet to come.
Sunday, March 26 was the final game between the two squads and the sixth game in 10 days for Fargo. Tri-City struck first on a goal by Shaun McEwen at 14:39 of the first period and took that lead into intermission. Fargo would come back in the second period and tie the game at 4:20 of the second period on a goal by Zam Plante. Fargo would then take a lead when Kevin Scott scored his fourth goal of the season at the midway point of the period. The lead would not last as the Storm tied it up when Dane Dowiak scored with approximately three minutes remaining in the period. The third period was a closely contested period with neither team surrendering the lead until just under five minutes left when Dane Dowiak scored his second goal of the game for a 3-2 lead that would hold up to take all three victories versus the Force.
The Fargo Force remain at the top of the USHL and the Western Conference with an overall record of 36-12-2-4 (78 points) and lead Waterloo (34-18-1-0 69 points) by nine points in the Western Conference. Despite losing three games this weekend, the Force are still in control of their own destiny to clinch the best record in the USHL. Fargo is six points ahead of the top team in the East, Chicago Steel (34-16-3-1 72 points) and seven points of the East’s second place team, Youngstown Phantoms (33-16-4-1 71 points).
The Force have just 8 games remaining in the regular season and host Sioux City this Friday night and then travel to Sioux City Saturday night in a rare home and home weekend series. Fargo will stay on the road the following weekend as they travel to take on the Des Moines Buccaneers and Waterloo Black Hawks.