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Western Conference Finals Series Preview

By Force Staff, 05/07/21, 12:00PM CDT


The #4th seeded Fargo Force defeated the Western Conference regular season campion Tri-City Storm last weekend in a thrilling 3 game series. After dropping game one to Tri-City 3-2, Fargo came back to win it with a 5-4 OT victory in game two and a 3-2 victory in game three. The series was a battle, as neither team lead by more than a single goal the entire series. The #3 seeded Sioux City Musketeers defeated the #2 seeded Omaha Lancers in round one of the playoffs with a 2-0 shutout win in game one and a 2-1 victory in game two.

This weekend the Force and the Musketeers will go head-to-head in the Western Conference Finals to claim a spot in the Clark Cup Championship series. Game one will be held in Sioux City with a 7:05 PM puck drop, game two will be on Force home ice with a 6:05 puck drop, and if the series goes to game three the deciding contest will be back in Sioux City at 7:05 PM.

After two huge wins in Tri-City the Force are heading into this weekend’s competition with a renewed sense of confidence and a drive to win. The Huglen, Broz, Monds line had an outstanding weekend posting 12 points. Six of the 12 points came from Force forward Tristan Broz, who scored and 2 goals and added 4 assists, playing an instrumental role in Fargo’s wins. Huglen and Monds both scored key goals in Saturday’s contest, the first from Huglen, with the golie pulled, to tie the game with 1:14 remaining in the third period, followed by an OT game winner from Cody Monds. Fargo goaltender Brennan Boynton had a solid weekend between the pipes saving 29/33 on Saturday and 36/38 on Sunday. His dominant performance kept the Force within striking distance in both of their comeback wins.

Sioux City played two great games in Omaha last weekend, giving up only 1 goal the entire series. They were backstopped by New Jersey Devil’s draft pick Akira Schmid, who put up a 25 save shutout on Saturday and went 29/30 on Sunday giving him a .982 save percentage in the playoffs so far. In seven wins against Fargo during the regular season Sioux City forward Chase Bradley scored one or more goals in 6 of them. He contributed a big powerplay goal against Omaha last weekend as well and will be a player to watch for in the upcoming Western Conference Finals.

Leading scorers for Fargo during the regular season include Tristan Broz (19G-32A-51P-54GP), Jeremy Davidson (13G-26A-39P-54GP), Aaron Huglen (15G-20A-35P-39GP), Cody Monds (12G-20A-32P-37GP) and Ryan Siedem (2G-30A-32P-52GP). Leading regular season scorers for Sioux City include Chase Bradley (22G-18A-40P-52GP), Brian Carrabes (21G-19A-40P-45GP) and Justin Hryckowian (17G-21A-38P-44GP).

This weekend’s series will be a closely contested grudge match between the last two teams standing in the Western Conference. Both are looking for the chance to take home the 2021 Clark Cup Championship Trophy.

Friday, May 7 | 7:05 PM | Tyson Events Center

  • Western Conference Finals Round 1 | Watch party @ Scheels Arena

Saturday, May 8 | 6:05 PM | Scheels Arena

  • Western Conference Finals Round 2

Monday, May 10 | 7:05 PM | Tyson Events Center

  • Western Conference Finals Round 3 (if necessary) | Watch party @ Scheels Arena