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Clark Cup Final Preview

By Force Staff, 05/13/21, 12:00PM CDT

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The Fargo Force are gearing up to face off against the Chicago Steel in the Clark Cup Finals kicking off this Friday, May 14th, at 7:05 PM. This will be first time the two teams have met in the 2020-21 season.

The #4 seeded Fargo Force have cemented themselves as the “comeback kids” during their 2021 playoff run.  Coming back in round one against Tri-City and upsetting the #1 seed 2-1 to advance to the Western Conference Finals. After their huge win against the Storm the Force played lights out hockey against Sioux City in the conference finals dominating the Musketeers in a 6-1 win and a 3-0 shutout to claim the title of Western Conference Champions.

The #1 seeded Chicago Steel faces off against the Dubuque Fighting Saints in round one with a commanding 6-1 win in the first game followed by a 5-4 win in night two. Then they faced the Muskegon Jacks in the Eastern Conference Finals where they came from behind in night one to win 3-2 in OT and secured another comeback win in night two claiming the conference championship title and going 4-0 in their first two rounds of playoffs.

The Fargo Force and the Chicago Steel head into the series both looking to claim the second Clark Cup in team history.

Chicago and Fargo currently make up 9/10 of the top scorers in the USHL throughout playoffs, with Fargo at 5/10 and Chicago at 4/10. Topping the leaderboard is Tristan Broz and Matt Coronato, two of the most dangerous forwards in the league. Both lead their teams with 9 points apiece, Broz with three goals and six assists and Coronato with six goals and three assists. Broz has been a key component for Fargo’s offence throughout the season and has been an impactful player throughout the playoffs as well. He’s currently on a 5-game point streak, putting up a point or more in every playoff game so far. Coronato lead his team and the league in goals during the regular season as well putting up a whopping 48 goals in 51 games.

The three, four, and five spots on the point leaderboard are claimed by Mackie Samoskevich, Cody Monds and Aaron Huglen. Chicago forward Samoskevich leads his team in playoff assists with seven and tacked on a goal as well for a total of 8pts in the playoffs so far. Aaron Huglen and Cody Monds have six points apiece. Monds with three goals and three assists even after sitting out a game due to a league suspension. Huglen has put up two goals, four assists and has made some huge plays for Fargo during this playoff run. The following spots at the top of the leaderboard are claimed by Ryan Ufko (1G-5A-6P), Jake Braccini (3G-2A-5P), Jack Peart (1G-4A-5P) and Adam Fantilli (4G-0A-4P).

Fargo goaltender Andrew Miller currently tops the leaderboard for goalies in the playoffs with a .63GAA and a .981SV%. He had two outstanding nights in the net against Sioux City allowing just one goal on 19 shots last Friday and putting up a wall against the Musketeers on Saturday with a 34 save shut out win. Miller is followed on the goalie leaderboard by Chicago’s netminder Simon Latkoczy who’s put up a 1.94GAA and a .932SV%, some of his best stats for the Steel all season. Latkoczy only appeared in 16 regular season games for Chicago where he recorded a 2.89GAA and a .898SV%. Fargo’s main goaltender during the regular season was Brennan Boynton. Boynton played in 46 games for the Force posting a .243GAA a .901SV% and earned USHL goaltender of the week four times during the regular season. In three and a half playoff game Boynton put up a 2.63GAA and .916SV%, but will be out due to a suspension dealt last Friday against Sioux City.

The Force and the Steel have a combined total of 5 NHL draft picks in their lineups. Fargo with Bear Hughes (Washington Capitals) Aaron Huglen (Buffalo Sabers) and Austin Wong (Winnipeg Jets) and Chicago with Sean Farrell (Montreal Canadians) and Joe Miller (Toronto Maple Leafs).

The Steel led the league in scoring during the regular season with an average of 4.91 goals per game, but the Force ranked second in goals against allowing an average of just 2.74 points against them. Fargo ended their regular season with a record of 30-21-3-0 and Chicago concluded theirs with a 38-11-3-2 record.

Regular season scoring leaders for the Force include Tristan Broz (19G-32A-51P), Jeremy Davidson (13G-26A-39P), and Aaron Huglen (15G-20A-35P). Leading scorers for Chicago include Sean Farrell (29G-72A-101P), Matt Coronato (48G-37A-85P) and Josh Doan (31A-39-70P).

The Clark Cup Finals kick off this weekend on Chicago home ice with games on Friday and Saturday both at 7:05 PM. The best-of-five series will then make its way to Fargo, ND for a 7:05 PM puck drop on Friday the 21st and a potential 6:05 puck drop on Saturday if necessary. If the contest goes to five games the final faceoff will be back in Chicago at 7:05PM on Tuesday, May 25.

Tickets for both potential games at Scheels Arena are on sale now. Visit www.fargoforce.com/tickets or contact the Scheels Arena box office at 701.356.7656

 

Friday, 14th @ 7:05 PM (AWAY)

Saturday, May 15th @ 7:05 PM (AWAY)

Friday, May 21st @ 7:05PM (HOME)

Saturday, May 22nd @ 6:05 PM (HOME) (If necessary)

Tuesday, May 25th @ 7:05PM (AWAY) (If necessary)