The Force hit the road this weekend to Sioux City for the 2021 USHL West Preseason Shootout. Kicking off the weekend with a 3-2 win over the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday afternoon highlighted by a 6/6 penalty kill performance. Period one got off to a slow start with 8 SOG for the Buccs and 5 for the Force. Des Moines had a powerplay opportunity early in the period but was quickly killed off by the Force’s PK unit. Fargo turned on the heat in the second starting with a goal from Charlie Lurie (24) off a feed from Kyle Smolen (17) just 1:11 in. Tyson Gross (26) followed it up just over 3 minutes later on a 2v1 breakaway ripping one in off a pass from Thomas Weis (7). Then Cole Knuble (22) buried one on the powerplay giving the Force a 3-0 lead. With 29 seconds remaining the Buccaneers tallied their first goal of the game, bringing the score to 3-1 Force. The only goal of the 3rd was scored by Des Moines just over a minute into the period but it wasn't enough, Fargo held off 4 Buccaneers power plays in the final period to take home a 3-2 win.
The Force came away with a big 5-2 win against Waterloo in game 2 on Sunday afternoon. Charlie Lurie (24) kicked off the scoring once again directing home a blue line pass from Tyson Gross (26) to give the Force an early 1-0 lead. Lurie followed that up with a right circle snipe on the powerplay at 17:48 in the first. The Force headed into period 2 with a 2-0 lead, outshooting their opponents 9-4. Period two saw multiple power play opportunities for Fargo but they were all killed off by the BlackHawks. With just 26 seconds remaining in the period Felikss Egils Gavars (25) snagged a loose puck and fired one in on the breakaway giving the Fargo a 3-0 lead. At 2:01 in the third the Force let up their one and only powerplay goal of the weekend, bringing the score to 3-1. Shorty after Tyson Gross (26) took matters into his own hands skating past 4 Waterloo defensemen and ripping one on past the BlackHawks netminder. With 3:06 remaining Tyler Rollwagen (12) added a 5th goal for the Force after wrapping around behind the net and intercepting a Waterloo pass. The BlackHawks added another point at 2:17 but it wasn’t enough, the Force came away with a dominant 5-2 win in day 2 of the weekend, outshooting their opponents 29-14 and going 4/5 on the PK.
The Force are now undefeated in the preseason (4-0) and look to keep that streak alive on Friday, September 17th as they face off against the Sioux Falls Stampede for the first time in the 2021-22 preseason.