Hockey is finally back at Scheels Arena. After 137 days of waiting the Fargo Force return to home ice this Saturday for the first time since the Clark Cup Finals on May 22, 2021.
The 2021 Home Opener is sure to be an exciting one, featuring great hockey, delicious food, and all the concourse games/entertainment back in full swing. The Force are excited to welcome 45+ Youth Hockey teams from Force Fall Showcase to Saturday night’s game as well. There will also be a magnetic schedule giveaway sponsored by Sanford Health for the first 1000 fans at the game!
In their first game on home ice Force will face off against one of their biggest rivals in the conference, the Sioux City Musketeers. The last time these two teams faced the Force swept the Musketeers 2-0 to take home the Western Conference Championship. Both teams play a heavy-hitting, physical style of hockey that’s sure to play out on opening night.
A few familiar faces from last season will hit the ice on Saturday including Tyler Rollwagen (12), Kyle Smolen (17), Trevor Griebel (5) and Erik Bargholtz (29). As well as Charlie Lurie (24) and Anton Castro (31) who also appeared in the Force line a handful of times last season.
Some key newcomers to the Force offensive line include Andre Gasseau (4), Cole Knuble (22), Tyson Gross (26) and Felix Gavars (25). In two games the four forwards have each put up a goal, accounting for 50% of the team’s goal total; Knuble, Gross, and Gavars currently lead the Force in total points with 2 apiece. In preseason the group tallied 7 goals and 6 assists in total, with Gasseau leading the team in preseason points with 1 goal and 4 assists.
With only one returner on the Fargo blue line the Force will look to returner Trevor Griebel to lead the D. With no returning goaltenders the Force will lean on the experience of 2001 born Czech Republic native Hugo Hass to set the wall between the pipes.
The Musketeers bring back impact returners such as Kirklan Irey and Ben Steves. Irey and Steves currently lead Sioux City in points with 4 apiece in just 3 games played. They’re joined by former Lincoln Stars forward Charlie Schoen who sits atop the point total board with 4 as well.
The 2021 USHL Goaltender of the Year, Akira Schmid, will not be between the pipes for Sioux City this year, the Musketeers will look to Alex Tracy and Axel Mangbo to hold down the fort. In 18 games last season Tracy recorded 9 wins and 7 losses. He went 1-1 against the Force, allowing 5 total FGO goals against, 2 of which were scored by 2021-22 Force captain, Tyler Rollwagen.
With only two regular season games played the Force currently sit at 5th place in the Western Conference with a 1-0-0-1 record after falling the Chicago Steel 3-2 in a shootout and an OT comeback win over Team USA in the Fall Classic. The Musketeers currently sit at third place with a 2-1-0-0 record with a 4-2 loss to Team USA in their first game of the season followed by a 5-2 win over Muskegon and a 5-2 win over Sioux Falls.
Following Home Opener on Oct 9th the Force stay at home for games on the 15th and 16th. Friday the 15th is Whiteout Night! Wear white to the game and the first 1000 fans will receive a free white Force t-shirt courtesy of CI Sport. Saturday the 16th is Pucks and Paws/Bring Your Dog to the Game night! Tickets can be purchased at the Scheels Arena box office or online at www.ticketmaster.com