The Fargo Force (3-1-0-1) started off how with a two-goal lead over the Lincoln Stars (4-2-1-0) in the first. 36 saves form Force goaltender Anton Castro plus 5 goals from 5 different players helped the Force fend off a late run by the Stars to take home the 5-4 W the second and final game of the series.
Both teams saw powerplay opportunities early in the first, but it was the Force who tallied the first goal of the night. Fargo cashed in late on a power-play chance at as Cole Knuble put the puck in the net off the beautiful one-two pass from Bret Link and Felikss Gavars to go up 1-0 with 7:34 left to play in the first period. With just over two minutes to play in the first Sweden native Gustav Portillo extended Fargo’s lead with an unassisted backhander giving the Force a 2-0 to close the period.
A minute and seven seconds into the second Felikss Gavars got the rebound shot to light the lamp for his second goal of the season extending Fargo’s lead even further. Period two saw the most penalties served adding up to a combined total of 40 minutes, 2 of which were delt out to the Stars at 4:01 giving the Force a 5-on-3 opportunity which they were unable to capitalize on. Under 3 minutes later Stars failed to execute on their own 5-on-3 power-play but scored seconds after their man advantage expired making it a 3-1 gam. With just under 6 minutes left Jakob Stender bounced his own rebound off the back of the Stars goaltender’s leg extending the Force’s lead back to 3.
Andre Gasseau fired in a wicked wrister from the right circle 1:44 into the third period, off an assist from Cole Knuble. Lincoln rallied at the end scoring three goals to make is a one score game with just over 2 minutes remaining. But the Force fought back, fending off the Lincoln attacks and taking home the 5-4 W to split the series.
The Force hit the road to Omaha Nebraska to take on the Lancers next weekend, the games will both be streamed via HockeyTV. The following weekend they return home for a pair of games vs. the Waterloo BlackHawks tickets are available now at www.ticketmaster.com!