An 11-goal weekend backed by a stellar performance by netminder Louden Hogg led to a 2-game sweep over the Sioux Falls Stampede this holiday weekend.
Friday night’s New Year’s Eve game at Scheels Arena was dominated by Fargo, the 8-2 win was led by the Lurie-Link-Yavash line tallying 4 goals and 10 assists for 14 total points amongst the trio. Hogg put on a show, stopping 28/30 for a .933 save percentage.
The scoring started early for the Force with a goal from team captain, Tyler Rollwagen, just :43 seconds into the period. A minute later Charlie Lurie redirected in a shot from Max Smolinski giving the Force a 2-0 lead just 1:54 into the period. At 14:26 Smolinski fired in a goal of his own straight out of a faceoff win from Brett Link extending the lead to 3-0. With :54 seconds left in the first Boston Bruins prospect Andre Gasseau rifled one past Sioux Falls netminder Isak Posch giving the Force a 4-0 lead to close out the opening frame.
Two minutes into the second period Bret Link netted his 10th goal of the season off a centering pass from German Yavash extending the Force lead to 5-0. At 4:46 Stampede forward Maddox Fleming snuck one past Hogg giving Sioux Falls their first tally of the game. But Belarus native German Yavash was quick to respond with a goal of his own making it 6-1 early in the second period.
The Stampede added another goal just over a minute into the third frame, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Force. At 3:55 Fargo D-man Mason Langenbrunner fired in his first goal of the season on the powerplay extending the Force lead once again. With 9 seconds remaining Lurie added his 5th point of the night with a top shelf beauty from the high slot securing the 8-2 win in night one of the weekend.
Saturday the Force hit the road to Sioux Falls for the second game of the weekend. Once again Fargo started hot with a goal from Cole Knuble at 3:03 in the opening frame. He hammered home a rebound off a shot from Gasseau to give the Force an early lead. Then at 9:07 the Force capitalized on their first powerplay opportunity of the game thanks to a pretty spin move from Erik Bargholtz. He flipped it in far side top shelf for a 2-0 lead. The Force outshot the Stampede in the opening frame 11-3.
The lone goal of the second period came off a glove side rip from Andre Gasseau giving the Force a 3-0 lead heading into the final frame. Force defenseman Joe Palodichuk added the fourth goal of the game with 11:38 left to play off a pretty passing play from Link and Lurie.
With 2:43 remaining in the game Sioux Falls added their lone goal of the game, avoiding the shutout but not the sweep as the Force secured a 4-1 win and their first sweep of the season!
1st Star - German Yavash | 1G - 4A
2nd Star - Charlie Lurie | 2G - 3A
3rd Star - Louden Hogg | SA: 30 - SV: 28 - TOI: 60:00
1st Star - Louden Hogg | SA: 18 - SV: 17 - TOI: 60:00
2nd Star - Cole Knuble | 1G - 1A
3rd Star - Andre Gasseau | 1G - 1A