It was a pretty even matchup between the Fargo Force and the Des Moines Buccaneers with goals being traded throughout the game and shots on goal ending at 30 a piece. But the Bucs had the one goal advantage late in the third period that gave them the 3-2 win in front of 3,308 fans at Scheels Arena.
The first period gave both teams power play opportunities to score on but neither team could come through.
The Bucs opportunity came just over two minutes into the period while Fargo’s chances came six minutes into the period and again two minutes after their first power play ended.
The Force led in shots 15-6 after the first period.
Fargo claimed the lead 12 minutes into the second period when Denis Smirnov found Brody Stevens who passed the puck across the ice to Mikey Eyssimont. Eyssimont was right in front of the net ready to put it past Pashovitz, who ended the night with 28 saves.
But then with just 12.4 seconds to play in the period, Des Moines’ Brennan Sanford made it a 1-1 game.
Shots ended 23-21 in favor of the Bucs after the second.
“We had a real good first and they had a real good second,” Head Coach John Marks said of the difference between the two periods. “It’s disappointing that we couldn’t keep playing the same way throughout the second.”
7:11 into the third period Des Moines’ Tanner Karty scored to put them ahead 2-1 but just over two minutes later TJ Roo scored off a rebounded pass from Sean Mostrom to tie things back up at 2-2.
With 4:53 to play in the game, Fargo’s Mikey Eyssimont was called for interference putting Des Moines on the power play. Just after the power play expired, Ryan Dmowski got one past Fargo’s Mathias Israelsson to score the game-winning goal.
Israelsson ended the night with 27 saves.
“In a game like tonight against a team in your division when you’re trying to get two points and we don’t have everybody contributing it’s really disappointing,” Marks said.
The Force will face the Buccaneers again tomorrow night for Hometown Heroes Night. The team will wear custom military jerseys that will be auctioned off after the game with all proceeds benefitting the Wounded Warriors Project.
Tickets can be purchased at the Scheels Arena Box Office, which opens at noon tomorrow, online at www.tickets300.com, or by calling 701-364-3672.