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FORCE WIN IN SHOOTOUT OVER BLOOMINGTON

By Kelsey Helland, 01/31/15, 10:45PM CST

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It was another packed house at Scheels Arena with the second straight sellout and the fans were able to see an exciting game. Bloomington took Fargo to a shootout but the Force came out on top with a 3-2 victory.

“The guys worked really hard and we rallied after a tough loss yesterday,” Defenseman Justin Baudry said. “It was a good team effort and I think we need to go forward and build off of it.”

The first period brought one power play opportunity for the Force and three for the Thunder. The Force were strong on the penalty kill but could not score one of their own on their power play opportunity.

The period ended scoreless with Bloomington having 19 shots on goal and Fargo having 2.

Both teams came out aggressive in the second period. 7 minutes into the period penalties for roughing were called on Fargo’s Brody Stevens and Bloomington’s Jeremy Davies. Another penalty was called on Bloomington’s Alec Mehr for hooking which put Fargo on the power play.

Less than a minute into the power play Justin Baudry scored his first USHL goal assisted by Denis Smirnov and Mikey Eyssimont and gave the Force a 1-0 lead.

“I got a nice pass from Smirnov and he set it all up for that goal,” Baudry said.

Bloomington answered back minutes later with back-to-back goals within a minute of each other. Matt Mendelson scored the first Thunder goal and Joshua Shellman scored the next making it a 2-1 game with 5:42 to play in the period.

Fargo tied things up in the third period when Justin Baudry scored his second goal of the night 11 minutes into the period. Mikey Eyssimont was credited with the assist.

The period ended 2-2 and forced overtime. The Force had three shots on goal in overtime while Bloomington had two but nothing went in for either team, which meant the game was headed to a shootout.

Kyle Sylvester scored the lone goal in the shootout giving the Force the 3-2 victory. This was the second shootout that Sylvester was the only player to score in.

Mathias Israelsson ended the game facing 47 shots and saving 45 of them as well as denying all three of Bloomington’s shootout attempts.

“Our goaltender gave us this chance and he’s outstanding,” Head Coach John Marks said of Israelsson. “He’s been great all year and in shootouts too. This was a big win for us and we needed to win. I’m proud of the guys for coming out and playing.”

The Fargo Force Skills Challenge is Tuesday at 6pm and is free to the public. The next Force game is Friday when they take on the Sioux City Musketeers for the Frozen Family Fun Night.

Tickets can be purchased at the Scheels Arena Box Office, open Monday through Friday 11 AM – 6 PM, online at www.tickets300.com, or by calling 701-364-3672.