The Force suffered a tough shutout loss to the Sioux Falls Stampede as the game ended 5-0 Friday night in front of a crowd of 3,898 fans at Scheels Arena.
The puck was in the Force’s offensive zone much of the first period and they were leading in shots on goal 10-4.
But with just 3:30 remaining in the period Parker Tuomie passed to Troy Loggins who was in front of the net ready to put one past Mathias Israelsson and give Sioux Falls a 1-0 lead.
“We were going pretty good in the first period until they scored the first goal,” Head Coach John Marks said. “We are so fragile that it didn’t take long to turn the first mistake into the second one.”
Less than two minutes later Dillon Eichstadt passed to Kieffer Bellows who was able to get the one timer right into the back of the net and the first period ended with Sioux Falls leading 2-0.
The Stampede came out ready to work the Force in the second period. Around four minutes into the period Alec Marsh and Parker Tuomie passed the puck back and forth before Tuomie finally fired it past Israelsson to put Sioux Falls up 3-0.
Three minutes later Sioux Falls made it a 4-0 game when they worked the puck down the ice allowing Dillon Eichstadt to score.
Just five minutes later Dakota Joshua put an easy goal right through the legs of Israelsson and it gave them the 5-0 lead.
With three minutes remaining in the second period things got physical and a number of penalties were assessed. Fargo’s Mason Morelli and Sioux Falls’ Collin Peters dropped the gloves to fight and as a result were each called for a 5-minute major for fighting and a 10-minute misconduct penalty. 45 seconds later Fargo’s Chuck Bennis and Sioux Falls’ Matt Nuttle were both charged with minor penalties, Bennis for roughing and Nuttle for hooking. Less than a minute after that Fargo’s Brody Stevens and Sioux Falls’ Parker Tuomie were both given minor penalties for roughing.
Robbie Beydoun replaced Israelsson in net to start the third period and did not allow Sioux Falls to score again on their 14 shots in the third.
Unfortunately, Stefanos Lekkas remained solid in net all night and ended with a 27 save shutout for Sioux Falls.
“We kind of handed the game to Sioux Falls. They’re a good team but every one of the goals that they scored we handed them either on a turnover or a bad decision,” Marks said. “It’s too bad because at this point in the season each player should be better than what they showed tonight.”
The Force travel to Omaha to take on the Lancers tomorrow night. They will return to Scheels Arena on March 5 and 6 when they will face the Tri-City Storm.
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.