In tonight’s game the Force put forward an abundance of effort, but it just wasn’t quite enough to overcome the number one ranked team in the Eastern Conference, the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Head coach Cary Eades said the team worked their tails off, put a lot of pucks to the net, and had a lot of chances. Eades was very happy about improvements the team had made since their last game against Cedar Rapids this past weekend where the Force fell 6-1, each team having 26 shots on goal a piece. Tonight’s game played out much differently. The Force outshot the RoughRiders 33-20 and the final score ended at 4-1 with an empty netter at 18:39 in the third. Eades attributed the loss tonight to defensive blunders such as turnovers and giveaways that led to all three of Cedar Rapids’ goals.
The first goal of tonight’s game was scored by Cedar Rapids’ Luke Morgan, unassisted at 8:56 in the first. Fargo’s Michael Graham fought back with a power-play goal at 10:29, assisted by Jack Adams and Zach Yon. The second and third goals for Cedar Rapids were scored in the first by Cal Burke, and at 52 seconds into the second by Hugh McGing, assisted by Ross Colton.
Cedar Rapids played a great defensive game. The Force have been consistently outshooting their opponent but just haven’t been able to get their first win of the season. Eades states, “I thought we had a good net presence tonight, a lot of screens, but their goalie played well, we need a few more plays in tight, and to play a whole sixty minutes. It’s tough to climb yourself out of a two and three goal deficit early in games.” The RoughRiders’ starting goalie, Ben Blacker, also had an excellent game; his save percentage is .967 and is currently ranked third in the USHL.
Eades believes that the effort needed is there, but execution needs to improve. Hopes are high that if the Force “stick with it” good things are to come throughout the season.
The Fargo Force play the Sioux Falls Stampede October 9 at 7:05pm. Tickets are available at the Scheels Arena Box Office, tickets300.com, or the Tickets300 location on Broadway. Box office hours are Monday-Friday 11:00am-6:00pm.