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Force Drop Another One Goal Game

By Liz Knisley, 12/18/15, 10:00PM CST

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For the annual Teddy Bear Toss promotion, the Fargo Force took on the Sioux Falls Stampede for the fourth time this season and the third time at home.  So far this season, the Force have defeated the Stampede twice at home and fallen to them once on the road.  The first period went underway with a lot of back and forth play, with neither team able to get a good hold on the puck as the evenly matched conference rivals battled it out. Both teams seemed a bit heavy on their feet making for a slightly sluggish first period. The slower play carried on all the way to the end of first, ending the period barred up 0-0.

Just 1:31 into the second, the Force put pressure on Sioux Falls’ net and scored the first goal of the game triggering fans to toss hundreds of teddy bears onto the ice to be donated to children around the F-M area. Fargo’s goal was scored by Zach Yon, his tenth of the season, assisted by Cole Gallant and Evan Bell. Speed picked up immensely on the ice after the first goal, giving the Force the momentum needed to get going and create plays. Fargo controlled the puck for most of the second and outshot Sioux Falls 18-10 going into the third. Nevertheless at 15:08, the Stampede’s Jack Suter was able to get a hold of the puck and dump it in the net sending Wischow diving and the puck to the top right corner. A little over two minutes later at 17:33 Sioux Falls did it again, capitalizing on a mess in front of the net, whacking at the puck while  blocking Wischow’s view. Sioux Falls’ goal was notched by Matt Riggleman, sending the Force into the third down 1-2.

The Force came back in the third with more speed and aggression but sporadic, and messy, play. With about three minutes left in the third Fargo’s desperation for a goal turned into tactical play with relentless attacks on Sioux Falls’ net and several 1 on 4’s as the Force’s offense attempted to break Sioux Falls’ defense. With a little over a minute to go in the third, Fargo pulled their goalie and blistered Sioux Falls’ net, outshooting them an astounding 34-12. Fargo had a strong offensive and defensive game tonight but were unable to beat Sioux Falls and fell to them 2-1 in yet another 1 goal game. Fargo and Sioux Falls have now faced each other four times this season walking away with two wins and two losses apiece.

Coach Byron Pool stepped in for head coach Cary Eades tonight as Eades was selected to be the head coach of Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge this week in Canada. Pool said that he felt for his team, as they carried the game and relentlessly attacked Sioux Falls but were ultimately unable to get the puck in the net. He felt that the team played really well and had no complaints. Tomorrow is back to work and new game for the Force.

The Fargo Force take on the Sioux City Musketeers tomorrow, Saturday, December 19th, at 7:05pm for Make-A-Wish Night, courtesy of Farmers Union Insurance! Use promo code WISH to purchase tickets and $3.00 for every ticket sold will go back to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 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