The Fargo Force welcomed the Tri-City Storm to Scheels Arena for a two game set from November 3rd-4th. The Storm took the victory in the opener 5-4 in a high scoring affair led by a hat trick from Kieran Cebrian. Then on Friday night the Force got revenge with a 4-0 victory led by goalie Matej Marinov.
The Storm struck first on a power play goal by Ryan Smith, but the Force responded with two straight goals, first a power play goal by Anthony Menghini and then Brett Link’s first goal of the game. The Storm tied the game up in the second period on a penalty shot by Cebrian, then with four seconds remaining in the period took the lead on Artemi Nizameyev’s first goal of the season. The Force would tie the game early in the third period on a Mac Swanson goal. However, the second and third goals by Cebrian would be too much for the Force to overcome. Brett Link would add his second goal late in the game to end the scoring for the evening.
The Force had six power play opportunities that night but were only able to convert one of them which was in contrast to Tri-City who were two of three on their power play and also tallied a short-handed goal. A vastly different showing from Fargo’s special teams just five days after a great performance versus Sioux City on the 29th of October.
The second night of the matchup on Friday, November 4th was much like the previous week where the Force played much better in all areas of the game. The Force almost doubled the number of shots on goal of the Storm in both the first and second periods. That led to a two goal lead after two periods on a first period power play goal by Cole Knuble followed by another Knuble goal just 59 seconds into the second period. The Force put this game away midway through the third period with two goals, one from JP Turner and then a short-handed goal from Anthony Menghini.
The penalty kill improved in the second matchup as the Force did not give up a power play goal to the Storm on three tries. The Force’s power play was better that evening, converting on one out of three power plays. That still left the Force just two for nine on the power play versus the Storm, but the lack of power play did not stop the Force from splitting the week’s series. In addition to Knuble’s pair of goals, the Force got a goal from JP Turner and Anthony Menghini. That night’s 3 Stars were 1st Star Cole Knuble, 2nd Star Matej Marinov and 3rd Star JP Turner. Marinov started in net for the Force and stopped all 21 shots that evening and raised his record on the season to 4-0-0 in goal and a fantastic .945 save percentage with a miniscule 1.47 goals against average.
The Force will travel south for a three game road trip this week. The Force visit the Des Moines Buccaneers Friday night, then travel to Omaha for back to back games Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon game the Lancers.