The Fargo Force returned to Scheels Arena to start a five game home stand by taking on the Sioux City Musketeers in a weekend series. The Force entered the weekend series with a four game point streak and looked to remain one of the hottest teams in the USHL.
On Friday, February 10th, the Force showed off their offense as seven players got on the score sheet for Fargo in a game they controlled from the early stages of the first period. Fargo scored twice in the opening period with Girts Silkalns and Joe Palodichuk finding the back of the net. In the second period Brett Link, Jacob Napier and Cole Knuble all got on the board extending the lead to 5-0. The Force peppered Musketeer goal Alex Mangbo with 32 shots on goal in the first two periods and controlled the game in the Musketeer zone. In the final period the Force extended the lead to 6-0 on a goal by Brasen Boser before Sioux City finally got a goal themselves when Tomi Leppanen scored. The Force answered just past the midway point of the period as Anthony Menghini wrapped up the scoring in a dominating 7-1 Force victory. The games 3 Stars were all standout Fargo players, 1st Star Joe Palodichuk, 2nd Star Matej Marinov and 3rd Star Girts Silkalns.
Saturday’s game had the same feel as Friday’s game however, Sioux City would start the scoring as former Force player Grant Slukynsky scored at the 3:32 mark of the first period. Fargo would respond with three straight goals in the period, two by newly acquired Owen Melenbacher in his first home game for the Force, the other by Charlie Russell. The final goal of the period was Melenbacher banging home a loose puck in front of the net with just 0.3 seconds remaining in the period. The second period was almost a repeat of the first as Fargo outscored Sioux City 3-1 to take a 6-2 lead into the final period. The second period goals were scored by Leo Gruba, Brett Link and Boris Skalos for the Force, while Ben Doran got the lone Musketeer goal. The third period featured only one goal by Sioux City’s Grant Slukynsky to conclude the scoring on another dominant Fargo Force victory. The games 3 Stars once again were all members of the Force. 1st Star Owen Melenbacher, 2nd Star Verner Miettinen, and 3rd Star Bret Link.
The Force remain at the top of the USHL and the Western Conference after another 4 point weekend. Fargo has an overall record of 27-8-1-3 (58 points) and will remain at Scheels Arena this week as they host the Sioux Falls Stampede (16-19-3-3 38 points) on February 15th and a two-game weekend series versus the Lincoln Stars (25-13-2-0 52 points) on the 18th and 19th.