The Fargo Force took to the road for a two-night two-state road trip with games in Sioux City and Sioux Falls. The Force looked to continue their thirteen-game point streak and to put more distance between themselves and second place Waterloo in the quest for home ice advantage in the USHL Playoffs.
On Friday, March 10th the Force surrendered the first goal of the evening in the first period at 13:23 to Tyler Hotson on the Musketeer power play. It was the only goal either team would allow during the first two periods in a defensive battle as both teams struggled to get shots on net. The third period more than made up for it though as the teams combined for six goals on 15 total shots. Fargo tied the game at one, when Cole Knuble scored at 4:15, one minute later they took the lead on a goal by Charlie Russell. Midway through the period Sioux City tied it at two when Dylan Godbout got a power play goal past goalie Matej Marinov. In the 16th minute of the third period, Fargo would strike twice and retake the lead. First a goal by Owen Mehlenbacher was followed by a goal from Bret Link just 46 seconds later for a 4-2 advantage. Sioux City would get one back with just 1:07 remaining when Ben Doran scored but it wouldn’t be enough as the Force won for the 5th time in seven games versus the Musketeers. The Game’s 3 stars included 1st Star Bret Link and 3rd Star Cole Knuble of the Force.
Saturday, March 10th the Force were in town to play the Stampede their 9th matchup of the season, Fargo had won 6 of the first 8 and looked to continue that trend. The first period of this game picked up where the Sioux City game left off, with six goals scored, three by each team. Sioux Falls scored the first two goals, one each for Adam Zlnka and Jaksen Panzer, before Fargo would score about the midway point of the period when Zam Plante got his first goal as a member of the Fargo Force. The Stampede would answer three minutes later on a goal by Will McDonough to retake a 2 goal lead at 3-1. The Force would then score the game's next 4 goals over the game’s next 20 minutes. Fargo would get a second goal from Zam Plante and then a goal by Cole Knuble in the later stages of the first period. In the second period, Mac Swanson and Anthony Menghini would get in on the scoring as they would help Fargo build their own two goal lead. Sioux Falls would get one goal back when Maddox Flemming scored against Anton Castro late in the second period to make the score 5-4. Both teams would lock in on defense in the third period limiting shots on goal and keeping each other scoreless en route to another Force victory. The Game’s 3 Stars were 1st Star Zam Plante and 2nd Star Cole Knuble of the Force, while the 3rd Star was Grand Forks native Jaksen Pazer of the Stampede.
The Fargo Force increased their conference lead after a weekend sweep by the Force and a loss by Waterloo on Saturday. The Force remain at the top of the USHL and the Western Conference with an overall record of 35-8-2-3 (75 points) and lead Waterloo (31-16-1-0 63 points) by 12 points in the Western Conference.
The Force return to Scheels Arena on March 16th, 17th and 18th when they host a three game series versus a potential playoff opponent in the Waterloo Black Hawks. The following week the playoff atmosphere continues as the Force will travel to 4th place Tri-City to take on the Storm for three games in Kearney, Nebraska March 24th, 25th and 26th.