Force Take Game 3, 2-1 Series Lead

Fargo Force Clark Cup Logo (Courtesy of Fargo Force)
Fargo Force Clark Cup Logo (Courtesy of Fargo Force)

The scene has shifted to the Ice Box in Lincoln, Nebraska for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals and each team looking to get to their second win of the series. Fargo came into Monday night’s game having let a lead slip away against the Stars in Game 2 that shifted the momentum to Lincoln’s side.

In the first period, the Stars would get on the scoreboard first when Jack Pechar scored at 3:30 of the opening period. Lincoln hadn’t scored the opening goal in the series yet, so the Stars were hoping this would give them the momentum they needed to take control of the series. However, Mac Swanson would continue his fantastic rookie year by tying the game at 5:01 with his second postseason goal. Both teams would clamp down defensively and head into the break tied at 1-1. 

The second period continued to be a tightly contested affair as Lincoln would continue to pepper Fargo goalie Anton Castro , who was making his postseason debut. Lincoln amassed 19 shots in the second period to go with their 14 shots from the first period to outshoot Fargo 33-16 by the end of the second period. Fargo was more deadly with their shots as Leo Gruba would poke home a loose ouch with just seven seconds remaining in the middle period to give Fargo their first lead at 2-1 heading into the intermission. 

The third period was off to a good start for the Force until Owen Mehlenbacher was whistled for Tripping and Lincoln were awarded their second power play of the evening. The Fargo penalty kill played well again thanks to Goalie Castro’s solid play and the game remained a one goal advantage for the Force. Fargo was able to increase the lead to 3-1 when Cole Knuble scored his second goal of the postseason off an assist from Bret Link. Fargo would play more of a defensive game in the third trying to maintain that two goal advantage. Lincoln would pull their goaltender with 3:35 remaining, and the extra attacker would benefit the Stars as they cashed in with a goal by Mason Marcellus at the 19:00 mark. That would be as close as the Stars would get as Fargo was able to hold off the Stars and get an important Game 3 victory. 

The Game’s 3 Stars were 1st Star Cole Knuble, 2nd Anton Castro, and 3rd Star Jack Pechar.

The Force will face off against the Stars tonight at 7:05 at the Ice Box in Game 4 of the best of 5 series with a chance to clinch a spot in the Clark Cup Finals. The Fargo Force will be hosting a watch party at the High Point Bar at Scheels Arena.