The Force headed to Pennsylvania for two games at the 2023 DICK’S Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic, the Force played the Waterloo Blackhawks in the season opener and played the Des Moines Buccaneers the following day. The Force were looking to start fast this season as the defending Western Conference Champion and owner of the Anderson Cup, the annual award for the team with the best record in the USHL.
On Friday September 22, 2023 The Force got the season off on the right foot as they jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Reid Daavettila and Zam Plante. Fargo increased their lead when Tom Leppa scored to make it 3-0. Recently acquired Peter Cisar made it a commanding 4-0 lead in the early stages of the third period. Waterloo would fight back and scored two goals in a row to make it 4-2, but Harper Bentz would shut the door on any comeback as he tallied an empty-net goal to make the final 5-2. The Game’s 3 Stars were 1st Star Peter Cisar, 2nd Star Tate Taylor, and 3rd Star Reid Daavettila. Box Score
Saturday’s game with the Des Moines Buccaneers would be the complete opposite from the previous game as the Buccaneers would be the ones to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Fargo would fight back as they cut the lead in half when Zam Plante would score his second goal of the young season with 3:08 remaining in the second period. Tom Leppa got the teams even with his second goal of the year at the 6:41 mark of the third period. Returning Defenseman Leo Gruba would end the game in Overtime as he scored his first of the year with just over a minute remaining in the extra period. The Force had two of the Game’s 3 Stars, which were 1st Star Leo Gruba and 2nd Star Zam Plante. Box Score
Fargo downs Des Moines in OT 3-2. @FargoForce F Leo Gruba carries the puck all the way down the left side of the rink before putting the puck in the net at the 3:50 mark to end the game. #StarsRise @2023USHLFallClassic pic.twitter.com/bdhaXpqyJB
— USHL (@USHL) September 24, 2023
The Force will be at Scheels Arena for the home opener on September 30th against the Omaha Lancers with puck drop scheduled for 6:05 PM. Fargo will also play host to the Sioux City Musketeers on October 7th before heading out on the road for their next six games over the last three weekends of October.