The Fargo Force came up short in an overtime thriller against the Lincoln Stars, losing 6-5 in front of a crowd of 4,081 at Scheels Arena.
Heading into tonight’s game, Fargo trailed Sioux Falls by seven points and were four points ahead of Lincoln in the Western Conference standings. With the standings so close, tonight’s game proved to be important for both teams. The Force jumped out to an early lead as Austin Ortega scored on the power play with an assist by his line mates Gabe Guertler and Dave Gust. It was a short-lived lead as the Stars’ Eric Scheid put one in the net shortly after. Lincoln took a 2-1 lead with less than five minutes left in the first period with a goal by Luke Johnson.
Lincoln then pushed the lead to 3-1 with another goal by Lettieri who was assisted by Johnson. The Stars extended the lead to three as Scheid scored on a pass from Johnson and LaDue. The shots on goal through two periods were 19-26 in favor of Lincoln.
The Force entered the third period looking to come back from the three goal deficit but just 1:29 into the period, the Stars’ Lettieri struck again to bring their lead to 5-1. The Force then attacked with a vengeance when Ortega notched his second goal of the game at 4:01 in the period. Ten minutes later, with a two-man advantage, defenseman Taylor Fleming scored to bring the Force within two with four minutes remaining in the game. Fargo then made it a one-goal game with a goal by Guertler a minute and a half later. Force goaltender Cam Johnson went to the bench to bring on the extra attacker with just over a minute remaining in the game and with 43 seconds left, the Force tied it up at 5 with a goal by Alex Iafallo, his 15th of the season.
Both teams were unable to gain the lead and the game headed into overtime. Just over a minute in, Lincoln’s Dominik Shine pushed a goal past Johnson to earn the 6-5 victory.
“It was definitely a tale of two cities, especially in the third period, after too many turnovers in the first and second period,” said Head Coach John Marks. “It was a big point and it was an exciting game and I hope it will bring fans back here Tuesday.”
The Force are back in action on Tuesday, March 12 for another bout against the Stars. It’s COLLEGE NIGHT! Students (College, High School and Middle School) get in for just $5 when you show a valid student ID at the box office. Bud Light beer pounders are $2 for 21+ all game long!
Don’t forget about the Force Family Fun Giveaway! It’s your chance to win 2 laptop computers from Dell, a pop-up camper from Outlet Recreation.com or hot tub from Tubs of Fun. Play Chuck-a-Puck during any game for a chance to be entered or just buy a ticket to the game as one random row will be selected at each game and anyone in that row will be entered in the giveaway. Prizes will be given away at the Force games in April and you must be present to win.
Single game tickets are available by stopping by the Scheels Arena box office Monday-Friday from 11am-6pm, calling the box office at 701.364.3672, stopping by any Ticketmaster location or by calling 800.745.3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.
By: Melody Neer