The Fargo Force lost 5-3 against the Sioux Falls Stampede, breaking their five game winning streak Friday night in front of a crowd of 3,506 at Scheels Arena.
The top two teams in the Western Division went head to head tonight as the second place Force looked to gain on the top ranked Stampede. Less than two minutes into the game, Sioux Falls took an early lead when forward Kyle Schempp banked an unassisted goal. The rest of the first period was quiet until the last minutes of the period when Sioux Falls' Conner Valesano grabbed his first goal of the season that gave the Stampede a 2-0 lead. Tony Calderone with the assist on the play.
The Force brought it within one when Dave Gust plunked one past Sioux Falls goalie, Charlie Lindgren with assists from Nate Arentz and Taylor Fleming. This was Gust's 13th goal of the year, his 5th in as many games. Neither Brendan Jensen, who was in goal for the Force, or Lindgren for the Stampede let the opposition score the remainder of the second leaving the score 2-1 heading into the third period.
Just over five minutes into the final period, Sam Rothstein put Sioux Falls up 3-1 on a power play goal with help from Dennis Kravchenko. The Force answered back with a goal from Brendan Harms, his 11th of the season, putting him in the top five in scoring leaders in the league with 34 points. Gabe Guertler and Dominic Toninato both contributed on the goal. While on the power play, C.J. Franklin tipped in an unassisted goal giving the Stampede a 4-2 lead. Less than five minutes to play, Sioux Falls extended their lead to 5-2 when Zeb Knutson slapped one past Jensen with an assist by Franklin. In a last chance effort, the Force's Dominic Toninato posted a goal in the final minute of the game with assists from Jordan Nelson and Harms. The comeback efforts fell short, as Sioux Falls seemed to be too much for the Force tonight as they dropped the game 5-3.
The Force are back at Scheels Arena tomorrow night to face the Des Moines Buccaneers at 7:05. It is a Skate with the Force night. Bring your skates and get on the ice with the team following the game. Fans may drop off their skates at guest services and pick them up after the game.
Single game tickets are available by stopping by the Scheels Arena box office, open Saturday at noon, calling the box office at 701.364.3672, stopping by any Ticketmaster location, calling 800.745.3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.