Gust Nets 3 In Force Win - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Gust Nets 3 In Force Win

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The Fargo Force were victorious over the Tri-City Storm with a 7-3 win in front of the first sellout crowd of the season at Scheels Arena.

Tri-City was first to score when Kyle Eastman snuck one past Cam Johnson who was in net for the Force to give the Storm a 1-0 lead. Eastman received assists on the play from Jason Cotton and Michael Vecchione. The Storm's lead was short lived as Brendan Harms grabbed the tying goal with help from Dominic Toninato and Alex Iafallo. At 11:44 into the first period, the Force took a 2-1 lead with a score on the powerplay from Dave Gust who was helped on the play by Gavin Bayreuther and Matt Pohlkamp. The Storm tied it back up at two with a powerplay goal of their own by Brian Ward with an assist from Johnny Hrabovsky. Just seconds later, the Force regained the lead with an unassisted goal from Gust, his second of the game.

The first period proved to be a back and forth clash and both teams started the second period just as fired up. Under three minutes into the period, Tri-City evened the contest up as Dylan Maller shuffled the puck to Tim Lappin for the score. The Force took a 4-3 lead and there was no looking back. Gust grabbed a redirect from Bayreuther who was dished the puck from Pohlkamp to give the Force a two-goal lead. This was Gust's third goal of the night, giving him the hat trick. As time was dwindling down in the second period, Toninato, just out of the penalty box, cruised in for a pass from Gust to score his 16th goal of the season.

"We were all a little bitter about last weekend, how they [Tri-City] broke our streak and we came out flying. Just have to keep it going through the weekend," said forward Dave Gust.

Just over halfway in the final period, the Force extended their lead to 6-3 as Harms grabbed his second goal of the game. Taylor Fleming contributed on the play with the assist. With five minutes remaining, Force sealed the game up with an unassisted goal by Kenny Gillespie to bring their lead to four.

"There is always room for improvement", said forward Dave Gust, "our d-zone and neutral zone is what coach has been emphasizing on but I think tonight we took care of the offensive zone pretty well."

"Hopefully there isn't anyone going to the box office to get a refund because they saw a pretty good game. Ten goals, seven by us along with a fight by Kenny Gillespie, it was a pretty exciting hockey game," said Head Coach John Marks. "We had a great crowd and I hope we get the continued support."

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