Despite a two-goal comeback in the second period, the Tri-City Storm (18-21-4) failed to score in the third period and were defeated by the Fargo Force (25-14-5) 3-2 on Saturday night at the Viaero Event Center.
Trevor Mingoia and Michael Vecchione scored goals for Tri-City in a middle frame in which the Storm outshot Fargo 16-6 and got back into the game. Johan Mattsson also had a good night in between the pipes, making 27 saves on 30 shots.
The Force wasted no time, taking the lead just 24 seconds into the game. With an odd man rush, Brendan Harms found his center Dominic Toninato for the opening goal of the game, making it 1-0.
Fargo extended its early lead to 2-0 at 9:29 of the first when center Jordan Nelson scored a goal on the power play.
But the Storm rebounded in the second to get back into the game. Mingoia found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season at 8:14 of the middle frame, taking a pass from his center Brian Ward and beating Fargo netminder Brendan Jensen. Cutler Martin was credited with the second assist on the Storm's first tally of the night.
Tri-City found the tying goal with just eight seconds left on the clock in the second, with Vecchione beating Jensen up high from the right side of the Fargo crease. The Saugus, Mass. native got a perfect pass from forward Jared Linnell, who found the puck in the front of the net after Tim Bonner threw it in front.
The third period saw a tough battle between both teams, but the Force found the winner off the stick of Michael Booth with less than eight minutes remaining.