The Fargo Force ended their second and final game in a series against the Chicago Steel with a 5-2 loss, despite improving both offensively and defensively.
Patrick Polino of Chicago started the game off by receiving a long pass from Alec Vanko from their zone and barely beating starting goalie Brendan Jensen's blocker with a backhanded goal.
Mikey Eyssimont tied the game at one apiece after scoring unassisted for his first goal of the season. Chicago closed out the opening period with an additional two goals by Danny Fetzer and Brian LeBlanc, increasing the lead to 3-1.
Mason Morelli's checking from behind penalty would result in a game ejection and four-minute power play for Chicago that would carry on into the second period. The Force defense did not let up pressure on the Steel and kept the shots Jensen faced to a minimum.
Chris Buchanan, assisted by Tanner Jago, closed the gap to one goal after joining Eyssimont by scoring his own first goal of the season, a point Assistant Coach Byron Pool gave Buchanan and the team a lot of credit for.
"I thought our guys showed a lot of character getting that second (goal)," said Pool.
Chicago ‘s Zach LaValle would deflect a shot from the point to return the lead to two goals. Jensen took a beating in the second period as Chicago fired an additional 16 shots on goal, but held the score at 4-2.
The Force saw a few good scoring opportunities in the third period, including their second five-on-three power play of the night, but could not get any additional pucks past Chicago's goalie Chris Nell. Robbie Payne would score Chicago's final goal on a power play of their own, ending the night 5-2.
Pool expressed faith in the Force's ability to steadily improve over the season after seeing the team play against Chicago.
"On the positive side, on Friday night we directed more pucks to the net than we have all year long," said Pool. "If we can continue to get better at defending and find a way to score goals, hopefully we'll get out of this."
The Force will return home after two weeks on the road to play against the Omaha Lancers on November 22 at 7:05 PM. Scheels Arena will host Ladies Night with vendor booths located around the concourse during the game. Ladies 21 and over can purchase all you can drink mugs for $15.
Single game tickets for all home games of the 2013-14 season are on sale now. Fans can stop out to Scheels Arena to purchase tickets Monday through Friday from 11am-6pm, call the box office at 701.356.7645, at the Tickets300 box office in downtown Fargo, online at tickets300.com or by calling 866.300.8300.