The Fargo Force had its biggest offensive explosion of the season with an eight goal outburst in an 8-3 win over the Waterloo Blackhawks on Saturday night.
Dan Weissenhofer opened the scoring late in the first period for the Force. Nate Arentz and Brandon Carlson assisted the first goal of the game. For Carlson, it was his first point of the season.
Waterloo answered the bell in the final minute of the first. Tyler Zepeda netted a power play goal to tie the game at one with eight seconds left in the period.
Fargo used a big second period to pull away. Colton Hargrove scored 39 seconds into the period to give the Force the lead back at 2-1. Jimmy Mullin and Garrett Haar tacked on assists on the play.
Hargrove tallied again just over 12 minutes later to extend the Fargo lead to two goals. Haar picked up his second straight assist.
Just over three minutes later, Weissenhofer set up Jakob Batcha for his first United States Hockey League goal. The Batcha goal sent Fargo over the three goal margin for only the second time all season.
Colten St. Clair started off a wild third period with a shorthanded goal that gave the Force their biggest lead of the season at 5-1.
Zepeda and Gunnar Hughes scored power play goals one minute, 40 seconds apart to give the Blackhawks life.
Waterloo pulled the goalie and was looking to cut the deficit to one in a six-on-four situation. Mullin, however, scored a shorthanded, empty net goal to push the Fargo lead back to three.
The Force added two more empty goals, including one by Garrett Allen, to wrap up the 8-3 win, but that was not the most entertaining part of the third period.
Fargo and Waterloo combined for 223 penalty minutes in the game, including 179 minutes in the third period alone. Five players were ejected for Waterloo, while Nick Oliver and Chad Demers were given the gate for Fargo. Associate coach Byron Pool was also tossed for the Force.
In total, the Force “won” the penalty minutes category 113-110.
Zane Gothberg picked up his second straight win with a 29-save performance in the penalty-filled contest. C.J. Motte stopped 13 shots before being chased after allowing four goals. Jay Williams made four saves in relief for Waterloo.
Fargo will be looking to extend its winning streak to three games when they host the Lincoln Stars the day after Thanksgiving at 7:35 p.m. at Scheels Arena in Fargo, N.D.
- Oleg Yevenko led all players with 25 penalty minutes in the game.
- Six Waterloo players and five Fargo players had double digit penalty minutes.
- Mullin and Weissenhofer led Fargo with a plus-minus rating of +5 in the game.
- This marks the first time in franchise history that the Force have scored three empty net goals in one game.
- The Force scored two shorthanded goals in the game. That is two more than they had in the first 17 games.
- Fargo broke the three goal barrier for the second time in 18 tries this season.