The Fargo Force generated plenty of chances on Saturday night. However, they were unable to turn many of those opportunities into goals, as they fell to Sioux City, 3-2.
Jimmy Murray, the smallest guy on the Fargo roster, tried to fire up the home team when he took on the much bigger Max McCormick in a fist fight. The fight was more or less a draw, but the fight got the crowd of 3,683 on its feet at Scheels Arena.
It didn’t ignite the Force, though.
The second period saw Fargo generate five legitimate odd man rushes that ranged from two-on-ones to three-on-twos, to even a rare four-on-one rush. The home team was unable to capitalize on any of them. In fact, they only picked up two shots on goal out of the five rushes.
The momentum turned quickly after Garrett Haar missed a wide open net for Fargo, and Ryan Carpenter turned things around to give Sioux City a 1-0 lead 65 seconds later.
It looked like the Musketeers were going to take their lead to the locker room after Matt Skoff stoned Jimmy Mullin on a great three-on-two opportunity, but Fargo was able to muster a goal.
Haar picked up a puck on the sideboards and flung it on goal and past Skoff to tie the game at one with 2.9 seconds left in the sandwich period. Joe Rehkamp picked up an assist on the last second goal.
For the second straight night, North Dakota recruit Jordan Schmaltz netted a goal for Sioux City. The Friday night goal came late in a 6-2 Force blowout, but the Saturday goal gave the Musketeers a third period lead.
The Force answered on the power play two minutes later. Princeton commit Tyler Maugeri scored on a beautiful redirect of a shot from the point. Detroit Lakes native Tanner Lane and Dan Weissenhofer assisted on the game-tying goal.
The game went to overtime. Fargo came into the game with a 2-3 record in bonus hockey.
Each team had a power play chance in overtime and Fargo had incredible puck movement on their opportunity. The Force were only able to muster a couple of shots that went wide, however, and Sioux City held on to send the game to a shootout.
Brad Robbins scored first for Sioux City and Schmaltz added another. Tanner Kero, Colton Hargrove and Mullin all failed on their attempts, but Lane kept the game alive with a five-hole goal.
After Ryan Massa, who made 22 saves in the game, stopped Tommy Olczyk, Haar had a chance to keep the Force alive. Unfortunately, Haar mishandled the puck and Sioux City picked up the shootout win.
Fargo falls to 9-9-4 on the season and will return home to Scheels Arena on December 17 to take on Team USA.