Force Starting Fresh as Postseason Arrives
Fargo hosts Tri-City in a best-of-three series beginning Tuesday night.
FARGO, ND (Fargo Force) – With a sweep against the Sioux Falls Stampede this weekend, the Force capped off a 37-16-7 record for the 2017-18 regular season. Fargo finished third in the Western Conference and earned a playoff spot for the second consecutive year. The Force will play Tri-City in a best-of-three First Round series set to begin Tuesday, Apr. 17 at 7:05 PM in Fargo at Scheels Arena. The playoff appearance is Fargo’s seventh in 10 years of existence.
The Force’s record of 37-16-7 ranks as the best season in the franchise’s history based on winning percentage. With a winning percentage of .675 this season, head coach Cary Eades now has two of the top four seasons in Force history under his belt (.675 in 2017-18, .642 in 2016-17). Fargo also set team records for both road wins (22) and goals against (133) this year. The previous records were 19 for road wins (2010-11, 2012-13) and 150 goals against (2015-16). Fargo finished third overall in USHL attendance with 92,724 fans overall and an average of 3,091 fans each night.
In addition to the team records, several individual records were set over the course of the season:
-Goaltender Strauss Mann led the way with one of the best seasons by a goaltender in franchise history, setting new Force records for save percentage (.930) and goals against average (1.79). Both marks are also Force career records. The Greenwich, Connecticut native finished 21-8-3 in 33 appearances for the Force this season, his first in junior hockey. Mann is committed to the University of Michigan.
-Ryan Bischel was not far behind, posting a 15-8-4 record in 29 games played this season in net for Fargo. Bischel’s career GAA (2.23) and save percentage (.916) ranked third and fourth, respectively, in Force history.
-Forward Grant Hebert led the team in points (54) and assists (39). The St. Andrews West, Ontario native had the sixth-best season in Force history when it comes to assists. The single-season record franchise record for assists was set by Blake Lizotte in 2016-17, when he tallied 46 helpers.
-Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup led the team in goals this year (26), the ninth best season in Force history. The single season franchise goal record is 37, set by Jack Adams in 2016-17.
-Defenseman Ty Farmer had the best defensive scoring season in Force history, scoring 39 points (9-30-39) in 58 games this season. The previous defensive scoring record was set by Nate Schmidt when he scored 37 points in the 2009-10 season.
-Forward Ben Meyers scored 11 power play goals this year, the third most in a single season by a Force player in history. The 11 goals rank Meyers sixth all-time in Force history.
-Forward Griffin Loughran broke the Force single game record for points on Oct. 28 against Des Moines when he scored three goals and added three assists for six total points. The previous franchise record for points in a single game was five — held by multiple players.
The Fargo Force host the first round of the playoffs this week at Scheels Arena. Single game tickets for playoff games 1 and 2 are on sale now.