Fargo Force Win In Overtime

Force beat Des Moines 4-3

FARGO, N.D. — (Fargo Force PR) Fargo came from behind and scored three unanswered goals to beat the Des Moines Buccaneers 4-3 in front of 3579 fans at Scheels Arena Saturday night. Ben Meyers won the game with a power-play goal from the right circle 35 seconds into the extra period.


“It’s a big character win after a disappointing loss last night,” head coach Cary Eades said. “Things weren’t looking good after 40 minutes. We regrouped in the second intermission, guys went after it in the third, and we got a big two points.”


A textbook saucer pass from Carter Randklev set up Ross Mitton for the opening goal of the game at 11:06 of the first period. Mitton snuck a wrister under the arm of Des Moines goalie James Durham for his second goal of the season to give Fargo the lead. AJ Drobot also had an assist on the play.


The Buccaneers got back into the game in the second period, scoring three straight in just under 10 minutes to take a two-goal lead heading into the final frame, but the Force answered back with one of their best periods of the year in the third.


Fargo quickly showed it meant business in the third by taking advantage of an early power play chance. Michael Mancinelli was the beneficiary of a tic-tac-toe passing play between Connor Mayer, Carter Randklev, and himself and beat a sprawling Durham to cut the Bucs’ lead to just one less than a minute into the period.


Five minutes later, Josh Nodler reminded the Scheels Arena faithful why you play all the way to the whistle. After a shot from the point from Colin Ugbekile trickled past Durham and settled a foot from the goal before Nodler came barreling in to bang it into the net. Nodler’s 4th goal of the year tied the game and ultimately forced overtime.


Ryan Bischel stopped 23 of 26 shots he faced tonight and all seven down the stretch in the third period to keep the Force in the game and earn his 25th career USHL win.


In overtime, Meyers earned the Force a man advantage when he was hooked from behind by a Des Moines defenseman. Eight seconds into the subsequent power play, Meyers beat Durham with a one-timer from his usual spot to seal the extra point for the Force.

The power-play goal was the 16th of Meyers’ career, tying him with Jack Adams (2015-17) for the most in Force history.


“He can one-time the puck and he’s deadly,” Eades said. “I don’t know what percentage of his goals have been scored right from that five-foot area, but it’s a lot.”


“It takes some good linemates,” Eades continued. “Last year he had Schmidt-Svejstrup and Fallstrom, now he’s got a little different role, a little different position. He finds open space and he can shoot the puck.”


With the win, Fargo moves to 6-6-2 on the year and remains fifth in the USHL’s Western Conference. The Force are now 4-2-1 when they score first.


“You gotta find a way,” Eades said. “They’re a good hockey club. They made a lot of good plays in the second, but we made some as well. It was a good series.”


The Force will have a chance to gain ground on their conference rivals when they travel to Dubuque and Des Moines next weekend for matchups with the Fighting Saints and Buccaneers before returning to Scheels Arena on Wednesday, November 21 for a pre-Thanksgiving game against Des Moines.

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