Fargo Force defensemen scored three of the home team’s four goals Thursday during a 4-2 contest against the Waterloo Black Hawks at Scheels Arena.
Waterloo and Fargo skated in a deadlock until 17.1 seconds remained in the first period. Force blue-liner Jack Peart was deep in the left corner before finding space to snap a shot on net from the circle. Peart located his own rebound in the crease behind Emmett Croteau and swatted the puck across the goal line.
The Force followed up their late first period goal with two quick ones to start the second. At 1:16, defenseman Owen Gallatin sped up the ice to finish a passing rush. Then 27 seconds later, Bear Hughes dodged to the net to slip in a chance.
Black Hawks defenseman Mason Reiners recovered a goal for Waterloo on a three-on-two; his pass came back to him and he slipped a low shot from the slot past Brennan Boynton.
However, the period finished with the Force ahead by three, as Gallatin scored his second of the night on a chance generated by Hughes’ faceoff win at 16:30.
Ryan O’Hara produced the only goal of the third period during a Waterloo power play. Shooting from the left circle, his chance eluded a screened Boynton at 13:21.
The Hawks and Force finish their season series Friday at Scheels Arena during a 7:05 p.m. rematch.
Waterloo 0 1 1 - 2
Fargo 1 3 0 - 4
1st Period-1, Fargo, Peart 1 (Braccini), 19:43. Penalties-Hughes Fgo (boarding), 11:33.
2nd Period-2, Fargo, Gallatin 4 (Monds, Huglen), 1:16. 3, Fargo, Hughes 9 (Crasa, Davidson), 1:43. 4, Waterloo, Reiners 3 (Sasson, Baker), 10:47. 5, Fargo, Gallatin 5 (Hughes), 16:30. Penalties-Rozzi Wat (bench minor-too many men), 3:19; Braccini Fgo (roughing), 7:42; O’Hara Wat (cross checking), 17:15.
3rd Period-6, Waterloo, O’Hara 13 (Szmagaj, Copre), 13:12 (PP). Penalties-Huglen Fgo (roughing), 4:21; Monds Fgo (hooking), 11:29.
Shots on Goal-Waterloo 7-6-12-25. Fargo 11-20-5-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Waterloo 1 / 4; Fargo 0 / 2.
Goalies-Waterloo, Croteau 7-6-0-0 (32 shots-28 saves); Williams 3-7-0-0 (4 shots-4 saves). Fargo, Boynton 25-14-1-0 (25 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Brian Hankes, Bobby Lukkason.
Linesmen-Alec Almquist (44), Daniel Naylor.