Published January 09 2011
Force hockey: Dubuque ends Fargo's six-game winning streak with 5-0 winIf you stop and think about it, it’s probably fair that the Fargo Force junior hockey team’s winning streak ended.
A few weeks ago, the Force ended Dubuque’s six-game winning streak. Dubuque repaid the favor Saturday with a 5-0 win over the Force in front of 3,893 fans at Scheels Arena. The streak ends tied for the second-longest in the team’s three-year history.
“It was a good, old-fashioned ass kicking,” said Force head coach Jason Herter. “That’s my thought.”
Once again, that’s probably a fair thing to say. The pummeling was the largest margin of victory the Force (16-11-4) has suffered this season. It’s the worst loss, in terms of scoring margin, the Force have suffered since last season when it lost twice by six goals.
If that isn’t enough, here’s another little fact: This was the worst home loss in team history.
But if the Force win this one, then we’re talking about holding down first place in the Western Conference. Instead, Dubuque (18-6-4) has a four-point lead while the Force are in second by a point over Omaha.
Herter said half the wins in the team’s six-game winning streak were games the Force didn’t play well in.
“The coaching staff, we saw this coming,” Herter said. “We were just hoping we could the kids could find a way.”
Dubuque didn’t roar to a strong start with Force goaltender and Nebraska-Omaha commit Ryan Massa stopping all eight shots he faced.
It was the second period where things changed. Dubuque crashed the net and it was rewarded twice with Northeastern commit John Gaudreau and Colorado College commit Scott Wamsganz scoring goals for a 2-0 lead.
“We just went really hard to the net,” said Dubuque forward Zemgus Girgensons, a Vermont commit, who scored a goal and an assist. “It’s what our coaching staff told us to do if we wanted to win.”
But the Fighting Saints got some help. The third period opened with Massa trying to clear the puck. He tried to go back to net but was obstructed, leading a loose puck to find Riley Barber, who scored for a 3-0 lead just a minute into the third.
The third period was cruel to Massa again when he tried clearing a puck only to have it go off a defenseman’s skate and in for a 4-0 lead.
A few minutes later, Girgensons scores and it’s 5-0. Game over.
“We had to out work a team that is really hard to outwork,” said Dubuque coach Jim Montgomery. “If Fargo’s not the best team in the league, then they’re No. 2.”
Force captain and Air Force commit Chad Demers said Friday the team had good habits throughout the streak.
He admitted those habits disappeared.
But he had a positive outlook by stating there’s still quite a few games left in the season.
“We’ll come back to practice Monday with the same focus of winning games,” the Grafton, N.D., native said. “Yeah, we’re down about it. But we won’t be when we get back to practice.”
FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.
SECOND PERIOD: 1. D, Gaudreau (Girgenson), 8:01 (pp). 2. D, Wamsganz (Moore), 11:37.
THIRD PERIOD: 3. D, Barber (unassisted), 0:51, 4. D, Bueltel (unassisted), 5:13. 5. D, Girgensons (Doherty), 11:27 (pp).
SAVES: F, Massa 8-6-6 20 saves; D, Teichroeb 11-8-4 23 saves.