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Published February 11 2012

Force stumble against Tri-City

FARGO – Whether it’s at Scheels Arena or on the road, the Fargo Force junior hockey team has managed to have its way against the Tri-City Storm. Saturday, however, was different.

The Storm used their power-play unit – which is the second-worst in the league – to score three goals and come away with a 4-3 win in front of 4,460 fans at Scheels Arena.

“I wouldn’t say I was blown away by what we did on the power play,” said Storm forward Andrew Dorantes, who scored two goals. “I’m more proud. I am definitely proud of what we did just to get the win.”

Dorantes has reason to be proud – even elated – if he wants.

Tri-City (16-25-0) came into the game winless in five games this season against Fargo (21-16-4) and as a franchise only had three wins total in the series. Like the series opener, the Storm didn’t waste any time getting on the board, taking a 1-0 lead just a little less than four minutes into the frame.

Dorantes scored his first goal of the night in the second period for a 2-0 lead before the Force tied it at 2-2 off goals from Jordan Nelson and Stanislav Dzahkov.

“I told our guys in the second intermission,” said Force coach John Marks, “(that) you can’t put yourself in certain situations to start the period.”

Marks’ words fell on deaf ears, with the Force taking six penalty minutes in the first 10 minutes of the third.

In turn, it resulted in Penn State commit Kenny Brooks scoring a power-play goal for a 3-2 lead before Dorantes added a power-play goal for a 4-2 lead.

The two-goal lead, coupled with goaltender and Minnesota commit Adam Wilcox gave the indication that this one was over.

It was, but the Force made it interesting with Nick Stoskopf scoring with around 90 seconds left, cutting it to 4-3.

Even with six men on the ice, it wasn’t enough, with the Storm weathering through for the win.

“The law of averages says even if you beat a team five times, you are bound to lose every once in a while,” Marks said. “It was the law of averages.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1. TC, Maller (unassisted), pp., 3:45

SECOND PERIOD: 2. TC, Dorantes (unassisted), 2:53 3. F, Nelson (Mead, Brodzinski), 15:32. 4. F, Dzahkov (Cooper, Racobaldo), pp., 19:19

THIRD PERIOD: 5. TC, Brooks (Schierhorn), pp., 3:19. 6. TC, Dorantes (unassisted), 13:31. 7. F Stoskopf (Hargrove, Richart), 18:36.

SAVES: F, Peters 7-8-8 23 saves; TC, Wilcox 10-16-9 35 saves

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548.

Clark’s Force blog can be found

at slightlychilled.areavoices.com