Forum staff reports, Published November 27 2013
Force withstand third-period rally for a winFARGO - It'll be easy to see what the Fargo Force are thankful for after Wednesday's 5-4 win over Team USA in front of 2,628 at Scheels Arena. They're thankful they still remember their way to the back of the net.
Fargo (5-11-2) came into Wednesday's game with nine less goals than any other team in the United States Hockey League and the Force were 1-9-2 in their last 12 games. They needed every single goal Wednesday, as the Force were more than doubled up in shots 53-26 and withstood a 6-on-4 Team USA attack in the final seconds after giving up three third-period goals.
It was a different night, but the same story in the first period, as Fargo was outshot 22-3. The Force made their three shots count and took a 2-1 lead into the second period thanks to a power-play goal from Josh Elmes and a goal for Christian Cakebread. The second period is where the Force separated from Team USA (14-8-1), as John Baiocco, Christopher Buchanan and Garick Gray all scored to give the Force a commanding 5-1 lead headed into the third.
That was just enough for goalie Brendan Jensen, who came away with 49 saves, none bigger than one with just over 30 seconds remaining to keep the Force lead.
FIRST PERIOD: 1, F, Elmes (Gray, Baiocco) 5:02, (pp). 2, U, Yan 13:41. 3, F, Cakebread (Baiocco, Warner) 19:03.
SECOND PERIOD: 4, F, Baiocco (Tiffels) 8:46. 5, F, Buchanan (Jackstadt) 9:24. 6, F, Gray (Baiocco) 14:28.
THIRD PERIOD: 7, U, Yan 4:30. 8, U, McAvoy (Kunin) 9:12, (pp). 9, U, Bracco (McAvoy) 16:03, (pp).
SAVES: F, Jensen 21-15-13-49. U, Opilka 1-15-5-21