Fargo, ND. – The Tri-City Storm dropped the first game of its Clark Cup playoff opening round series to the Fargo Force by a final score of 5-1 on Tuesday night. Tyler Ward scored the Storm’s only goal in the 2nd period. Tri-City is now faced with a must win situation tonight in the second game of the best of three series. Puck drops at 7:05pm tonight in Fargo. Fargo’s Carter Randklev opened the scoring at the 7:08 mark of the 1st period to give the Force a one goal lead. Robbie Stucker added another goal just minutes later and the Force opened up the series’ first game with a two lead on home ice. Stucker’s goal came at 10:13 of the 1st period and was assisted by Sammy Steele.
Tri-City outshot Fargo 11-6 in the 1st period but trailed by two goals entering the 2nd period. The Force increased its lead to three goals in the first three minutes of the period. Force regular season leading scorer Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup netted his first playoff goal at 2:33 of the 2nd period. Fargo buried another goal past Storm goaltender Jake Barczewski at the 5:32 mark of the period to take a four goal lead in the game. AJ Drobot scored the goal to increase the Force lead to 4-0. The Storm would answer late in the period with a goal from Tyler Ward with under 30 seconds left in the period. Ward’s goal was scored 19:35 of the period and was assisted by Brian Hawkinson and Mike Koster.
Tri-City outshot Fargo 12-8 in the 2nd period but trailed 4-1 going into the final twenty minutes of the series’ opening game. Carter Randklev scored his 2nd goal of the game at 4:54 of the 3rd period to seal a Fargo victory in Game #1 of the series. The Storm outshot the Force 10-7 in the 3rd period for a 33-21 advantage in the game. The Tri-City power play went 0/7 with the penalty kill finishing the night at 4/5. Fargo’s Strauss Mann recorded the victory in goal, stopping 32 of the Storm’s 33 shots. Tonight’s Game #2 put the Storm in must win situation to force a final Game #3 on Thursday night. Tri-City has now dropped ten games in a row going back to the regular season and will seek a series tying victory in tomorrow night’s road game at Scheels Arena in Fargo, ND.