The Fargo Force will be taking on the Waterloo Blackhawks on Friday and the Cedar Rapids Roughriders on Saturday this weekend. The Force are coming off a win over Indiana after a 3-game losing streak in which they gave up 22 goals in possibly their worst three games of the year so far. Even through the defensive struggles, Nick Romanick has been a +4 in the last five games (including a +1 in a 9 goals against game), the rest of the defensive unit will need to be equally as good if they want to win this weekend. The Force will look to jump on Force captain Chase Grant's back as the veteran forward has put up points in nine straight games. He has 8 goals and 6 assists in those 9 games and leads the team with a total of 23 goals this season.
The Blackhawks and the Force have played one game this year in Waterloo early in the season and lost that game 7-3. The Blackhawks were led by J.T. Brown (2g, 3a), Tyler Barnes (1g, 2a), Brock Montpetit (1g, 1a), Derek Arnold (2a) and Patrick Divjak with 2 goals including the eventual game-winner. Derek Arnold has scored 11 goals over his current nine-game point streak and 14 goals in his last 16 games. The Blackhawks are currently on a 5-game winning streak so the Force will need a strong effort to get the win. C.J. Motte has been in goal for all five of those wins and has posted a 1.78 GAA in those games. Motte was also strong when they faced Fargo earlier in the season as he stopped 39/42 Force shots.
After the battle in Waterloo Friday night, the Force will head down the road to take on the Cedar Rapids Roughriders at the Stable. The Force were recently swept by them in Fargo on 2/12-2/13. The Force were terrible in both games despite scoring 9 goals. Fargo will look to redeem themselves defensively against a team that was able to put 15 goals by them on their home ice.
I wonder who Coach Johnson will go with in net this weekend. Personally, I hope he puts Massa back in net. Belfour did a great job against Indiana snapping the 3-game losing streak, but I would love to see Massa regain his confidence on Friday night in Waterloo and redeem himself against the Roughriders (on Saturday) after giving up 9 goals in four periods of play against them. Defensively, the Force will need to shut down Jeff Costello (3g, 3a in two games vs. Fargo) and Zach Lehrke (3g, 1a in two games vs. Fargo) as they dominated the Force in Fargo.
What do you think Force fans? Who does Coach Johnson go with this weekend in net, Massa or Belfour? Do you think that the Force will have a little fire in their belly after struggling against Cedar Rapids just a few weekends ago? Despite the recent struggles, the Force have been able to score goals with 19 over the four games. Does that continue? Who steps up their game defensively?