Fargo was able to hold off a late rally from Omaha to take a win and a lead in the series 2-1 from the Omaha Lancers. The Force won the game 4-3 in front of a crowd of 4,120 after a couple of close calls with under two minutes to go.
From USHL.com, picture also from USHLimages.com: With their top two scorers sidelined for Game Three, Fargo Force captain Chase Grant stepped up in a big way as he recorded a hat trick to lead his team to victory and a 2-1 series lead over the Omaha Lancers. Johnnie Searfoss started the scoring with his first of the playoffs just under four minutes into the contest. Grant scored his first of the night early in the second before Seth Ambroz cut the lead in half a minuter later with his fourth playoff goal for the Lancers. Grant again gave the Force a two-goal lead in the third period on a power play tally. Greg Wolfe kept the Lancers in it scoring his third playoff goal with just over five minutes to play in the final period. The Fargo captain then completed his hat trick on an empty net goal with 1:16 remaining in the frame.
However, the game wasn't over at that point as with goaltender Jeff Teglia pulled in favor of the extra attacker, Erik Haula buried a loose puck after a scramble in front of the Force net to pull the Lancers back within a goal as just 33 seconds remained on the clock. Omaha again made a charge and after another scramble in the Fargo crease, the Lancers were awarded a penalty shot after a Force defenseman illegally covered the puck with only four ticks left in regulation. Wolfe took the penalty shot but his attempt went wide and the Force earned the victory. Ryan Massa made 23 saves for Fargo and defenseman Nate Schmidt assisted on all four Force goals. The series resumes in less than 24 hours for Game Four at the Urban Plains Center in Fargo.
My picks for the three stars of the game have to be (1) Chase Grant with the hat trick, (2) Nate Schmidt with a 4-point night and (3) Ryan Massa. I know Massa only had 23 saves but he made a lot of quality saves and made a lot of big stops when the Force needed it the most.
Game 4 will have a little more intensity to it, as the Lancers are facing elimination and get Ryan Daugherty back from suspension. Fargo gets Matt Leitner fresh off his one game suspension. The addition of those two players adds a lot more hype to Game 4.