Three Fargo Force first period goals were more than the Waterloo Black Hawks could overcome on Friday in a 4-1 affair at Scheels Arena.
Fargo didn’t waste any time; just 40 seconds into the game, Jack Adams’ takeaway forced an all-out save by Robbie Beydoun. That left net for Jacob Paganelli to shoot at, and he put in the rebound. The Force struck again at 11:46. Fargo’s faceoff win setup Grant Meyer’s goal from the top of the crease a blink-of-an-eye later. The Force added one more from Jack Adams at 18:20 during the early stages of a five-on-three power play.
Hunter Lellig came out of the penalty box to score his first USHL goal – the only goal of the second period – at 18:08. Bailey Conger found Lellig at the Force blueline behind the Fargo defense. The big defenseman took the pass, stepped to the right hashmark, and snapped a shot over Matt Murray’s left shoulder at 18:08.
Waterloo was held to five shots during the third period, and Paganelli ended any drama by recording an empty net goal with 15.3 seconds left in regulation.
The Hawks and Force meet again Saturday at Scheels Arena before Waterloo’s pre-Christmas schedule concludes on Sunday against the Sioux Falls Stampede.
Waterloo 0 1 0 – 1
Fargo 3 0 1 – 4
1st Period-1, Fargo, Paganelli 6 (Adams), 0:40. 2, Fargo, Meyer 6 (McMahan), 11:46. 3, Fargo, Adams 17 (Tufto, Graham), 18:20 (PP). Penalties-Miura Wat (hooking), 3:26; Wait Wat (high sticking), 14:38; Tufto Fgo (tripping), 15:12; Cowans Wat (interference), 17:29; Lellig Wat (hooking), 18:08.
2nd Period-4, Waterloo, Lellig 1 (Conger), 18:08. Penalties-Johnson Fgo (interference), 3:20; Graham Fgo (hooking), 7:25; Wait Wat (holding), 11:05; Lellig Wat (holding), 16:01.
3rd Period-5, Fargo, Paganelli 7 (Graham, Johnson), 19:45 (EN). Penalties-Lellig Wat (tripping), 4:42; Senden Fgo (cross checking), 11:40.
Shots on Goal-Waterloo 7-9-5-21. Fargo 14-4-14-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Waterloo 0 / 4; Fargo 1 / 7.
Goalies-Waterloo, Beydoun 9-7-0-1 (31 shots-28 saves). Fargo, Murray 12-8-0-0 (21 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Bobby Lukkason (28).
Linesmen-Kyle Bennett (52), Dwight Mack (40).