Fargo Force Named USHL Organization of the Year
Thursday June 13, 2013
Success on and off the ice garners League award
The United States Hockey League today announced that the Fargo Force have been named the 2012-13 USHL Organization of the Year as determined by a vote of USHL Member Clubs.
Celebrating their fifth season in the USHL, the Force enjoyed a record-setting campaign. They welcomed 124,894 total fans during the regular season to rank second in the League. Their average of 3,902 fans per game was the highest in team history as their attendance has increased each season since joining the USHL in 2008.
Fourteen times throughout the season, the Force topped the 4,000 mark for fans at the Scheels Arena, including seven times over an eight-game span from January 18th to March 9th. They ended the year with a season high 4,784 fans during their final regular season home game on April 13th. As the passionate Force fans continued to come through the turnstiles, it helped the Force achieve an all-time high in ticket revenue.
Led by owner Ace Brandt and team general manager Jon Kram, the Force further strengthened their relationship with the Fargo community as they generated more than $60,000 this season for local charities, which included over $25,000 raised in the player jersey auction for Sanford Health’s Cancer Survivorship Program. A new initiative by the team further involved their fans as the “Fargo Force Corporate Angels” program allowed tickets purchased by sponsors and fans to be donated to charitable organizations. The Force also continued grassroots efforts to promote the game of hockey in the region through activities with local youth hockey programs, in addition to the 580 hours of service in the community by Force players.
“What the Force have accomplished in five short years in the USHL is nothing short of amazing,” said USHL President and Commissioner Skip Prince. “On the ice, they have one of the League’s best winning records. Off the ice, they’re a community leader. The game experience in Scheels Arena is outstanding, and the fans have responded. Congratulations to Ace Brandt and general manager Jon Kram on showing us all how it’s done.”
The business community in Fargo reached new levels of support for the Force as the team saw a 32% increase in sponsorship revenue from the previous season. Providing one of the best game night experiences in the USHL, the Force delivered a unique fan atmosphere that was both entertaining and added value to its corporate partners.
On the ice, Fargo returned just seven full-time players from a season ago but finished second in the Western Conference with a 38-19-7 mark, setting a team record for wins in a season and equaling team highs for wins at home (19) and on the road (19). Head coach John Marks then led the Force to the Clark Cup Final series for the third time in their five-year history. A number of players enjoyed individual success, including Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick and Force leading scorer Dominic Toninato who earned a spot on the All-USHL Second Team, defenseman Gavin Bayreuther was named to the USHL All-Rookie Team, and Gabe Guertler (31 goals) became just the second player in team history to reach the 30-goal mark in a season while wearing a Force uniform. Overall, a total of 19 players who suited up in Fargo this season have earned NCAA Division I hockey opportunities following their USHL careers.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrated its 11th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2012-13. With 19 NHL Draft picks on team rosters and over 300 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL has emerged as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.