Photo by mjoy Photography
Special teams were the story in Friday’s Game 1 of the 2018 Clark Cup Final, as the Fargo Force notched a trio of power play goals in a 4-1 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms at Scheels Arena.
In a penalty-filled first period, Fargo’s Evan Bell struck first for a power play goal just under nine minutes into Game 1. Bell received a cross pass from Robbie Stucker and fired a shot past Youngstown goaltender Ivan Prosvetov’s blocker. The Force carried that 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
Fargo then doubled their lead at the 14:17 mark of the second period, as Stucker found Griffin Loughran at the back door as Fargo registered its second power play tally of the night to go up 2-0.
But the Phantoms got on the board with a power play goal of their own just over three minutes later. Defenseman Michael Joyaux recorded his first career USHL postseason goal on a one timer from the high slot at 17:35, cutting the Fargo lead to 2-1 heading into the third period.
3:43 into the third period, Prosvetov stopped a point shot from Spencer Meier, but Ben Meyers found the rebound in the right circle and buried a quick shot to put the Force back up by a pair. Garrett Van Wyhe then registered an empty net goal with 2:09 remaining to seal the 4-1 win.
The Force now hold a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series with Game 2 set for Saturday night at Scheels Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:05 PM CT.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.