FARGO, N.D. (STAMPEDE) — Maxim Strbak’s goal with just over two minutes remaining in regulation tied the game, but Fargo prevailed early in overtime to down the Herd, 4-3 Wednesday night at Scheels Arena. The rally allowed the Herd to gain a point in the standings, but kept the club winless in their last six games. Maddox Fleming and Isaac Gordon also scored goals while Xavier Medina stopped 29 of 33 shots in goal for the Stampede who now stand at 5-9-3 on the season.
The Stampede have had a run of poor starts and made it a priority to stop that on Wednesday night and they did it with one of their better first period performances of the season. The Herd came out firing and tallied the first goal of the game just 5:20 in when Nick Ring found Maddox Fleming open in the slot and Fleming wristed a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net for his sixth goal of the season to give the Herd a 1-0 lead. Special teams would come up big in the period as the Herd had to kill off back-to-back penalties and took their 1-0 lead into the locker room outshooting the Force 15-9 in the period.
Fargo would waste little time in the second, getting on the board just 2:04 in on a goal from Kevin Scott who scored on a rebound in front of the net. The Herd responded just 40 seconds later when Jaksen Panzer stole the puck in the right-wing corner and sent a perfect pass in the slot to a wide-open Isaac Gordon who beat the goaltender for his third of the season and a 2-1 lead. It stayed that way until late in the period when Mac Swanson tied the game on a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Medina in over the left shoulder. The Force took their first lead of the game at 17:47 off a face-off when German Yavash wristed a shot from the blue line that found its way through the pads and into the net for a 3-2 lead for Fargo. The Force outshot the Herd 14-7 in the period.
The third period saw the Stampede trying to find a way to tie the game and they would do so with just over two minutes remaining and the goaltender pulled. With the extra attack Maxim Strbak took a pass from Sam Harris and blasted a shot from the top of the right circle which would clank off the inside of the goal post and into the net to tie game, 3-3. Fargo made a late push, but Medina shut them down and forced overtime.
The extra session didn’t last long unfortunately for the Herd who saw Fargo win it just 1:17 in when Anthony Menghini fired a shot from the top of the right circle that beat Medina’s glove side and into the top right-hand corner of the net to give the Force the win and the extra point in the standings.
Fargo outshot the Herd 1-0 in the overtime and 33-30 in the game. The Force were 0-for-4 on the power play while the Stampede finished the night 0-for-2.
The Herd will take Thanksgiving off and are back at it this Friday and Saturday with a weekend homestand against Tri-City and Lincoln. Friday night is Prairie Farms Night when the Herd host the Storm at 7:05 PM. Saturday is Toys for Tots Night, presented by Fleet Farm when Lincoln comes to town at 6:05 PM. Fans are encouraged to bring new unwrapped toy to the game and can receive a voucher good for 2 free tickets to any game in December. All toys collected will be brought to Fleet Farm next week for their annual Toys For Tots drive. Tickets for both games are on sale now through Ticketmaster or the Stampede office.