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Gamblers Drop 1st Game of Series

In a hard-fought game, the Gamblers fell 4-1 at home to the undefeated Fargo Force. The sole Green Bay goal was scored by Blake Bechen, and assisted by Lev Katzin and Oliver Buesgens.

The first period saw each team have their share of chances. Both goaltenders, Adam Gajan and Anton Castro, responded to every test with save after save until the last minute of the period. Fargo found a way into the net through an unlikely power-play goal at the 19:06 by Michael LaStarza with an assist from Zam Plante and Jake Fisher. Fargo outshot Green Bay 14 to 10 in the period.

Green Bay came out with a full head of steam to try to find the equalizer. The Gamblers were finally able to break through the Fargo defense when Bechen scored his sixth goal of the season at the 12:27. The Dubuque native received a pass in the slot from Buesgens before firing it into the net to make it a 1-1 game. Fargo later found the lead once again through defender Tate Taylor at the 17:18. Taylor scored off of an assist from fellow defender, and leading point scorer for the Force, Leo Gruba, and restored Fargo’s lead on the power-play. Fargo outshot Green Bay 11 to 10 in the second.

Knowing that there was still everything to play for in the third, both teams fought for the next goal. Shortly after the halfway point of the period, it was the Force who were able to deal another blow, on yet another power-play. This time it was Taylor’s turn to assist Gruba at the 10:04 to make it a 3-1 game. A few short minutes later, Green Bay earned a penalty shot to try to get back into the game at the 13:22. Libor Nemec stepped in to take it, and was denied by Castro. This took the wind out of the Gamblers sails, and there was nothing to stop Fargo from grabbing another by Harper Bentz on an empty net to wrap up the scoring at 4-1. Fargo once again outshot Green Bay 9 to 6 in the period.

Overall Fargo outshot Green Bay 34 to 26. They were also more clinical on power-plays going 3-for-6, while Green Bay went 0-for-1.

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