FARGO, N.D. – The Central Illinois Flying Aces lost to the Fargo Force, 5 to 2, in the second night of their two-game series.
For the second night in a row, Central Illinois scored the first goal. Ryan Siedem (Madison, NJ) intercepted a Fargo pass in the defensive zone. The Harvard commit found Tyler Gratton (Pottstown, Penn.) with a stretch pass. Gratton raced into the zone with a three-on-zero numbers situation, but kept the puck and scored on his backhand midway through the first.
The Force answered just several minutes later with three quick goals in ninety seconds. Mike Kesselring scored first when he tried to pass across the slot, but the pass came right back to him and he buried it. Zach Faremouth received a slot pass and scored short side for Fargo’s second of the night. Christoffer Bjork finished the scoring burst after a dumped-in puck took a weird bounce off the end boards, and Bjork capitalized on the moment.
The Flying Aces got within one early in the second. The play started with a sliding save from Mitchell Gibson (Phoenixville, Penn.). Lynden Breen (Grand Bay-Westfield, NB) battled for the rebound behind the net and passed to Joe Dunlap (Windham, NH) leaving the zone with speed. Dunlap drove down the left lane and threaded a pass between two Fargo defenders to Cal Kiefiuk (Macomb, Mich.) on the backdoor. Kiefiuk tapped the puck into the gaping net for his twelfth of the season.
Faremouth restored the two-goal lead for Fargo with his second of the night midway in the second when he grabbed the rebound of a shot in the slot.
Gratton continued his strong play against his former team. He had a shot that the goaltender got a piece of and went off the post in the third. The Penn State commit also had a penalty shot opportunity that was saved.
Fargo scored their fifth goal of the night in the third when Jeremy Davidson was stationed right in front of the crease on the power play.
Gibson finished the game with thirty-three saves.
Central Illinois returns home next Saturday (March 30th) against the Muskegon Lumberjacks in their second to last game of the season. They travel to Dubuque on Sunday, March 31st for an afternoon game against the Buccaneers.
For tickets or more information, call the Flying Aces at 309-434-2980 or visit www.flyingaceshockey.com.
ABOUT THE FLYING ACES
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.