The Fargo Force advanced to the Clark Cup Finals after defeating the Lincoln Stars 2-0 in Game Three of their best-of-five series while the Green Bay Gamblers evened their series with the Indiana Ice by winning Game Two by a score of 4-3.
Fargo (6-0) remains undefeated in the playoffs having swept both series to earn a spot in the finals for the first-year club. Defenseman Chris Franks was playing in just his third playoff game and scored his first USHL playoff goal late in the first period for Fargo. Josh Birkholz scored his third goal of the series and Mike Lee did the rest stopping all 32 shots by Lincoln and earning the victory for the Force.
Fargo will now face the winner of the Green Bay vs. Indiana series for the Clark Cup. Green Bay earned a victory in Game One to even the series at one game apiece. Indiana led the game 3-2 midway through the third period until Green Bay defenseman Kevin Albers scored his first goal of the playoffs to tie the game. Chris Saracino netted two goals, including the game-winner with just 32 seconds remaining in the third period. Michael Forney registered three points (1g, 2a) and David Mokowski dished out three assists for the Gamblers. Steve Summerhays made 34 saves in net for Green Bay. The series now moves to Indiana for Game Three on Monday.
The USHL is celebrating its 30th season of junior hockey in 2008-09. With over 160 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools and 16 NHL Draft picks playing in the league, the USHL is the nation's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.ushl.com.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)