The Fargo Force is a Tier I junior ice hockey team in the Western Conference of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The Force have won one league championship in 2018 and was awarded USHL Organization Of The Year for 2008–09 and 2012–13.
|City||Fargo, North Dakota|
|League||United States Hockey League|
|Home arena||Scheels Arena|
|Colors||Black, blue, white|
|General manager||Cary Eades|
|Head coach||Pierre-Paul Lamoureux|
|Playoff championships||1 (2018)|
In early 2007, Fargo was granted a USHL team, intended as an anchor tenant for the then-under-construction Urban Plains Center, which is now called Scheels Arena. Dean Blais, former coach of the North Dakota Fighting Sioux hockey program, was installed as the franchise's initial coach and general manager. The team was formed, in conjunction with a name-the-team contest to decide what the team would be called. After the choices were narrowed to Fargo Force, Fargo Phantoms, and Fargo Fire, the Force name was chosen. Twelve people submitted the Force name; as a result, they won a dinner with head coach Dean Blais and each received two season tickets to the Force's inaugural season.
As a result of the Force's entry, the area's previous hockey team, the Fargo-Moorhead Jets of the North American Hockey League announced they were leaving the area in April 2008, and folded later that year.
Blais coached the team to the USHL's Clark Cup Finals in 2008–09, leaving to take the head coaching position at Nebraska-Omaha. His successor, Chad Johnson, a former assistant, again led the Force to the Clark Cup Finals in 2009–10. Assistant Jason Herter took over the team in 2010 when Johnson left to join the Lincoln Stars. Jason Herter left after the 2010–11 season to become an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. John Marks became head coach after leaving the same position for the Winkler Flyers in Manitoba, Canada.
Marks retired following the 2014–15 season and was replaced by former University of North Dakota player/assistant coach Cary Eades, who had just led the Sioux Falls Stampede to the 2014–15 Clark Cup Championship. In 2018, Fargo won the Clark Cup Finals over the Youngstown Phantoms to win their first championship in team history. Following the 2018–19 season, Eades stepped down from his coaching position, retaining the general manager title, and associate coach Pierre-Paul Lamoureux was named head coach.
|2008–09||60||32||23||5||69||191||166||1135||3rd, Western Conf.||Won quarterfinals, 3–0 vs. Omaha Lancers|
Won semifinals, 3–0 vs. Lincoln Stars
Lost Clark Cup Finals, 1–3 vs. Indiana Ice
|2009–10||60||37||17||6||80||227||214||1474||2nd Western Conf.||Won quarterfinals, 3–0 vs. Sioux Falls Stampede|
Won semifinals, 3–2 vs. Omaha Lancers
Lost Clark Cup Finals, 2–3 vs. Green Bay Gamblers
|2010–11||60||33||22||5||71||173||151||1201||4th, Western Conf.||Won conf. quarterfinals, 2–0 vs. Lincoln Stars|
Lost conf. semifinals, 0–3 vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints
|2011–12||60||31||23||6||68||188||160||1007||4th, Western Conf.||Won conf. quarterfinals, 2–0 vs. Sioux City Musketeers|
Lost conf. semifinals, 1–3 vs. Lincoln Stars
|2012–13||64||38||19||7||83||201||187||981||2nd, Western Conf.||Won conf. semifinals, 3–2 vs. Waterloo Black Hawks|
Won conf. finals, 3–2 vs. Sioux Falls Stampede
Lost Clark Cup Finals, 0–3 vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints
|2013–14||60||14||39||7||35||122||229||1275||8th, Western Conf.||Did not qualify|
|2014–15||60||26||28||6||58||148||191||933||6th, Western Conf.||Did not qualify|
|2015–16||60||32||26||2||66||157||150||995||5th, Western Conf.||Did not qualify|
|2016–17||60||36||19||4||77||193||149||792||3rd, Western Conf.||Lost conf. semifinals, 0–3 vs. Waterloo Black Hawks|
|2017–18||60||37||16||7||81||208||133||985||3rd, Western Conf.||Won first round, 2–0 vs. Tri-City Storm|
Won conf. semifinals, 3–1 vs. Omaha Lancers
Won conf. finals, 3–1 vs. Waterloo Black Hawks
Won Clark Cup finals, 3–1 vs. Youngstown Phantoms
|2018–19||62||34||23||5||73||188||172||910||5th, Western Conf.||Lost first round, 0–2 vs. Des Moines Buccaneers|
- Head coach: Pierre-Paul Lamoureux
- Assistant coach and goalie coach: Eli Rosendahl
- Assistant coach and director of scouting: Brad Lutsch
- General manager: Cary Eades
NHL draft picksEdit
The Fargo Force have had the following players picked in the NHL draft.
|Year drafted||Player||Drafted team||Pick|
|2008||Luke Witkowski||Tampa Bay Lightning||6th round, 160th overall|
|2009||Josh Birkholz||Florida Panthers||3rd round, 67th overall|
|Mike Lee||Arizona Coyotes||3rd round, 91st overall|
|Nick Oliver||Nashville Predators||4th round, 110th overall|
|2010||Zane McIntyre||Boston Bruins||6th round, 165th overall|
|2011||Garrett Haar||Washington Capitals||7th round, 207th overall|
|2012||Ben Johnson||New Jersey Devils||3rd round, 90th overall|
|Dominic Toninato||Toronto Maple Leafs||5th round, 126th overall|
|Brian Cooper||Anaheim Ducks||5th round, 127th overall|
|Colton Hargrove||Boston Bruins||7th round, 205th overall|
|2013||Teemu Kivihalme||Nashville Predators||5th round, 140th overall|
|Jonny Brodzinski||Los Angeles Kings||5th round, 148th overall|
|2016||Riley Tufte||Dallas Stars||1st round, 25th overall|
|Chase Priskie||Washington Capitals||6th round, 177th overall|
|2017||Clayton Phillips||Pittsburgh Penguins||3rd round, 93rd overall|
|Denis Smirnov||Colorado Avalanche||6th round, 156th overall|
|Jack Adams||Detroit Red Wings||6th round, 162nd overall|
|2018||Ryan O'Reilly||Detroit Red Wings||4th round, 98th overall|
|Michael Kesselring||Edmonton Oilers||6th round, 164th overall|
Awards and player recognitionEdit
- Jack Adams – 2016–17 All-USHL Team, 2016-17 USHL Most Goals
- Ryan Bischel – 2017 U.S. Junior Select Team
- Dean Blais – 2008-09 USHL Coach of the Year
- Hank Crone – 2016 U.S. Junior Select Team,
- Cary Eades – 1991-92 USHL General Manager of the Year, 2012–13 USHL Coach of the Year
- Ty Farmer – 2017–18 All-USHL Team
- Teemu Kivihalme - 2013 U.S. Junior Select Team
- Mike Lee - 2008-09 USHL Goaltender of the Year
- Blake Lizotte – 2016–17 All-USHL Team, 2016 U.S. Junior Select Team
- Michael Mancinelli – 2017–18 USHL All-Rookie Team
- Strauss Mann – 2017–18 All-USHL Team
- Ben Meyers – 2018–19 All-USHL Team
- Zane McIntyre - 2011-12 USHL Goaltender of the Year
- Josh Nodler - 2018 U.S. Junior Select Team 2018-19 USHL All-Rookie Team
- Ryan O'Reilly – 2017–18 USHL All-Rookie Team, 2018 U.S. Junior Select Team
- Clayton Phillips – 2016–17 USHL All-Rookie Team
- Nate Schmidt – 2009–10 USHL All-Rookie Team
- Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup – 2017–18 All-USHL Team
- Denis Smirnov – 2015–16 All-USHL Team
- Anthony Taranto – 2008–09 All-USHL Team
Prospects games participantsEdit
- Jack Adams – 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Kaden Bohlsen – 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Charlie Dovorany – 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Mikey Eyssimont – 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Cedric Fiedler – 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Gabe Guertler – 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Brendan Harms – 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Matt Kessel – 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Josh Nodler – 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Ryan O'Reilly – 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Clayton Phillips – 2016 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, 2017 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Ryan Savage – 2017 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Nate Schmidt – 2010 USHL All-Star Game
- Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup – 2018 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Denis Smirnov – 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
- Riley Tufte – 2015 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game
- Luke Witkowski – 2009 USHL All-Star Game
- "Fargo Force : About". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- Archive_order | INFORUM | Fargo, North Dakota - Moorhead, Minnesota[dead link]
- Fargo-Moorhead ceases operations
- "Eades stepping away from coaching hockey, Lamoureux named head coach of the Force". inforum.com. May 28, 2019.
- "USHL Players In NHL Drafts". USHL.com. Retrieved September 9, 2018.
- "Ben Johnson: The Third Round Pick of the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 NHL Draft". allaboutthejersey.com.
- "NHL Draft 2012: Dominic Toninato - 5th Round 126th Overall". pensionplanpuppets.com.
- "Bruins Sign Force Alum to NHL Deal". USHL.com.
- "Jonny Brodzinski Selected By Los Angeles Kings 5th Round and 148th Overall in 2013 NHL Draft". National Hockey League.
- "Dallas Stars Select Left Wing Riley Tufte In The First Round Of 2016 NHL Draft". National Hockey League.
- "2017 NHL Draft: Pittsburgh Penguins select Clayton Phillips in 3rd round". pensburgh.com.
- "Avalanche Picks Denis Smirnov No. 156 Overall At 2017 NHL Draft". National Hockey League.
- "Detroit Red Wings Select Ryan O'Reilly in 4th Round and 98th Overall In 2018 NHL Draft". National Hockey League.
- "Sixth Round: Edmonton Oilers draft defenceman Michael Kesselring 164th overall". Oilersnation.com.
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- "2017 USHL / NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters". USHL.com.
- "Rosters Named For 2015 USHL / NHL Top Prospects Game". USHL.com.
- "2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters Announced". USHL.com.
- "40 Players Chosen For USHL / NHL Top Prospects Game". National Hockey League.
- "2018 USHL / NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters Announced". USHL.com.
- "All-American Prospects Game All-Time Roster". AllAmericanProspectsGame.com.