MADISON, WI – The Madison Capitols fell to the Fargo Force, 5-1, at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Madison (20-24-2-2) is ranked seventh in the Eastern Conference with 44 points. Fargo (27-15-3-4) is ranked third in the Western Conference with 61 points.
Right wing Griffin Loughran doubled the Fargo’s lead to 2-0 at 7:51 of the opening frame. Center Grant Hebert and Loughran skated in on a two-on-one break. Hebert passed the puck to Loughran for a one-timer into the net for his 16th goal of the season.
Hebert started off the scoring with his 13th goal of the season at 1:51 of the first period. Left wing Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup shot the puck at goaltender Dryden McKay from point blank range. McKay made the save, but then there was a scramble in front of the net. Hebert jammed the puck over the goal line for the 1-0 early lead.
Capitols right wing Ryan O’Reilly scored an unassisted goal at 9:14 of the opening period. O’Reilly broke up a breakout play at the Force’s blueline and skated in on goaltender Strauss Mann. O’Reilly flipped in a backhand shot for his 17th goal of the season.
Defenseman Evan Bell halted a clearing pass at the left point and carried the puck to the right point before finding left wing Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup for a one-timer from the left face-off circle. Schmidt-Svejstrup’s 22nd tally of the season came on the power play and put the Force up 3-1 at 1:42 of the second period.
Bell picked up his sixth goal of the season at 5:58 of the middle frame to bring Fargo’s lead to 4-1. Center Grant Hebert won the face-off in the left circle and back to defenseman Robbie Stucker at the left point. Stucker found Bell inching in from the right point for a one-timer that snuck past goaltender Dryden McKay as a fellow Fargo player blocked him.
McKay (18-19-1-2) suffered his 19th loss of the season with 28 saves on 33 shots. Mann (15-7-2-1) earned his 15th win of the season stopping 31-of-32 shots.
Madison went 0-for-4 on the power play. Fargo was 2-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Capitols split the weekend series 1-1 with the Force...Left wing Ryan O’Reilly is on a two-game point streak (1-2=3).
The Capitols hit the road for a series with Team USA on Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16. The team will return home to face-off against the Muskegon Lumberjacks during Ronald McDonald House Charities Night at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, March 23. For ticket information, call the Capitols at (608) 257-CAPS or visit us online at www.MADCAPSHOCKEY.com.