Trailing 2-0 as the third period began, the Waterloo Black Hawks scored two goals to force overtime against the Fagro Force during Game 2 of the USHL Western Conference Final.

Two power play conversions helped the Fargo Force overcome a Waterloo Black Hawks shorthanded goal Sunday, and the Force scratched out a 3-2 overtime win at Young Arena during Game Two of the USHL Western Conference Semifinal series.

The special teams scoring was a change from Game One when the Force and Hawks had combined to turn away 16 total power plays. After Waterloo’s 2-0 win in the series opener, Sunday’s Force response evens the teams at one win apiece.

Fargo’s decisive goal came on the power play at 3:42 of overtime. Following a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty against the Hawks, Spencer Meier let fly a shot from above the left circle and it carried into the top corner of the net over Jared Moe’s left shoulder.

At the same end of the rink, the Force had also opened the scoring with 13.1 seconds left in the second period. As Griffin Loughran came out of the left corner, his low shot squirted inside the opposite post. Fargo built the lead to 2-0 at 4:40 of the third period on their first power play conversion; a feed across the top of the crease connected with Ben Meyers right of the net, and Meyers flipped it into an open side.

A Waterloo rally started a little less than four minutes later. At 8:05, cross-ice passing through the neutral zone provided Ben Finkelstein the chance to step over the blue line with possession. Finkelstein clicked with Joey Cassetti in the slot, and the big forward hit the top corner over Strauss Mann’s right shoulder.

The Hawks tied it with their second shorthanded goal of the postseason at 12:13. Solag Bakich forced a takeaway on the leftwing boards in the Fargo zone, creating a two-on-none situation below the faceoff dots. Bakich slipped a pass to Jack Drury, and Mann had no chance to go from right to left before Drury’s shot hit the back of the cage.

Now the USHL Western Conference Final series moves to Fargo for Game Three on Friday and Game Four Saturday. The team advancing from best-of-five set will play for the Clark Cup against the Eastern Conference representative beginning early next month.

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