Chris Murphy is the Minnesota preps and Fargo Force beat reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so. If reading him in the paper and online isn't enough, you can read more of him at the Forum Preps Blog: http://forumpreps.areavoices.com/
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TAMPA, Fla.—Lori Johnson is hoping there's something more to Sunday, April 10, than it being the 10-year anniversary of her husband's death. "I hope we have a cause this year for celebration," Johnson said. Lori is the mother of current University of North Dakota and former Fargo Force goalie Cam Johnson. It was 10 years ago Sunday when Cam's father, Mike, stopped breathing and Cam heard the scream of his mother. Cam was 11 years old when he found his dad—the man who put him on skates at 3 years old—dead on the couch from a heart attack.
Fargo Fargo Force goalie Ryan Wischow plans to study actuarial science when he heads to St. Lawrence University. The irony of studying risk by a guy who throws himself in the way of pucks isn't lost on Wischow. "There's obviously risk in that, but I wear a lot of protective gear," Wischow said. "It's a math-based major, so it's a lot of calculus, statistics and stuff like that. I've always been good with math and science, and the doctor thing won't work with hockey getting pretty serious. Going to take math and see where it goes." For Wischow, goaltending is math.
FARGO—Fargo Force coach Cary Eades laughed. He knew the question was coming. It was impossible not to ask if there was a little extra motivation to have the chance to end the United States Hockey League season for Sioux Falls, the team he coached the previous three seasons. "I think that Sioux Falls is a rival," Eades said. "They're like any other team in the Western Conference that you play a lot and develop some hard feelings toward. The players play the game. It's their game."
TAMPA, Fla.—With less than four minutes remaining in the second period of Thursday's NCAA men's hockey semifinal, University of Denver's Nolan Zajac squared up a shot from the right circle. University of North Dakota's Tucker Poolman was there to block it. Zajac tried again. And again. Poolman blocked both, as the thud echoed throughout Amalie Arena, and fans let out groans.
TAMPA, Fla.—Top-ranked Quinnipiac didn't come to Tampa for a history lesson. The Bobcats didn't come to the Frozen Four to hear about the 62 appearances and 19 national championships between Boston College, the University of North Dakota and Denver. No team has made the Frozen Four more times than the 25 by Boston College. That wasn't Quinnipiac's concern. The Bobcats, coming from a school of less than 10,000, came to make their own history.
TAMPA, Fla.—The man responsible for the ice the University of North Dakota men's hockey team will be skating on in the semifinals of the NCAA men's hockey national championship at Amalie Arena on Thursday, April 7, is ice operations manager Tom Miracle.
GLYNDON, Minn. – The Buffalo River Speedway will be under new ownership but under the same management this summer.
FARGO – Denis Smirnov shook his head and smiled. The words were hard to come by for the Fargo Force left winger. And it had nothing to do with the English language for the Russian, who speaks good English.
FARGO—On the back of Fargo Force goalie Ryan Wischow's goalie mask is Heath Ledger as The Joker. "It keeps the mood light with the boys," Wischow said. "The lighter I am the more confident I am and the better I play." Omaha wasn't laughing Saturday, March 26, as Wischow stopped all 32 shots he saw in a 3-0 shutout for the Force to all but end Omaha's United States Hockey League playoff hopes.
FARGO—The Fargo Force had the chance to essentially put the nail in the coffin on Omaha's season Friday, March 25, but they couldn't find the hammer. The Force fell 4-2 at Scheels Arena, and the Lancers still have life in the hunt for the United States Hockey League playoffs. "We went into the game thinking we were going to win," said Force left winger Riley Tufte, who scored both goals for Fargo. "It ended up not going our way. I think we kind of let off the gas pedal a little in the third period. We can't do that if we want to make the playoffs."