Force's Castro commits to Wisconsin

Fargo Force goaltender Anton Castro committed to the University of Wisconsin - Madison on Monday, Jan. 30. Castro is currently the USHL's second-best goaltender.

Fargo Force goaltender Anton Castro moves from the net to pass the puck to a teammate while Omaha’s Drew Montgomery attempts a poke check during a Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, game at the Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

FARGO — It was all pomp and circumstance on Monday for Fargo Force goalie Anton Castro, who announced his commitment to play collegiate hockey for the University of Wisconsin.

This season, Castro has been one of the top goaltenders in the USHL, and currently sits at No. 2 in the league, just behind his teammate Matej Marinov. He has an 11-8 record with a 2.37 goals against average and boasts a save percentage of .912.

Wisconsin's close-knit atmosphere and state-of-the-art amenities helped Castro choose the Badgers.

"They have a really good family culture there," Castro said. "I could tell that guys liked it there, and that was a huge green flag for me. And the facility was top-notch."

It also helped that some of Castro's friends and teammates are with, or are committed to, the Badgers. Cruz Lucius, one of Castro's best friends since youth hockey, put in a good word to the team on behalf of Castro. Lucius, a forward, is in his first season with the team and has scored nine goals in 25 games.


The Force's Joe Palodichuk and Tanner Walos have also committed to Wisconsin, and having familiar faces in the locker room is something Castro is looking forward to.

"Knowing guys that I trust and have similarities with definitely had a huge impact," Castro said. "It'll be fun."

Force head coach Nick Oliver said Castro's consistency and competitiveness in net has helped the team immensely throughout the season, and his athleticism caught the attention of college scouts.

"He's able to make himself look big in the net," Oliver said. "But he's also athletic enough to make some little second effort saves. He can give you a little bit of everything."

The Badgers are a part of the Big Ten Conference, and will present Castro a quicker, cleaner version of the game. A challenge he's ready for.

"The Big Ten is definitely a different breed," Castro said. "The guys in that division are super skilled. I think it'll be fun and challenging, but I'm excited for it."

There are currently 15 players in the USHL, including Castro, that are committed to playing for Wisconsin. The U.S. Development Team, Sioux City and Fargo each have three players who accepted offers from the university.

Castro plans on sticking with the team for another season to better his skills in preparation for college hockey.


The Mendota Heights, Minn. native said although his home-state's University of Minnesota Golden Gophers are rivals of the Badgers, there was never any particular "loyalty" to any of the state's teams, and his family and friends have been nothing shy of supportive.

"They are pumped for me," Castro said. "They would have supported me for whatever decision I would have made."

Wisconsin is currently 10-16 and the last time the Badgers made the Frozen Four was in 2010.

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