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USHL hockey: Hat trick stalls Force rally against Tri-City

Tri-City's Kieran Cebrian scored two of his three goals in the third period and the Storm held off Fargo on Thursday.

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FARGO — Tri-City's Kieran Cebrian scored two of his three goals in the third period and the Storm held off the Fargo Force 5-4 on Thursday at Scheels Arena.

The Force led 2-1 after the first period. After Tri-City's Ryan Smith scored the game's first goal at 4:33, the Force's Anthony Menghini scored on the power play at 6:16 on an assist from Jacob Napier to tie it 1-1. Bret Link scored the first of his two goals at 9:18 on assists from Brasen Boser and Cole Knuble for a 2-1 Force lead.

But the Storm forged ahead in the second period on Cebrian's unassisted short-handed goal at 6:21, and Artemi Nizameyev's unassisted goal with four seconds left in the period.

The Force tied the game 3-3 at 3:03 of the third when Knuble set up Mac Swanson for his second goal of the season. But Cebrian put the Storm up 4-3 with a power play goal at 5:27, then completed the hat trick with a goal with four minutes to play that made it 5-3.

Link scored his second goal of the game at 17:02 on an assist from Joe Palodichuk.

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The Force and Storm play the second and final game of their weekend series at 7:05 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at Scheels Arena.

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