WHO: Fargo (26-22-2) at Sioux City (20-30-1)
WHERE/WHEN: Tyson Events Center, 7:05 p.m.
WHO: Sioux City (20-30-1) at Tri-City (24-12-15)
WHERE/WHEN: Viearo Ice Arena, Kearney (Neb.), 7:05 p.m.
RADIO: All games on KMNS 620 AM
Right wing Ryan Sandelin, the Musketeers’ fourth-round Phase 1 selection in last year’s USHL Phase 1 Draft, will mark his debut for Coach Jay Varady’s club tonight ... The 6-foot, 190-pound son of Minnesota-Duluth men’s hockey coach Scott Sandelin totaled 27 goals and 37 assists as a high school junior for Hermantown, whose 27-2-1 season was highlighted by winning the Minnesota Class A state hockey championship held March 2-5 ... Nebraska-Omaha recruit Teemu Pulkkinen (15 goals, 16 assists) will no longer play the remainder of the season, according to Varady, because of NCAA eligibility issues ... Pulkkinen recorded two goals and an assist in last Friday’s 5-4 loss at Muskegon ... Eeli Tolvanen (16, 20) recorded his 10th multiple-point game of the season with a goal and two assists in the 5-4 loss ... Defenseman David Trinkberger (1, 1) played both games of the Muskegon series after missing 10 games with a concussion ... Varady said C.J. Dodero (9, 9) has practiced this week after missing four games with a virus and will likely play tonight ... The Musketeers are close to getting Brian Rigali (3, 7) back after he missed 14 games with a thumb injury, but Jackson Keane (7, 4) and Connor Sundquist (3, 5) are still out with high ankle sprains ... The Musketeers have gone 4-2 against Fargo this season with 12 different players scoring a goal ... Sioux City has gone 2-1-1 this season against Tri-City, with Trey Dodd (4, 1) scoring three goals, two in a 4-3 shootout win on March 5 at the Tyson Events Center.
Tied with Sioux Falls (25-23-4) for third in the Western Conference, Fargo will play its fourth straight game against Des Moines (22-26-3) tonight ... Fargo posted 3-1, 1-0 and 2-1 (overtime) wins over Des Moines last week, getting two goals and two assists from Denis Smirnov (24 goals, 29 assists) ... Smirnov ranks fourth among USHL scorers with 53 points ... Blake Lizotte (11, 28) is the second-leading scorer for the Force, which has gone 7-3 in its last 10 games, including a 2-1 win at Sioux City March 5 where Smirnov and Hugo Reinhardt (5, 5) scored goals ... Ryan Wischow (20-18-1) ranks seventh in the league with a 2.23 goals-against average and is one of five goaltenders with four shutouts ... Fargo also ranks fourth in the league with an 85.1 percent penalty kill.
Tied for first in the Western Conference with Lincoln, the Storm’s last win came in a 4-0 shutout over Omaha on March 4 ... Since then, Tri-City has gained three points, two shootout losses and an overtime defeat ... Carson Meyer (26 goals, 16 assists) and Wade Allison (22, 18) have combined for 12 power-play goals while Nico Sturm (13, 19) has a team-high nine power-play goals ... Dan Labosky (11, 23) has scored in each of his four games ... former Musketeer Walker Duehr (9, 9) scored two goals in a 4-3 shootout loss at Sioux City on March 5 ... Tri-City ranks fifth in the USHL in both the power play (20.5 percent) and the penalty kill (84.7 percent) ... goaltender Jake Kielly (18-5-7) ranks fourth with his 2.23 GAA and also has four shutouts.
-- Jerry Giese