Fargo Force Captain and Oklahoma Native Chase Grant will be out for the 5th and deciding game of the USHL Clark Cup Championship tonight in Green Bay, Wisconsin. During the 1st period of Saturday's Game 4 in Fargo when he got hit along the left wing boards that he fell awkwardly and injured his right knee.
After an MRI discovered that the right knee was bruised and it had swelled a little bit. Even though it would be a little bit painful to play on it for the 5th and deciding game tonight. Another hit like he had could do some serious damage and would mean a long off-season of rehab and recovery as Grant gets ready for his college career to get going next year at Minnesota State, which is located in Mankato which plays in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).
Grant was selected unanimously as team Captain before the season started and he has delivered very well. Not only as a team leader, but on the score-sheet as well. After leading the team with 28 goals (50 PTS Overall).
During the playoffs as well, he's showing that he's becoming a force with 14 points (9G 5A) in 12 playoff games this year. His best playoff performance was getting a hat trick in Game 3 against Omaha during the West Division Final. He's also been able to show his hard work, especially along the boards and around the net on both ends to help make the difference in very close games. This should help him a lot when he arrives at Minnesota State University next season.
During the Clark Cup Championship Series, he was held pointless in the first 2 games. But he did score twice in a very close game that went into Triple Overtime where the Force lost 4-3. He also had what would have been the go ahead goal midway through the 3rd period in Game 3, that was until Green Bay Forward Anders Lee scored an extra attacker goal with just 49 seconds left in the 3rd period. So he's shown that he can score at big times during the playoffs. Green Bay later went on to win in triple OT to force a Game 4 in the Championship Series.
He also had the game winner in Game 5 against Omaha which allowed the Force to pull away in the 3rd period when Force Teammate Matt Leitner scored twice in the last 7 minutes to win 5-2 and win the West Division Title in 5 games. Leitner is also heading to Minnesota State University after his junior career is over, along with Corey Leivermann and J.P. Burkemper as well.
Will Grant's absence make a difference tonight or will the team come together to pitch in for their injured captain tonight in Green Bay? We'll find out tonight as the Clark Cup Championship will be awarded tonight.
USHL Clark Cup Championship Scores
Game 1: Fargo Force 2 Green Bay Gamblers 0 (0-0, 2-0, 0-0)
Game 1 Story: www.ushl.com/news/story.cfm?id=3232
Game 2: Fargo Force 4 Green Bay Gamblers 1 (1-0, 2-1, 1-0)
Game 2 Story: www.ushl.com/news/story.cfm?id=3235
Game 3: Green Bay Gamblers 4 Fargo Force 3 (3OT) (0-1, 2-0, 1-2, 0-0, 0-0, 1-0)
Game 3 Story: www.ushl.com/news/story.cfm?id=3254
Game 4: Green Bay Gamblers 5 Fargo Force 3 (4-3, 0-0, 1-0)
Game 4 Story: www.ushl.com/news/story.cfm?id=3258
Championship Series Notes
One of the first big things to check out is that the road team has won every game in this series. Both teams have been strong on the road during the playoffs. Both teams are 5-1 on the road in this year's playoffs. Fargo's only road playoff loss was Game 1 against the Omaha Lancers in the Division Finals. For Green Bay they hasn't dropped a single game on the road as well.
This will be Green Bay's first Game 5 of this year's playoffs while Fargo won 5-2 in the West Division Final against Omaha.
As for the Team Leading Scorers (Matt Leitner for Fargo & Anders Lee for GB). Leitner has been on a 7 game point scoring streak which includes 6 goals since it started back on April 17 against Omaha. In fact, if it weren't for the series opener against Omaha, he would have at least a point in every game of the playoffs.
Green Bay's Anders Lee has had 5 multi point games in the playoffs. After being held scoreless for the first two games against Fargo, he's scored 4 points over the last 2 games, which includes a 3 point game back during Game 3 back on 5/7.
The Goaltending battle between Fargo's Ryan Massa and Green Bay's Steve Summerhays has been interesting. Fargo's Massa had the better of the two in the early series as he stopped 66 of 67 shots in the first two games, including a Game 1 Shutout. To counter the Game 1 Shutout, Summerhays has won 4-3 and 5-3 games.
So in a possible low scoring game, expect Massa to have advantage in that front. But if theirs a problem with Massa, his backup, Dyan Belfour has hardly had any playoff action this season. He only played in 19 games this season where he got traded from Waterloo to Fargo midway through the season.
As for Green Bay Backup Ryan Mckay, he hasn't played a single minute in the playoffs, but had a decent regular season by going 14-8-2, he came in mostly in relief roles for Summerhays this season. They hoping that he can eventually become the new starting goalie for Norte Dame University after this season ends.
So based on his regular season performance, he could come in if Summerhays has a bad night. But with the final game of the Championship Series tonight, don't expect to see him tonight with a title on the line.
You can check out these websites to find out more on tonight's Game 5.
United States Hockey League: www.ushl.com
Fargo Force: www.fargoforce.com
Green Bay Gamblers: www.gamblershockey.com
Here's a link to a bunch of stories that is on the USHL Website going into tonight.
One of the best websites that will cover the game is the B2 Networks where they cover all sorts of hockey leagues from all over North America tonight.
USHL on B2 TV: www.b2tv.com/upcoming_events.asp?q=l&value=ushl
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