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Stars' strong start foiled as Force prevails

Stars' strong start foiled as Force prevails

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A strong start Saturday for the Lincoln Stars turned into a dreadful 5-3 loss to the Fargo Force at the Ice Box.

It is the Stars' (8-7-2) third consecutive loss.

Lincoln scored two first-period goals after Fargo took a 1-0 lead midway through the period. The Stars' Brad Morrissey, playing in just his fifth game of the season after returning to the ice following a nine-game absence, knotted the score 1-1 with his first goal of the season at the 14:55 mark. Matthew Barbolini gave the Stars a 2-1 lead minutes later with his ninth tally.

The Stars, who had 36 shots in a 3-0 shutout loss in the season opener against Fargo's Cole Brady, peppered the Force goalie with 16 shots in the first period. Chase Pilawski and Josh Lopina led Lincoln with five shots apiece through three periods.

Momentum shifted in the second period as the Stars and Force combined for 81 penalty minutes in a span of 13 minutes, 15 seconds.

After the Force took a 3-2 lead into the period, Fargo gained a 4-2 cushion on its lone power-play chance. The Stars went 0-for-6 on the man advantage.

Lincoln was handed two 10-minute misconduct penalties to Morrissey and captain Jordan Power for fighting and a game-misconduct penalty to Spencer Smith for a boarding penalty.

Caleb Price gave the Stars a glimmer of hope with their backs against the wall with his first goal of the season, cutting the deficit to 4-3. The Force, however, tallied one more with an empty-net goal late in the period.

The Stars return to action Wednesday in Sioux City, Iowa, at 7 p.m.

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