Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force
Penn State men’s hockey recruit Evan Bell and the USHL’s Fargo Force were crowned league champions on Saturday night after taking down the Youngstown Phantoms in the Clark Cup Final.
Bell played a pivotal role for the Force as they won the best-of-five final in four games. The left-handed defenseman opened the scoring in Game One of the series en route to a 4-1 victory. He took a beautiful cross-ice pass on the power play and buried a wrist shot past the blocker of Youngstown goaltender Ivan Prosvetov.
After being held off the scoresheet in a Game Two loss, the Livona, MI, native tied the pivotal third game of the series with 6:15 remaining in the second period. The goal was one of the most bizarre of the season, but more importantly, it swung momentum away from the Phantoms, who took a 2-1 lead just six seconds before Bell’s second goal of the series.
The defenseman’s seemingly routine slap shot into the offensive zone snuck past Prosvetov after taking an absurd bounce off the boards. Youngstown’s goaltender began to skate behind his net and collect the puck, but it bounced off the corner of the boards and landed in the back of the net.
Bell, who won’t be eligible to play for the Nittany Lions until at least the second half of the 2018-19 season, scored his third and final goal of the series to open the scoring in Game Four. He used one of Youngstown’s defensemen as a screen and beat the goaltender clean on the blocker side with a booming one-timer.
Fargo’s No. 25 finished the series with three goals and two assists, including the primary helper on Ty Farmer’s Clark Cup-winning goal with 3:54 left in the third period of the final game. He finished the postseason with three goals and eight assists in 14 games, finishing tied for the team lead with 11 points.
Bell’s standout performance came just months after he started the 2017-18 season with Merrimack. He left the Hockey East program in December after appearing in just five games and returned to the USHL organization that he spent the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with.