FARGO — More than two dozen players make up the Fargo Force roster, but only two are from North Dakota. Ironically enough, both are Grand Forks natives as well.
Together, separate, and back together now,” said forward Mason Salquist.
Nine years ago Mason Salquist and Tucker Hodgson were finding their passion for hockey in Grand Forks.
“We grew up playing together obviously at the outdoor rinks all the time. I remember winter days at Kelly Park or Olympic Park or something at Elks. We would be out there right after school until the college kids shut the lights off at 8:30. Those are the memories that kind of stick with you,” said Hodgson.
But these two found that love for the game together, playing on the same peewee team in 2012.
“I remember we took second in state, that was about it. We had a good team, we were one of the top teams in the state but just fell short and took second in the finals,” said Salquist.
“He (Mason) used to be the all star on our team is what I remember. He used to be the best player. He was captain the year I played,” said Hodgson.
When it came to high school, the duo went separate ways. Mason attended Red River High School, winning a state title with the Rough Riders in 2016. Tucker went to Central High, earning a pair of championships in 2018 and 2019, before going to play junior hockey in Canada for his senior season.
“So whenever that cross town rival game came on, we were enemies but off the ice we were always friends,” said Salquist.
Nearly a decade later these former teammates, turned rivals, are reunited once again in their home state. Now they’re playing for the Clark Cup, a shot at a title that they can share together.
“To play this level of hockey with a guy you grew up with and really just gel and you know each other. It’s something special and it’s not something that a lot of guys can experience together. Just to be able to keep making more with him is certainly something that I will cherish,” said Hodgson.
“It’s very special. It’s not something that a lot of guys get to do. To be able to play such a high level of hockey so close to home in front of friends and family every night, it’s really special and I’m very grateful for that,” Hogdson added.
Both Hodgson and Salquist are committed to play college hockey next season as well, Mason will attend St. Cloud State while Tucker will play for BentleyUniversity.
The Fargo Force begin a best of five series with the Chicago Steel on Friday.