Seems like the best way to make up for a shootout loss is to just put a game away early.
The Fargo Force did that Saturday scoring seven unanswered goals in a 7-1 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks. Beating Waterloo did a couple things for the old Black and Blue in the grand scheme of things.
It puts the Force within one point of third place and it marked the return of Austin Farley (Minnesota-Duluth), who scored two points following a foot injury.
Here’s a look at the major players who made the Force’s victory happen.
-Austin Farley, forward (Minnesota-Duluth): Farley returned for the first time since late January scoring a goal and an assist in the win. He picked up a goal in the second and an assist in the third. Farley coming back to the lineup is easily an added bonus considering he practically carried this team at various stages in the season. Farley now has 50 points this season and is tied for seventh in the league in points. That’s saying a lot considering he was out for a month and never fell out of the Top 10. The Force have 13 games left and Farley would need 17 points to break the single-season points record. Farley’s pursuit of history plus the whole trying to move up in the standings thing will make for good television down the stretch.
-Bryn Chyzyk, forward (North Dakota): Chyzyk added a goal and an assist marking the return of his linemate, Farley. Chyzyk now has three points in his last two games and is second on the team with 42 points. His 24 goals are second on the team and just needs two more tallies to move past Farley for the team lead. Chyzyk now has 42 points (28 goals, 14 assists) in 45 games this season There’s a realistic chance he could score more than 50 points in what will be his first and only USHL season.
-Jordan Nelson, forward: Nelson has really started to find his stride over the last few weeks. He’s adding offense to go with the other things he was doing on the Force’s third line this season. Nelson scored a goal and two assists for what was statistically the best game he’s played in the USHL. Nelson now has five points in his last three games and is appearing to be another gun the Force could have down the stretch.
-Jonny Brodzinski, forward (St. Cloud State): Maybe his beloved Blaine (MN-HS) could have used his services this weekend. Either way, Brodzinski is another player really starting to come around. He’s shown all year the skillset which made him so highly coveted this time last year. He’s just had problems scoring and it doesn’t appear to be the case lately. He had a goal and an assist to score four points in his last four games. Brodzinski also had the lone shootout goal in Friday’s loss.
-Taylor Richart, defenseman: Blaine could have used him too. Richart was pointless on Saturday but it doesn’t take away from how he was a plus-5 on Saturday. It was such a solid performance to put him at plus-4 for the season. Throw in his 15 points in 47 games and it appears Richart isn’t having a bad season at all. In fact, it has been pretty solid.
-Zane Gothberg, goaltender (North Dakota): Can someone buy this man a damn shutout already? Gothberg had another start where he gave up one goal still leaving him tied for the franchise mark for shutouts in a season. Gothberg made 25 saves in the win and on the weekend made 60 saves against one of the more powerful offenses in the league.