It appears any chances the Fargo Force had at making a run at first place in the Western Conference took a serious blow on Saturday.
The Force lost 3-0 to Sioux City widening the gap between the league’s top four teams. Conference-leading Omaha sits atop by one point over Lincoln with Waterloo in third at 68 points. The Force are still in third with 65 points.
With four games left in the season, it would take some serious help for the Force to gain one of the top two seeds to get a first-round bye.
Here’s a look at how their attempt at a first-round bid took a blow:
-Tim O’Brien, forward (Dartmouth): O’Brien had his team’s last two goals putting them a win closer towards nailing down the last two playoff spots out West. His last goal was an empty-netter. Sioux City is trying to make a run at the postseason thought it appears it could be easier than they thought. Des Moines was swept again this weekend meaning they went 1-9 in March and all nine losses were consecutive defeats.
-Matt Skoff, goaltender (Penn State): Skoff picked up his sixth shutout of the season and is one behind the Force’s Zane Gothberg (North Dakota) for the league lead. Skoff’s shutout was his first without goaltending coach John Grahame, who signed a contract to spend the rest of the season with the New York Islanders. Skoff is 3-3 against the Force with two of his victories being a shutout. Not a good stat for the Force considering this could be a first-round playoff series.
-Colton Hargrove, forward (Western Michigan): Might have had the one of the worse nights on the ice with his minus-2 rating. Don’t fret because he wasn’t a lone.
-Austin Farley, forward (Minnesota-Duluth): Farley was also a minus-2 a day after he was a plus-3 in the team’s 8-0 laugher over Sioux Falls. Bad games are bound to happen with anyone. Keep in mind that Farley hasn’t been steady since returning from a foot injury in early March. He has seven points in 10 games, which is a good sign if you are the Force and the playoffs are near. Their hope is Farley gets back to making others have -3 nights instead of the other way around.