Today’s print story about Fargo Force forward Colton Hargrove (Western Michigan) took a look at his recent drought.
Hargrove has gone eight games (four regular season; four playoff) without picking up a single point. It’s something he’s noticed but it is also something others such as Force coach John Marks have noticed.
Hargrove, a second-year forward, is in his third stretch this season where he’s gone pointless for seven or more games.
“It’s kind of been all year,” Marks said about Hargrove’s struggles. “You play hard, have success and because of the success, you stop doing what gave you success. You wonder why you are not being successful and bottom line is you brought your game down. Then coaches get on players. Some respond, they do good and then they drop off again. Like almost needing one of those things you need on a dog for an invisible fence to keep prodding them. I know it sounds harsh, but we need him to provide.”
Marks was critical, yet honest about Hargrove’s performance. But he did more than just talk about Hargrove. Hargrove’s entire line, which features Austin Farley (Minnesota-Duluth) and Bryn Chyzyk (North Dakota), has underperformed in the playoffs.
The BBC Line (Bryn-Bug (Farley’s nickname)-Colton) has scored two points which is a change from the 146 they scored in the regular season. Just to give some more perspective, defenseman and playoff savant Neal Goff has two points by himself.
Farley said this led Marks to give some perspective by telling the trio if they play like this in college next year, they wouldn’t be playing at all. When asked if hearing that scared him Farley said, “Yes, it was huge.”
“We all looked at each other and said we want to change and we want to do it now,” Farley said. “We’re going up against the best player in the league (Kevin Roy) and this would be a good time to turn it around.”
Farley and Hargrove explained why the group has suffered such as massive turnaround compared to beginning of the year.
Farley, before suffering a foot injury, was on pace to score 88 points but still finished with 59 points. Hargrove was serving his dual role of a physical, point-producing forward who could be an enforcer why Chyzyk served as a blend of both while adding a two-way ability to make the line complete.
He said what changed was the line feels that it cannot take the risks like it used to.
“They (Lincoln) knows we are the top line and they are going to have their best forwards and defensemen on us. I feel like we cannot take many chances,” Farley said. “Its different when you are going up against a kid like Kevin Roy’s line. We turned the puck over on Saturday and Kevin Roy goes down for a 2-on-1 and you know he’s going to score, that’s been our big problem. We’ve been turning the puck over trying to make that extra play.”