Even from the first sentence of the post-game interview, Fargo Force coach John Marks was honest in his assessment.
He said his team’s 3-1 loss to the Lincoln Stars was the result of many things. Marks started off by saying his team had a lack of urgency and it showed in the third period with the Stars outshooting the Force 13-4.
“I’ve seen us play better and I am not taking anything away from Lincoln,” Marks said. “But we are not playing as well as I’ve seen us play.”
The performance put the Force in a 2-1 series hole meaning if the Stars win Game 4 on Friday, the season is over and the Force will have been knocked out of the second round for a consecutive campaign.
Marks, during his post-game interview, talked about “a few players I was down on” referring to the team’s top line of Bryn Chyzyk (North Dakota), Austin Farley (Minnesota-Duluth) and Colton Hargrove (Western Michigan).
Coming into Wednesday’s game, the three combined to be the Force’s least productive line with two points through four playoff games with Chyzyk and Farley having the two points. Hargrove, specifically, had been struggling more than anyone as he hadn’t scored a point in his last eight games going back to the regular season.
For Hargrove, who didn’t get a point last night, it now extends his drought to nine games. It is the third time this season where he’s had a point drought of at least seven games. Hargrove finished the game as a minus-2 and had four shots on goal.
Chyzyk recorded a second straight game with a minus-2 rating making him minus-2 for the playoffs as he’s gone pointless in his last four games. It’s the third time Chyzyk has gone without a point in four games this season. Four games without a point is Chyzyk’s longest streak.
Farley, who led the team in scoring in the regular season, was also pointless going a minus-1 and is a minus-4 over the last two games. He does also not have a point in his last three games. It’s the third time this season Farley has had a streak of at least three games without a point. His longest streak of the year was six games.
To their credit, the three did spend time in Lincoln’s zone and had a few moments where it appeared as if they were going to create a scoring chance. The three combined to take nine or 39 percent of the Force’s shots.
So what did Marks have to say about the line’s performance?
“I thought they played harder,” Marks said. “But I don’t think they accomplished anything.”