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Chris Murphy, Published November 15 2012

Force trio scores at torrid pace

FARGO – The hometown of Fargo Force forwards Brendan Harms and Dominic Toninato is separated by more than 350 miles and both are more than 1,800 miles from the hometown of forward Gabe Guertler.

Whether it is Steinbach, Man.; Duluth, Minn.; or Plantation, Fla., the Force forwards find themselves together in Fargo and among the leaders of the United States Hockey League.

Harms is currently tied with Dubuque’s Mike Szmatula for first in the USHL with 23 points, while Toninato is in third with 19 and Guertler is tied for fourth with 17 points. Harms leads the league with 18 assists with Toninato in second with 13, while Guertler is tied for first with 12 goals.

“Being with my two linemates (Toninato and Jordan Nelson) since the start of the year has helped to gain some chemistry,” said Harms, a Bemidji State University commit. “I’ve been getting a lot of chances and we’ve been working together. The bounces have been going our way.”

Each forward may come from a different place, but the only place they care about or want to be is first place in the team standings. That isn’t the case, despite having three players in the top five in points, Fargo finds itself 7-6-2 and fourth in the Western conference, six points behind Lincoln and Waterloo.

The Force bring back-to-back wins into its two home games versus Omaha tonight and Saturday at Scheels Arena.

“It’s a little frustrating losing games, especially some of the losses we’ve had,” said Toninato, a University of Minnesota-Duluth commit and 2012 fifth-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs. “I think we’re hitting our stride now. We’ve won two in a row and hopefully we can carry that into this weekend.”

Even though, in this day and age, the numbers are everywhere, stats are the last thing talked about in the Force locker room, especially with the team focused on gelling players from all over the globe.

“After the weekend, I’ll check to see how I’m doing, but I don’t think anyone is too worried about those numbers,” said Guertler, a University of Minnesota commit. “No one really talks about that stuff that much..”

For the forwards of Fargo, there’s a bigger point than the points and that’s to win hockey games.

“It’s not always about the points,” Harms said. “The more you think about those things, the more you think about getting stats every game and you get away from the game you’re trying to play.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548