BostonBruins.com — Last year, North Dakota knocked Western Michigan out of the NCAA hockey tournament in the regional semifinal. If the teams meet again in this year’s tournament, it would be a matchup of B’s prospect Zane Gothberg (North Dakota) and Colton Hagrove (Western Michigan).
But no matter how their collegiate careers intertwine, their futures, and pasts, are already very connected.
Gothberg and Hargrove both spent the last two years playing for the Fargo Force of the USHL. Gothberg, a 2010 draft selection, and Hargrove, selected in this past year’s draft, are both entering their freshman seasons at storied college hockey programs at the age of 20.
They’re going about their paths quite similarly, and both hope to be teammates again, in Black & Gold sweaters.
“We talked about it a lot during the camp,” Hargrove said. “Playing against each other these next however many years we’re here, and hopefully someday playing with each other again in Boston after our college career is over.
“I think were both pretty excited it, I know I am.
“I haven’t talked to Zane in a couple of weeks, but I’m sure he’s excited to get the season going, and hopefully when we’re done with college will both be playing together again.”
While it was Hargrove’s first development camp this past summer, it was Gothberg’s third.
And even though Zane said his experiences at camp helped make him "look like" a goalie, Colton said his former teammate’s improvement has come as no surprise to him.
“I think he’s just pushing himself, working even harder, going that extra mile,” Hargrove said. “The coaches are probably pushing him, the trainers, so I think he’ll do great this season, and seasons to come if he keeps working hard.
“I think he’ll do really well.”
Both players are also hoping to come in as freshman and make an immediate impact, due in large part to the fact that both are old(er) than their classmates.
“Being 20-years-old right now, coming in as a freshman, it definitely has some advantages,” Gothberg said. “Whether it be on the ice or off, just mentally just knowing what to do with my time, and like time management and priorities.
“Just kind of going from there on the ice, just knowing that I’ve played two years of junior hockey against pretty good competition.
“It helps because I can step in and maybe play a huge role on the team. Really looking forward to seeing what can happen there.”