Catching Fire

Candice Ward/Photo

Welcome to the Carson Focht show.

There’s no question that the forward has been on a tear as of late with a four-goal performance and two hat-tricks all in the span of five games.

Those are numbers that you would see in videos games and rare to see in real life.

So what’s been the secret to his hot streak?

“I’ve been given a lot of opportunity and that’s a big part of the success,” Focht said. “I’ve developed great chemistry with Kastelic and Elder who are so skilled and make life easier.

“I’ve been sticking to what I’ve been trying to do all season and I never gave up when things weren’t going my way. I leave it all out there every night and do whatever it takes to help the team.”

With a career-high 64 points (26G, 38A) in 66 games played, he has been the prime example of taking advantage when opportunity knocks at the door. He first started the season centering the third line, but when Jake Kryski and then Cael Zimmerman went down with injuries, it was next man up to fill in on the top line.

And, he has filled in quite nicely.

“I had to have the confidence in myself to know that I can play with the best in this league and just know that the hard work and commitment has brought me here,” he said. “It’s been a real  honour to play here in Calgary and given the chance to take on a larger role.

“I’m very grateful for everything the organization has done for me.”

Even during games that he may not racking up points in bunches, the Regina, SK native learned early on in his WHL career that isn’t the only way to make an impact in this league.

Sure scoring goals is fun, but there’s more to that in finding success to win as a group.

“When I first came into the league, I didn’t know what to expect and I learned how to earn the coaches trust and just be a good teammate overall,” Focht said. “There are other areas you can contribute in and that’s something I’ve kept in mind on the nights the puck isn’t going in for me.”

There’s no question that he has taken a massive step forward from last season and when head coach Steve Hamilton was hired in the off-season, it was a fresh start not just for him, but everyone.

“Hammie has been awesome for us all year and really challenged us as a group to take that next step and is a real player’s coach,” he said. “His door is always open to talk about anything and he brought us together when the chips were down.

“He wants the best for us and he’s a big reason why we turned things around.”

And what a turnaround it has been, from 0-5-1, to five wins in the first 19 games, to now playoff bound with a date against either Edmonton or Lethbridge looming. It’s an exciting time for everyone in the dressing room to experience first-hand what post-season hockey is all about.

“It’s the best time of year and we’re all hungry after missing out last year,” Focht said. “We’re hyped up to have a good run and really just enjoy it at the end of the day.

“Not everyone gets the chance to be here and all our dedication and no quit attitude has earned us our spot.”

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