Gopher hockey recruit ready to fulfill dream

Brent Borgen has always dreamed of playing hockey for the Minnesota Gophers. The sleek-skating Borgen will spend the 2003-2004 season with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, but he is already working towards becoming a Gopher in 2004-2005.

Brent Borgen won't join the Minnesota Gophers hockey team until the 2004-2005 season, but the Mahtomedi, Minn., native is already looking forward to becoming a member of the maroon and gold.

"It's been a lifelong dream of mine to play for the Gophers," said Borgen, after taking a break from shooting pucks at his home in late June. "Making the decision to come to the Gophers wasn't very tough at all. The Gophers always were the first choice. Who wouldn't want to play for their home-state team and a team that is the best in the country?"

Borgen was a finalist for Mr. Hockey Minnesota, given annually to the state's top senior hockey player, and finished his senior season as the No. 3 scorer in the state of Minnesota – scoring 71 points on 35 goals and 36 assists. He previously also played for the USA Under-17 National Team. But in order to get stronger physically, and to gain more experience at a higher level, Borgen will play for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL next season. The 5-11, 180-pound forward spent time with the Stars last season, playing 17 games with the team before and after his high school season at Mahtomedi High School in suburban St. Paul.

"It's a great way to continue to improve my game," said Borgen. "To be able to play a 60-game schedule, plus playoffs, that's an opportunity to really prepare myself for the future. The USHL is a great place to develop."

Borgen gained valuable postseason experience when the Stars went on to win the Clark Cup title last spring. The Clark Cup is the trophy that goes to the winner of the USHL playoffs. It is also the symbol of the pinnacle of junior hockey in the United States, the Tier I National Champions. Future Gophers Ryan Potulny, Danny Irmen and Ben Gordon also played for Lincoln last season. Potulny and Irmen will join the team next season, while Gordon and Borgen will join the team in 2004-2005.

"It was a lot of fun to be on a team with those guys because they are great players," said Borgen. "But more importantly those are even better guys and I can't wait to play with them at Minnesota."

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