Gophers recruits help U.S. defeat Sweden

It's August, so naturally we're talking hockey. Gopher puck fever heated up as two U of M recruits helped the U.S. beat Sweden in an exhibition game at Lake Placid, N.Y. Meanwhile, the Gopher football team will give fans a sneak preview of the 2003 season this Sunday.

Gophers hockey recruits Ryan Potulny and Danny Irmen played key roles as the United States defeated Sweden 7-3 in an exhibition game Tuesday at USA Hockey's National Team Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, New York.

Potulny, Irmen and David Backes – all formerly of the Lincoln Stars of the USHL – combined for four points in the win. Potulny is the brother of Gophers star Grant Potulny and was the 2003 USHL Player of the Year. Potulny was drafted in the third round (87th overall) by the Philadelphia Flyers in the June NHL Draft. Irmen was a third-round pick by the Minnesota Wild (78th overall). Potulny had a goal and an assist in the win, while Irmen had an assist.

The contest was the first of eight designed to help USA Hockey officials determine which players will represent the red, white and blue at the World Junior Championships in December.

FAN FESTIVAL AROUND THE CORNER: Gopher fans looking for a sneak preview of the 2003 football season get a chance to see their squad on Sunday when Glen Mason's team opens its doors for Golden Gopher Fan Fest.

Practice will be open to the public on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Gibson-Nagurski complex. Refreshments will be provided, numerous souvenirs will be handed out, and players will be available for autographs after practice.

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