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NHL Cup Watch: Will Borgen scores in historic win for Seattle, two former Gophers pick up points in wins

Former Moorhead and St. Cloud State defenseman helps Kraken to franchise's first overtime playoff victory. Erik Haula and Justin Holl pick up points on Monday

Apr 24, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Kraken defenseman Will Borgen (3), forward Brandon Tanev (13) and forward Ryan Donato (center) celebrate a goal during the first period against the Colorado Avalanche in game four of the first round of the 2023 Stanely Cup Playoffs at Climate Pledge Arena.
Seattle Kraken defenseman Will Borgen (3), forward Brandon Tanev (13) and forward Ryan Donato (center) celebrate a goal during the first period against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of the first round of the 2023 Stanely Cup Playoffs on April 24, 2023, at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.
Stephen Brashear / USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Note: With several Big Ten, NCHC and CCHA players, among others, on NHL playoff rosters, The Rink Live will be bringing fans periodic notebooks that include these former collegians as we progress toward a Stanley Cup champion.

Former St. Cloud State and Moorhead High School defenseman Will Borgen helped the Seattle Kraken to some firsts on Monday, April 24.

The Kraken got a goal from Jordan Eberle at 3:00 of overtime to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in Seattle. The win evens the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

It was the first home playoff win and first overtime playoff win for the Kraken franchise.

Borgen scored the first goal of the game at 3:56 of the first period. He one-timed a pass from defenseman Adam Larsson past Colorado goalie Alexander Georgiev for his first NHL playoff goal.


"Everybody had a hand in it," Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said to the media after the game. "Everybody contributed. It took a few extra minutes tonight getting into overtime, but through the ebbs and flows of the game, there's always some momentum, there's always some pushes either way. But our group was pretty comfortable in their own skin tonight."

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Borgen also had three blocked shots, two shots on goal, one hit and was a plus-1 in 17 minutes, 45 seconds of ice time. In the four games of the series, Borgen is averaging 27 shifts and 16:30 per game and has four shots on goal, four penalty minutes and is a plus-1.

Borgen, 26, played for the Huskies from 2015-18 and was the NCHC Defensive Defenseman of the Year in 2017-18. During the regular season, Borgen played in all 82 regular season games for Seattle and had 20 points, 47 penalty minutes and was a plus-11. All of those numbers are the best in Borgen's pro career.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Seattle Kraken
The Colorado Avalanche celebrate after left wing J.T. Compher (37) scored a goal against the Seattle Kraken during the first period in Game 3 of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 22, 2023, at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle.
Steven Bisig / USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Former Michigan left wing J.T. Compher also had a key play in the game. Compher had the primary assist on Mikko Rantanen's goal at 19:10 of the second period that tied the game at 2-2 for the Colorado Avalanche. He led all Colorado forwards in ice time (23:59), had three blocked shots and two shots on goal. Compher had a goal in Saturday's 6-4 win for the Avalanche.

Compher, 28, played for the Wolverines from 2013-16 and was a top 10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award his last season in college. In 2015-16, he was Michigan's captain, led the nation in assists (47) and was second in points (63).

Compher is in his seventh season with the Avalanche and had career-bests of 17 goals and 52 points in 82 regular season games.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers
New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save in front of New Jersey Devils left wing Erik Haula (56) and center Jack Hughes (86) during the second period in Game 4 of the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 24, 2023, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Former Gophers pick up points

Two former University of Minnesota players also picked up points on Monday.


Justin Holl, who played defense for the Gophers from 2010-14, had an assist on Toronto's first goal in a 5-4 overtime win over the Tampa Bay. It was the first point of this postseason for Holl, a 31-year-old from Tonka Bay, Minn. Holl is averaging 29 shifts and 20:00 per game in the series. He had 18 points and was a plus-15 in 80 regular season games for the Maple Leafs. This is his sixth season with Toronto. The Maple Leafs lead the series, 3-1.

Erik Haula, who played forward for the Gophers from 2010-13, had an assist on New Jersey's third goal in a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers. Haula, 32, played 19:00, had two shots and was a plus-2 in the game. In the series, Haula had a power-play goal in Game 2 and is averaging 26 shifts and 18:15 per game. During the regular season, Haula had 14 goals, 47 points and was a plus-13 in a career-best 80 games for the Devils. This is his 11th season in the NHL and his sixth team in the last six seasons. The series is tied, 2-2.

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
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