Christian Horn, left, finished his career as Benilde-St. Margaret's all-time leading scorer with 207 points. Photo by Helen Nelson
Christian Horn isn’t sure why, as a wobbly Mite barely taller than a traffic cone, he was playing a “game” at Mariucci Arena.
But there he was, in the cavernous – and empty – arena. Creating a memory. Carving a future.
“I scored my first ever organized hockey goal at Maricucci,” Horn, a Benilde-St. Margaret’s senior, said about the home of the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team, a venue he will become intimately familiar with starting in the fall.
Horn, who took a recruiting visit to Ohio State this spring and had received strong interest from numerous other Division I programs, committed to the Gophers on Thursday, April 19. He said he was offered a “little bit” of money and spot in the program starting next season.
All he wanted was an opportunity. Now he has it. Time to chase that dream.
“I’ll be a part of the team,” said Horn, who scored 26 goals and 44 assists last season in 31 games for the state Class 2A champion Red Knights. “This is something I wanted to do my entire life, really.”
Christian Horn, left, suffered a season-ending injury against Eagan on April 14. Photo by Helen Nelson
Horn’s college decision comes as he is recovering from a ruptured spleen. A star player for Benilde-St. Margaret’s two-time defending state champion boys’ lacrosse team, Horn suffered the injury in the second half of April 14 game against Eagan. An attackman, Horn caught a long pass in front of the Eagan goal and was turning to shoot when he was leveled by Eagan goaltender Lucas Petersen.
“I give credit to him, he rocked me,” said Horn, who was taken to the hospital immediately, where he had surgery to remove part of his spleen. “He hit me really hard. He got all of me.”
Horn, who scored 38 goals and added 24 assists in 18 games for the Red Knights in their unbeaten run to the state title last season, said his activity will be limited for four weeks. His lacrosse season is over.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s also lost top returning scorer Will Hoesley to a season-ending knee injury in the loss to Eagan.
“We’re digging through the depths of the program to find a couple of guys who we can replace them with,” Benilde-St. Margaret’s coach Colin Mulcahy said. “We had over 100 guys try out. It’s just a matter of trying to find the right ones to replace those two. Trying to fill those shoes is not a task we can take lightly.”
The all-time leading scorer in the Benilde-St. Margaret’s hockey program’s history with 207 points, Horn was a four-year standout for the Red Knights who played his best when the stakes were highest.
Red Knights coach Ken Pauly said he isn’t surprised Horn chose the University of Minnesota.
“I think the Gophers clearly sold Christian on the fact that they wanted him,” Pauly said. “Ohio State was one of the places he was sincerely interested in.
“Some colleges get frustrated with Minnesota kids because for some of them combing out of the womb they have the M tattooed on their rear end.”