Garrett Sandberg is only 20, but must be one of those “pro” airplane passengers.
After all, the defenseman from St. Michael, Minn., has plenty of mileage under his wings now, having played USPHL hockey for the Jersey Hitmen and the Tampa Bay Juniors the last two seasons.
This year, with 30 points in 43 games, Sandberg was able to be one of the most productive USPHL Premier defensemen. That caught the attention of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.
So, after all those miles of going to New Jersey and Florida, it’s time to return home to continue his hockey career.
"I chose Concordia because I had a really good relationship with Coach [Chris] Howe and I felt my playing style fit in perfectly with how Coach Howe expects his players to play the game," Sandberg told USPHL.com. "Also, the campus is very nice and is located in an awesome hockey community.
“I also love how Coach Howe supports all his players and wants everyone to succeed in hockey, school and in life,” Sandberg added. “His quote is 'Leaders of leaders and champions in life' and going up to Concordia I know I’m going to have a great coach that will support everyone in all aspects of their life."
He had quite the Minnesota connection in Tampa, as his coach Garrett Strot is a Minnesota native, played at Bethel University in St. Paul and coached Osseo (Minn.) High from 1990 through 2008.
"I couldn’t have asked for a better experience going and playing in Tampa Bay for Coach Strot," Sandberg said. "Going there from Minnesota was awesome because who doesn’t want to go to the rink in shorts and flip-flops and not having to deal with the cold? Being in that program is one of the best places to develop as a hockey player from all the facilities to the dedication of all the coaches to all the unique teachings the coaches implement in our games.”
“We had all the tools we needed to succeed and be a better hockey player, and it gets you ready for the next level of hockey, regardless of what level it’s at,” Sandberg added. “Any player who plays there will leave Tampa a way better hockey player than from where they started."
The USPHL congratulates Garrett Sandberg, his family, the Tampa Bay Juniors and Concordia College on his commitment.
Photo by Devin Jensen