Mahtomedi defenseman Ben Marshall, a Gophers recruit and one of the top players in high school hockey, will not return to Mahtomedi for his senior season. He will join the Omaha Lancers of the U.S. Hockey League for one season then join the Gophers for the 2011-12 season.

"Coach Lucia said he wanted Ben to skate a year of juniors, either instead of his senior year or the year after," said Scott Marshall, Ben's father. "Ben wanted to stay with his peer group going into Minnesota."

Marshall led Mahtomedi to the past two Class 1A state tournaments. He scored 20 goals and added 39 assists as a junior last season. His younger brother, Sawyer, will be a goaltender with the Zephyrs again next season.