Dennis Borland has been an integral part of the Fort Collins hockey scene for many years. Earlier this year he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that resulted in the loss of his left leg. Dennis has a great outlook on life and is now looking towards sled hockey to continue his hockey career.
Well today with the help the Colorado Eagles and the Fort Collins Pond Hockey Association, we provided Dennis with the opportunity to meet some of the members of sled hockey community up close and personal. In addition we made Dennis this weekend’s third recipient with a surprise check at the first intermission of the Eagles/Bakersfield game in Loveland.
The night also included a very exciting sled hockey exhibition hosted by the Warrior Avs. It’s been a whirlwind weekend as we approach the end of another amazing year for Dawg Nation. A huge thank you to everyone that has made this journey so special. Oh, and the Eagles won 7-5!!!!
Dennis Borland is a “my glass is full” kind of guy and hockey is what he drinks from that glass. At the age of 30, Dennis began playing hockey as a goalie. Dennis played on multiple hockey teams and would spend hours at the rink. When he got married, wife Jenn said, “You can only pay for 1 team but play all the free hockey you can find”. After 19 years, hockey is part of the sauce that binds the family together. Dennis is a hardworking man who is a shipping manager for Fort Collins Wholesale Nursery. He is moving plants and trees all day long but is never too tired for hockey. Dennis taught his three sons, Alex (21, Collegiate Goalie) Demetri (16, Defenseman) Navarre (14, Defenseman) the love of the game, how to be a sportsman when you win and how to hold your head high when you lose. His son Alex recalls, “Dad taught us to give 100% for practice or the game, no matter the score and to always try your hardest”. Dennis loved to volunteer to put his pads on when a goalie couldn’t make practice, be the penalty box parent, take photos of the games, car pool, room share; whatever was needed to help.
Dennis has been the rock of the family letting everyone know every day, you look forward, not behind you. You can’t change what happened. His wife Jenn had brain surgery and a neck surgery gone wrong 3 years ago. The family had just begun to recover to some degree of normalcy when Dennis was t-boned by a vehicle on his way home from his standing Saturday morning hockey game. His wife Jenn was able to see him as he rolled to the operating room. They exchanged I love you and he said, “Make sure you call Bike and let him know I can’t play tomorrow”. No surprise to anyone his last thoughts were to make sure the standing Sunday team wasn’t short a net minder.
Dennis had serious injuries from the accident resulting in a below the knee amputation. As a hockey player, Dennis’ goal is to get back on the ice and play as a goalie. Dennis is always positive, will answer any question you have and more than anything honest. “Pain is constant, but I am getting through it”. He misses watching the game from the penalty box and shooting photos. Dennis is continuing to move through every hurdle like a champ. He has not been able to work since the day of the accident.
The hockey family is strong and shows their love and friendship from the families the kids play with over the years to the men and women Dennis plays with by giving a helpful hand.