Jason Gonzalez has covered an array of sports at all levels over the last six years. He learned ice hockey, however, long before — during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah (his hometown). He got a close up look of legendary Gophers alum Herb Brooks and other Minnesota hockey greats. Jason is nearing two years with the Star Tribune.

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Big Ten, Hockey East announce inaugural conference Challenge

Posted by: Jason Gonzalez Updated: September 24, 2013 - 11:36 AM

The Big Ten and Hockey East conferences will join efforts in what they’re calling the Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge.

The inaugural showcase will feature 13 games spanned over 10 days. Six will be played at Big Ten sites, six at Hockey East sites, and one at a neutral location.

The Gophers' Oct. 25 and 27 home series with Boston College will be a part of the event.

“The Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge will offer a tremendous opportunity to build a relationship between our two conferences and to promote the strong traditions of college hockey on a national level,” said Big Ten Associate Commissioner Jennifer Heppel. “The student-athletes will also benefit from the chance to take part in meaningful non-conference competition against other top programs.”

A Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge Cup will be awarded to the conference with the most points after the 13 games. A win is worth two points, a tie is worth one point, and road wins earn a bonus point. If a tiebreaker is required, results of the Penn State and Vermont game played on neutral ice will determine the winner.

Five of the 11 teams competed in last year’s NCAA tournament.

“The college hockey landscape is going through a major change this season and each conference needs to look beyond its familiar boundaries,” said Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna. “We have great respect for the hockey-playing institutions in the Big Ten and we hope to develop this concept to allow all of our programs to participate in this competition in future years.”

The showcase models college men’s basketball’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge, which is now in its 15th year of competition.

Big Ten/Hockey East Challenge Schedule
(All times EST and 7:00 p.m. unless noted)

Friday, October 18
Wisconsin at Boston College
Michigan State at Massachusetts
Michigan at New Hampshire (7:30 p.m.)

Saturday, October 19
Wisconsin at Boston University
Michigan State at Massachusetts
Michigan at New Hampshire

Friday, October 25
Boston College at Minnesota (8:00 p.m.)*
Boston University at Michigan#
UMass Lowell at Michigan State@

Saturday, October 26
Boston University at Michigan State
UMass Lowell at Michigan#
Penn State vs. Vermont %
(Philadelphia, PA - 5:00 p.m.)

Sunday, October 27
Boston College at Minnesota (2:00 p.m.)^

* Big Ten Network
# XFINITY Channel 900
@ Fox Sports Detroit
% Comcast Philadelphia and New England
^ Fox Sports North and Sports Time Ohio

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