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.

Follow Jason on Twitter @JGonStrib

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Gophers defenseman Parenteau cleared for practice, close to full return + video

Posted by: Jason Gonzalez Updated: January 15, 2014 - 5:09 PM

Gophers defenseman Jake Parenteau is close to returning to the ice.

The senior broke his right leg just over five weeks ago at Michigan State and underwent surgery to repair the bone.

After a month of rest and rehab, Parenteau began skating a two weeks ago. He was cleared for full practice this week and could return for next weekend’s North Star College Cup.

“It’s sore, but it feels good,” Parenteau said after Wednesday’s practice.

Gophers coach Don Lucia said it’s great to have the veteran back on the blue line. It had become difficult to practice with only five defensemen available at times, he said. 

The senior is scheduled for another X-ray on Monday. Barring any irregularities he will be cleared for next Friday’s game against St. Cloud State at Xcel Energy Center.

• The Gophers were digging up old outdoor hockey memories on Wednesday.

With the Hockey City Classic just a few days away, stories of outdoors dominated media day conversations. From backyard rinks to Minnesota Hockey Day, there were plenty of memories to share.

Friday’s Hockey City Classic advance will recap some of the favorites. The advance will also include a game-day guide for the special event. Be sure to pick up a printed copy of the Star Tribune and take it to TCF Bank Stadium for pregame reading.

• In case you missed it, Gophers goaltender Adam Wilcox was nominated for the Hobey Baker Award. It’s something Wilcox has always dreamed about. See more of his reaction in the below video.

Gophers goaltender Adam Wilcox:

Gophers coach Don Lucia:

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