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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Wilcox's career-best weekend earns Big Ten honors

Posted by: Jason Gonzalez Updated: January 28, 2014 - 2:59 PM

Adam Wilcox’s career-best weekend continues to attract attention.

The Gophers sophomore goaltender was named the Big Ten Conference’s Third Star on Tuesday after collecting 76 saves in the inaugural North Star College Cup.

The standout performance fueled the Gophers’ tournament title run and earned Wilcox the tournament Most Valuable Player award.

“He really kind of bailed us out on a kind of poor weekend,” Gophers forward Seth Ambroz said. “We’re fortunate … to have a great goaltender.”

The Gophers were outshot each night, but Wilcox said the regular pressure helped him find a rhythm and keep him into the game.

On Friday night, Wilcox recorded a career-best 38 saves in a 4-1 victory over No. 5-ranked St. Cloud State. On Saturday night, he matched the career-best 38 saves in a 2-0 shootout victory over Minnesota Duluth that officially ended in a 4-4.

Wilcox had been bested in the Gophers’ three previous shootouts this season. He stopped both of the Bulldogs’ attempts on Saturday night. He leads all Big Ten goaltenders and is tied for second nationally with 17 wins. He currently holds the longest active unbeaten streak at 12.

It’s Wilcox’s second Big Ten honor and the Gophers’ 15th overall. The Gophers have been recognized in all 12 weeks of competition.

Michigan's freshman forward JT Compher was the Big Ten's First Star, and Ohio state's freshman goaltender Christian Frey was the Second Star.

• The Gophers lost a handful of unanimous votes, but remain No. 1 in the polls.

Boston College held off Penn State in their lone weekend contest to attract six first-place USCHO poll votes.

The Gophers (18-2-4) and Boston College (18-4-3) both have 18 wins, however, the Gophers have two fewer losses.

St. Cloud State remained at No. 5 after their loss to the Gophers and win over Minnesota State. Minnesota Duluth climbed in voting and sits two spots outside the USCHO Top 20.

• Gophers women's hockey continue run atop the polls.

• Brawls continue to break out across college hockey. RPI and Union ended their game shoving and throwing punches instead of shaking hands.

The Engineers ended a 10-game losing streak to the Dutchmen with a 2-1 victory and celebrated by rushing the ice for a fight.

The two teams, and even coaches, went at each other for several minutes. It’ll cost both teams two players for Friday’s upcoming games.

Minnesota State was involved in its own fight against Ferris State, two weeks ago. Teddy Blueger and Zach Stepan were suspended for last Friday’s opening game of the North Star College Cup.

Gophers postgame video from North Star College Cup championship:
To view video on mobile device, click "View on full website" at bottom of page.

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