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 have been historically good enough in Madison

Posted by: Jason Gonzalez Updated: February 6, 2014 - 6:38 PM

The Gophers have history on their side. Over the last five years they've won at least one game on the road at Wisconsin.

The challenging environment of the Kohl Center is usually good for one loss and if the Gophers can continue this trend, coach Don Lucia will be content.

"We’ve had a pretty good history of at least winning a game when we go to the Kohl Center," Lucia said. "We know how difficult it is to win two at Wisconsin. They're 13-2-1 at home this year."

Last season, the Gophers won their first game at Wisconsin before losing two days later at Soldier Field in Chicago. Two years ago, they recovered to win Game 2. Three years ago, it was a win and a tie. Four years ago, a split. The point is, there's a trend and the Gophers know it.

This consistency will keep the No. 1-ranked team from getting caught up on the Badgers' home record. 

Wisconsin hyped the Gophers' visit as the biggest series of the season. A Thursday night college hockey game is rare in Madison, but coach Mike Eaves still expected good fan support. The Kohl Center has been filling up more after each Badger victory.

"We had 15,000 at our last home game and 14,000 the Saturday before that," Eaves said. "The people are juiced about the Big Ten. Thursday, I don’t know what we'll get. I think for Friday there are only a few tickets left."

The Kohl Center seats 15,237 for hockey games.

• Read Friday’s feature: Wisconsin a much-improved team as Big Ten play hits midway point + video.

• Seth Ambroz continues to punish rival Wisconsin + video.

• SERIES PREVIEW: NO. 1 GOPHERS at NO. 12 WISCONSIN

7:30 p.m. on Thursday and 8 p.m. on Friday at Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.

TV/radio/live stream: BTN, 1500-AM and BTN2Go.com all both nights

Gophers at a glance: The Gophers’ final leg of the season will be its toughest. Minnesota (19-2-5, 8-0-2 Big Ten) begins the 10-game stretch at Wisconsin’s Kohl Center against a much-improved Badgers team. Gophers coach Don Lucia is betting on history that his team will win at least one game in Madison. They’ll be without senior forward Tom Serratore and defenseman Michael Brodzinski for a second consecutive week, but the shuffling lines continue to produce. The Gophers are on a 14-game unbeaten streak (10-0-4).
Read full series preview.

• Gophers lines
Forwards (left wing, center, right wing)
Taylor Cammarata, Kyle Rau, Hudson Fasching
Sam Warning, Justin Kloos, Connor Reilly
Nate Condon, Travis Boyd, Seth Ambroz
Ryan Reilly, Christian Isackson, Vinni Lettieri

Defensemen (left, right)
Brady Skjei, Justin Holl
Mike Reilly, Jake Parenteau
Jake Bischoff, Ben Marshall

Goaltenders
Adam Wilcox, Michael Shibrowski

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St. Louis - LP: K. Siegrist 6 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 7
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 4 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 6
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 9
Washington - WP: T. Roark 4 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 1
Boston - LP: J. Tazawa 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Price 6
San Diego - WP: J. Hahn 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 2
Oakland - LP: J. Hammel 1 FINAL
Texas - WP: J. Williams 4
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 3 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: F. Rodriguez 2
Miami - WP: B. Hand 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 9 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: K. Correia 5
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 4 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: K. Herrera 6
Pittsburgh 1 Top 9th Inning
Colorado 8
Detroit 1 Top 5th Inning
LA Angels 0
Baltimore 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Seattle 0
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 4th Inning
San Francisco 0
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Calgary 26 FINAL
Edmonton 22
Winnipeg 9
Brt Columbia 6
Ottawa 7/26/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 7/26/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Tulsa 77 FINAL
Washington 82
Chicago 79 FINAL
Atlanta 75
San Antonio 78 FINAL
Minnesota 88

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