Jason Gonzalez has covered an array of sports at all levels over the last nine 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 has been with the Star Tribune since 2012.

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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Team Irvin 19 2nd Qtr 5:45
Team Carter 13
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 106 4th Qtr 0:17
Toronto 111
Milwaukee 95 4th Qtr 0:09
San Antonio 101
Boston 49 3rd Qtr
Golden State 56
Washington 59 3rd Qtr
Denver 59
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 57 2nd Half 6:42
Maryland 50
Washington 30 2nd Half
Utah 37
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
UCLA 57
(11) Stanford 44 2nd Half 16:55
USC 34

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