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.
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National Collegiate Hockey Conference commissioner Josh Fenton introduced his eight-team conference Thursday at Target Center by stating it's a new era of college hockey.
He referenced the Big Ten as a good friend and called out its media day efforts across town at Xcel Energy Center. Then it was all about the NCHC and its march to Minneapolis.
The conference is made up of St. Cloud State, Minnesota Duluth, Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami (Ohio), Nebraska-Omaha, Western Michigan and North Dakota.
Miami was voted preason No. 1, North Dakota, No. 2.
Fenton called the conference the best in college hockey and said 18 of its game would be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Other annoucements included naming the Coach of the Year award after Herb Brooks. The regular season champion will be awarded with the Julie and Spencer Penrose Memorial Cup. And fans will get a chance to name the conference tournament through an online vote.
NCHC championship cup:
Video of Gophers co-captains from Big Ten media day
Gophers hockey forward Nate Condon:
Gophers forward Kyle Rau is only Big Ten hockey unanimous player to watch: