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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Xcel Energy Center among finalists to host 2015-2018 Frozen Fours

Posted by: Jason Gonzalez Updated: October 30, 2013 - 6:10 PM

Xcel Energy Center is one of 10 finalists bidding to host a Frozen Four from 2015-2018, the NCAA announced on Wednesday. A winning site will be announced on Dec. 11.

The Gophers are listed as the bid's host institution.

Fellow Big Ten hockey members Wisconsin and Ohio State are also among host institution finalists. Wisconsin is partnering with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission for their bid at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Ohio State and the Columbus Sports Commission are partnering for a bid at Nationwide Arena.

This year’s Frozen Four will be played in Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center. After this year’s event, seven of the 10 finalists will have hosted a Frozen Four.

Complete list of hopefuls:

 TD Garden



 Hockey East Assoc./Mass. Sports Marketing Assoc.

 First Niagara Center



 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference/Canisius/Niagara

 Barclays Center



 ECAC Hockey

 Wells Fargo Center



 Penn State and Philadelphia Sports Congress

 CONSOL Energy Center



 Robert Morris

 Nationwide Arena



 Ohio State/Columbus Sports Commission

 Verizon Center



 Navy/Greater Washington Sports Alliance

 Xcel Energy Center

 St. Paul



 United Center



 Notre Dame/Chicago Sports Commission

 Tampa Bay Times Forum



 Wisconsin/Tampa Bay Sports Commission

• Xcel Energy Center will host this year’s NCAA West Regional, March 29-30. Tickets for the event go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. and are being sold as three-game ticket packages.

Tickets can be purchased online through NCAA, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, or through Xcel Energy Center’s ticket office.

If the Gophers are selected to play in this year’s tournament they will be assigned to the West Regional.

• Sam Warning is 3-for-3 in Big Ten hockey weekly honors. The Gophers junior forward was named to the conference’s Three Stars for a third consecutive week after collecting three assists over the weekend against Boston College.

Warning is tied for the national scoring lead with 12 points (five goals, seven assists) and has at least one point in each of the Gophers’ six games.

Last week Warning was the Big Ten's First Star, and two weeks ago he was the Second Star.

It’s the first week players from three different schools were honored as the Three Stars. Ohio State forward Nick Oddo was the First Star. Michigan freshman Zach Nagelvoort was the Third Star.


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