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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It’s hard to ignore trends, even when the Gophers hold an all-time 33-10-6 record against in-state rival Minnesota State. The new trend is the Mavericks have kept up with their rival to the north over the past four years.
The Mavericks won five of the last 10 meetings with the Gophers. They split last year’s four matchups, winning one at Mariucci Arena.
Gophers coach Don Lucia is well aware of the success Minnesota State has against his club over the last several years.
“They’ve been very successful out here at Mariucci the last number of years. All of games seem to be one-goal games or overtime games,” Lucia said. “They had a great finish in the WCHA, last year. Veteran team. They’re old. And we’re going to have our hands full.”
Minnesota State is coming off a 1-0 overtime win against Bowling Green. The Gophers defeated No. 4 Notre Dame 5-4, last Saturday. Both teams split the weekend series.
Tonight’s 7:10 p.m. game is on FSN Plus, live-streamed online by BTN2Go.com, and can be heard on 1500-AM.
Minnesota State at No. 1 Gophers: full series preview.
Friday’s hockey feature: Gophers freshman class living up to the hype and much more. Interviews with the freshmen, below.
Forwards (left wing, center, right wing)
Sam Warning, Kyle Rau, Hudson Fasching
Nate Condon, Justin Kloos, Taylor Cammarata
Connor Reilly, Travis Boyd, Vinni Lettieri
Tom Serratore, Gabe Guertler, Seth Ambroz
Defensemen (left, right)
Mike Reilly, Jake Parenteau
Brady Skjei, Jake Bischoff
Ben Marshall, Michael Brodzinski
(Note: Justin Holl is healthy, coaches decision to sit out)
Locals in the opposing lineup (Minnesota State):
Max Gaede, junior forward, Woodbury, Minn.
Brett Stern, junior defenseman, Lino Lakes, Minn.
Zach Palmquist, junior defenseman, South St. Paul, Minn.
Loss in the hockey family:
John Matchefts, who helped Eveleth to a pair of high school hockey titles and Michigan to three consecutive NCAA championships, died Sunday at age 82 in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Matchefts was named to the state hockey all-tournament team three times, and Eveleth won championships in 1948 and 1949. He had 14 goals and 12 assists in nine tournament games. Two years ago, he was named the 10th greatest player in state history by mnhockeyhub.
A member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, Matchefts had 57 goals during his college career at Michigan. The Wolverines won NCAA titles in each of his three seasons, and was a two-time All-America. He played for the U.S. in the 1955 world championships and 1956 Olympics, winning a silver medal.
He coached high school teams in Thief River Falls and Eveleth before moving to Colorado Springs to coach Colorado College (1966-71) and the Air Force Academy (1972-86).
Gophers freshman forward Taylor Cammarata:
Gophers freshman forward Justin Kloos: