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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It was all about brotherly love in the Gophers 4-1 win over Minnesota State on Friday night at Mariucci Arena. Mike Reilly and Connor Reilly are the first set of Gophers hockey brothers to score in the same game since the 2004. Better, yet, Mike Reilly assisted Connor’s goal.
The last brothers to score goals in the same game were Grant Potulny (current Gophers assistant coach) and Ryan Potulny.
It took the special connection to break what Connor Reilly said was a 20-month goal-less streak. He missed all last season with an injury and doesn’t count his open-net goal against Bemidji State earlier this season.
“It made it pretty special,” Connor Reilly said about connecting with his younger brother. “I think Mikey had a great shot on his and I was lucky enough to get some open space and put it through to the back of the net.”
The pair is familiar with assisting one another and scoring goals in the same game. They played together in the BCHL, but Connor said that didn’t compare to doing it at “this level” at Mariucci Arena and in front of their parents.
Mike Reilly said it’s a moment they’ll cherish the rest of their lives, especially after Connor had to watch all of last season from the stands.
“It kind of reminds me of the old days and the chemistry we have on the ice,” Mike Reilly said. “A lot of the time [last year] he was hard on me just because he was frustrated he couldn’t be out there. Now he’s here and it’s pretty special and we’re cherishing every minute of it.”
(See more from the Reilly brothers in the below postgame interview)
Full game story from 4-1 win over Minnesota State.
I’ll be covering the women’s and men’s games tomorrow, so be on the lookout for plenty of hockey news.
Gophers redshirt freshman forward Connor Reilly:
Gophers sophomore defenseman Mike Reilly: