Jason Gonzalez has covered an array of sports at all levels over the last six 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 is nearing two years with the Star Tribune.
Follow Jason on Twitter @JGonStrib
Email to talk Gophers.
It had everything one would expect from a rivalry game: good hits, an overload of penalties, goaltenders getting physical, and coaches jawing at one another.
Both teams were even embarrassed by the other. Minnesota-Duluth responded with a 6-2 victory on Sunday after being beat up on Friday, 6-1.
Gophers coach Don Lucia said he didn’t think it was a dirty or chippy weekend at Mariucci Arena. Bulldogs coach Scott Sandelin thought it was an emotional series.
“It’s an emotional game, it’s a rivalry. We’re not their biggest [rival], but it’s still in-state. We’re a small school, they’re a big school,” Sandelin said. “That’s why it’s fun to play them. I’m really pleased with our guys to bounce back and get a big win.”
Gophers forward Travis Boyd was surprised with the lopsided wins. He’s used to tight games with the rival. Last season, the Gophers won 5-3 and then tied the Bulldogs, 2-2.
The Gophers could meet UMD once more this season in the inaugural North Star College Cup. If they face off again, it would be in the championship game.
Read Sunday's game story (will be updated with quotes).
• Minnesota-Duluth forward Justin Crandall said the schedule change might have been good for the Bulldogs. They were able to sleep in their own beds Friday and Saturday night. And Saturday was a good opportunity to regroup and figure out what went wrong in the series opener.
Crandall also pointed out that the two-plus hour bus drive back to Minneapolis on Sunday morning didn’t negatively affect the team. Most the team was used to similar trips while playing juniors hockey.
• Freshmen defenseman Jake Bischoff and Michael Brodzinski were in the lineup again Sunday night. They’ve appeared to gain Lucia’s and associate coach Mike Guentzel’s favor. Although Sunday night’s beating might lead to more changes in the Gophers defense.
• Despite the bad night, Lucia said he was pleased with the non-conference effort (9-2-1) the Gophers put together. Sunday’s loss might cost them the No. 1 ranking, though. No. 2 St. Cloud State tied Colorado College on Friday and won Saturday.
• Check out post-game video below to hear more from Lucia and forward Travis Boyd. To view the video on mobile devices, clicking the “View on full website” link at the bottom of the page.
Gophers forward Travis Boyd:
Gophers coach Don Lucia: