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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Michael Brodzinski becomes the sixth Gophers standout honored by the Big Ten. The conference recognized the freshman defenseman as its Third Star on Tuesday.
The Gophers have been represented in the weekly awards after each of their six weeks of competition for a total of eight mentions.
Brodzinski becomes the first Gophers defenseman to be honored. He scored three points, including two power-play goals in a weekend split with Minnesota-Duluth. His four goals in eight appearances this season rank second among Big Ten defenseman. He also has three assists.
Three Gophers freshmen have earned the weekly spotlight. Forwards Justin Kloos and Hudson Fasching have also been honored.
Past honors (Gophers in bold):
Oct. 15: First Star: Andrew Copp, So., F, MICH; Second Star: Sam Warning, Jr., F, MINN;
Third Star: Kyle Rau, Jr., F, MINN
Oct. 22: First Star: Sam Warning, Jr., F, MINN; Second Star: Tyler Motte, Fr., F, MICH;
Third Star: Justin Kloos, Fr., F, MINN
Oct. 29:First Star: Nick Oddo, Jr., F, OSU; Second Star: Sam Warning, Jr., F, MINN;
Third Star: Zach Nagelvoort, Fr., G, MICH
Nov. 5: First Star: Tyler Barnes, Sr., F, WIS; Second Star: Zach Nagelvoort, Fr., G, MICH;
Third Star: Joe Faust, Sr., D, WIS (Gophers bye week)
Nov. 12: First Star: Tanner Fritz, Jr., F, OSU; Second Star: Max McCormick, Jr., F, OSU;
Third Star: Hudson Fasching, Fr., F, MINN
Nov. 19: First Star: Joel Rumpel, Jr., G, WIS; Second Star: Michael Shibrowski, Sr., G, MINN;
Third Star: Logan Davis, Fr., G, OSU
Nov. 26: First Star: Zach Nagelvoort, Fr., G, MICH; Second Star: Tyler Motte, Fr., F, MICH;
Third Star: Michael Brodzinski, Fr., D, MINN
• The Gophers survived atop the polls for a sixth straight week. St. Cloud State received more first-place votes, but the point totals kept the Gophers at No. 1 and the Huskies at No. 2.
The Gophers (9-2-1) had 22 first-place votes and earned 963 points in the USCHO poll, while St. Cloud State (9-1-2) had 27 first-place votes and 962 points.
USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine’s poll gave the Gophers more breathing room.
Minnesota-Duluth (6-5-1) climbed just one spot to No. 18 after the split with the Gophers.
Three Big Ten members are in the Top 12 heading into the first week of conference play. Michigan (8-2-1) is No. 3 and Wisconsin (4-3-1) No. 12.