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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Gophers forward Seth Ambroz scored four goals in the opening weekend of Big Ten Conference play and was named First Star of the week on Tuesday.
The junior contributed a pair of goals in each game against rival Wisconsin, including the go-ahead goal in Friday’s 4-1 victory and the game-winning goal with 26 seconds remaining in Saturday’s 4-3 win.
“It’s nice knowing you’ve had success [against a particular team], so you just want to keep doing what you’re doing. The success this weekend came with my line,” Ambroz said. “We’re just working hard causing turnovers and working to get some energy and pucks to the net. [The goals] could have easily gone to my line mates. … I was just lucky enough to get them.”
Though the Gophers have now totaled nine weekly honors, Ambroz is just the second Gophers standout to be named First Star. Forward Sam Warning was the top star the week of Oct. 22.
Ambroz’s four goals were series career highs in goals and points. He has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) through 14 games this season. Dating back to last season, he’s scored six goals in four games against Wisconsin.
Gophers coach Don Lucia said Ambroz’s line, that includes Tom Serratore and Travis Boyd, was a big reason for the Gophers’ sweep.
Michigan freshman forward JT Compher and defenseman Mac Bennett were this week’s Big Ten second and third stars.
Read Saturday's game story from the Gophers 4-3 victory over Wisconsin. (See video of Ambroz below)
Read Friday's game story from the Gophers 4-1 victory over Wisconsin.
• The Gophers extended their stay atop the polls for a seventh straight week.
The Top 6 spots in the USCHO poll were unchanged, while Wisconsin dropped five spots to No. 17 after their pair of losses to the Gophers.
Wisconsin dropped out of the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll.
Michigan remains at No. 3, to keep three Big Ten members in USCHO’s Top 20.
Minnesota-Duluth dropped to No. 20, while St. Cloud State remained at No. 2.
• Past Big Ten weekly 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
Gophers forward Seth Ambroz: