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.
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GAME PREVIEW: NO. 1 GOPHERS (11-2-1, 2-0-0) at MICHIGAN STATE (5-7-0, 0-0-0)
6 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday at Munn Arena in East Lansing, Mich.
TV/radio/live stream: FSN Plus on Friday and FSN on Saturday; 1500-AM on Friday and 107.1-FM on Saturday; BTN2Go.com both nights
Gophers at a glance: The Gophers will take part in another Big Ten Conference opener this weekend and make just their third road trip of the season. Depth will be tested with forwards Tom Serratore and Vinni Lettieri sidelined with injuries, however, Taylor Cammarata returns after missing last weekend's series with Wisconsin. It’ll be a good chance for Don Lucia and his team to work out any extra kinks before taking nearly a month off for Christmas break. The veteran line of Travis Boyd, Seth Ambroz and Serratore set the tone for conference play in the opening weekend, but with Serratore injured, this weekend might be one for the young guns to shine.
Spartans at a glance: Michigan State ended its four-game losing streak with a sweep of Princeton last weekend. The Spartans hope they can carry this momentum into their Big Ten Conference opener against the No. 1 Gophers. Expect to see the Spartans shuffle lines throughout the series. After they scored just three goals during their four-game losing streak, they made changes to all four lines of forwards, last weekend. The adjustments led to 12 goals and a pair of wins. Scoring that often against the Gophers will be a challenge, although the Spartans have been much more effective on their home ice. More here
Friday’s hockey feature + VIDEO: Gophers forward Ambroz breaking out on, off ice.
Reminder: Unfortunately, I did not make the trip to East Lansing. Mike Eidelbes will cover the game for us. Follow him on Twitter for in-game updates and his game story.
Gophers lines for Game 1 vs. Michigan State
Forwards (left wing, center, right wing)
Sam Warning, Kyle Rau, Hudson Fasching
Nate Condon, Justin Kloos, Taylor Cammarata
Connor Reilly, Travis Boyd, Seth Ambroz
A.J. Michaelson, Gabe Guertler, Christian Isackson
Defensemen (left, right)
Brady Skjei, Justin Holl
Jake Bischoff, Mike Reilly
Michael Brodzinski, Jake Parenteau