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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The return of head coach Don Lucia included changes to the Gophers lineup.
Though defenseman Brady Skjei and forward Hudson Fasching returned with Lucia after USA Hockey’s early exit from the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships, the Gophers didn't revert back to default.
The first line now includes two freshmen with Taylor Cammarata at left wing and Fasching back at right wing. Kyle Rau remains at center.
Junior forward Sam Warning moved to the second line. Senior captain Nate Condon moves from left wing to center on the second line.
All the changes allowed the hot line of Tom Serratore, Travis Boyd and Seth Ambroz to reunite. Skjei’s return gives the Gophers six defensemen.
The changes in the top lines are likely the result of the Gophers coaching staff seeking more offense. The first line had been struggling to score over the last month.
See the complete lines below.
• Colgate completed upsets of the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams in college hockey. The Raiders defeated Ferris State 3-0 on Saturday afternoon to win the Mariucci Classic.
The impressive weekend improved Colgate to a game under .500 (8-9-3) on the season. If the tournament had been seeded, the Raiders would have been the obvious No. 4 seed entering the tournament.
Forwards (left wing, center, right wing)
Taylor Cammarata, Kyle Rau, Hudson Fasching
Sam Warning, Nate Condon, Justin Kloos
Tom Serratore, Travis Boyd, Seth Ambroz
A.J. Michaelson, Vinni Lettieri, Connor Reilly
Defensemen (left, right)
Brady Skjei, Justin Holl
Mike Reilly, Michael Brodzinski
Jake Bischoff, Ben Marshall
• Friday night's game story of the Gophers' 2-2 tie, 2-1 shootout loss.
• Kyle Rau couldn’t enjoy his big moment on Friday night. The Gophers junior captain became the 80th player in program history to score 100 points.
Read more on Rau and view postgame video.
23RD ANNUAL MARIUCCI CLASSIC PREVIEW
Friday: Ferris State 6, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 2
Colgate 2, Gophers 2 (Colgate wins shootout 2-1)
Saturday: Championship game, Colgate 3, Ferris State 0.
Third-place game, RPI vs. Gophers, 7 p.m., Big Ten Network, BTN2Go.com, 1500-AM
Gophers at a glance: The Gophers (12-2-2 overall, 3-0-1-0 Big Ten) will be tested without three players and its head coach.
Bulldog at a glance: Ferris State (14-2-3 overall, 10-0-2 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) jumped to No. 2 in the most recent college polls.
Engineers at a glance: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (8-6-4 overall, 3-3-3 Eastern College Athletic Conference) has been in and out of the rankings this season and received votes in the current poll.
Raiders at a glance: Colgate (7-9-2 overall, 5-3-1 Eastern College Athletic Conference) is in the top third of its conference with the help of consistently good third periods. In their last 10 games, they’ve outscored opponents 14-8 in the third period. They beat Ferris State and lost to RPI earlier this season.