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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Stale is how Don Lucia described the Gophers' top lines after Saturday night’s 6-2 win over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
The reference was about the group before Saturday’s win in the Mariucci Classic third-place game. The scoring of first line Sam Warning, Kyle Rau, Hudson Fasching, and second line Nate Condon, Justin Kloos, Taylor Cammarata, had dried up.
Change was necessary.
Shuffled lines led to a two-goal night from Rau and a goal from Kloos. Warning and Cammarata each contributed assists.
“We revamped the lines totally. We just felt, getting back into Big Ten play, some of the guys seem stale and hadn’t scored in a while,” Lucia said. “It was great to see Rau get a couple goals tonight.”
The three-point weekend from Rau could be the spark the junior captain needs for a big second half of the season. He scored the Gophers' first goal of the season, but was unable to continue the quick start. Though he’s among the Gophers scoring leaders, the coaching staff expects points from him every weekend.
Read Saturday's game story.
• The Gophers scored three goals in 2:02 spanning from the final minute of the first period into the second period.
The surge was started by Connor Reilly with 43 seconds left in the first period. Travis Boyd and Rau scored back-to-back goals in the opening 1:19 of the second period.
All four Gophers lines scored in the win.
• Gophers forward Boyd and defenseman Ben Marshall were selected to the Mariucci Classic All-Tournament team.
Boyd compiled a four-point (two goals, two assists) weekend. Marshall had a pair of assists on Saturday and helped shutdown the nation’s top scorer, RPI forward Ryan Haggerty.
Mariucci Classic All-Tournament team
Forwards: Matt Robertson, Ferris State; Darcy Murphy, Colgate; Travis Boyd, Gophers.
Defensemen: Ben Marshall, Gophers; Spiro Goulakos.
Goaltender: Charlie Finn, Colgate.
Tournament MVP: Charlie Finn, Colgate.
Gophers forward Travis Boyd:
Gophers coach Don Lucia: