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.
Follow Jason on Twitter @JGonStrib
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The Gophers are eager to make up for their last outdoor experience.
Wisconsin spoiled the Gophers' appearance in the inaugural Hockey City Classic in Chicago’s Soldier Field, last year. The Badgers scored three goals in the second period and held on for a 3-2 victory.
Gophers goaltender Adam Wilcox can’t forget about it.
Mediocre ice conditions affected puck movement and helped contribute to Wisconsin’s surge. Wilcox said he won’t let the outdoors get the best of him this time around.
“Last year the ice had a huge effect, it was little bit warmer last year,” Wilcox said. “That’s one thing you have to focus on, is watching the ice and bounces ‘cause anything can happen.”
Wilcox’s focus will be tested against the third-best scoring team in college hockey. Ohio State is averaging 3.83 goals per game. The Gophers are No. 2 in scoring with a 3.95 goals per game average.
Buckeyes junior forward Ryan Dzingel recorded the Big Ten’s first hat trick last weekend, while the Gophers unloaded five goals against Penn State on Monday.
We’ll see if the weather has an effect on the high-scoring teams.
• A guide to outdoor hockey at TCF Bank Stadium.
• SERIES DETAILS: OHIO STATE AT GOPHERS
8:10 p.m. Friday at TCF Bank Stadium and 5 p.m. Saturday at Mariucci Arena
TV/radio/live stream: BTN on Friday and FSN on Saturday; 1500-AM and BTN2Go.com both nights.
• Gophers lines
Forwards (left wing, center, right wing)
Taylor Cammarata, Kyle Rau, Hudson Fasching
Sam Warning, Nate Condon, Justin Kloos
Tom Serratore, Travis Boyd, Seth Ambroz
Connor Reilly, Vinni Lettieri, Christian Isackson
Defensemen (left, right)
Brady Skjei, Justin Holl
Mike Reilly, Michael Brodzinski
Jake Bischoff, Ben Marshall
• Building outdoor hockey: