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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Seth Ambroz continues to be the hero against Wisconsin.
The Gophers junior forward scored the game-winning goal in the final seconds of the last rivalry matchup and has six goals in his last four appearances against the Badgers. He’ll be looked to for another big effort this weekend in Madison, Wis.
Throughout the week, the Gophers have reminded Ambroz of his success against the rival. It’s hard to ignore it, but Ambroz is doing his best to do so.
“It’s been brought up, but I try not to think about it too much. It’s just another team, you just want to be able to play your best hockey,” he said. “Yeah I’ve had some success against Wisconsin, I hope I can continue that, but the most important thing is the team and hopefully coming out with a pair of wins. Hopefully I can contribute to that as much as possible and continue being successful against Wisconsin. … Everything is always a little bit more important when it’s a rivalry.”
Ambroz scored a pair of goals in each of the Gophers’ victories over the Badgers at Mariucci Arena in late November.
Wisconsin, however, is a much different team since the last time the rivals met. The Badgers had played just eight games and compiled a .500 record entering their first series. Since that weekend sweep, they’ve lost only three of their last 14 games.
• Adam Wilcox’s consistency earned him his second straight Big Ten weekly honor. The Gophers goaltender was named the conference’s Second Star on Tuesday.
Wilcox was the Big Ten’s Third Star, last week.
He gave up just two goals against Michigan State, capped by a shutout on Saturday night for a weekend .959 save percentage and 0.96 goals-against average.
Wilcox’s current unbeaten streak of 14 games is the longest in the nation and he leads the Big Ten with 18 wins.
The Gophers streak of Big Ten honors continues to all 13 weeks of competition. Wilcox has received three of 16 of the Gophers’ honors.
• The Gophers remain on top of the polls. Boston College grabbed a few more first-place votes, but the Gophers are still the overwhelming favorite.
St. Cloud State dropped a spot to No. 6 and Minnesota Duluth climbed back into the USCHO poll at No. 17.
This weekend’s opponent, Wisconsin, is No. 12.
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Gophers forward Seth Ambroz:
Gophers forward Nate Condon: