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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Big Ten honors pair of Gophers, suspends two Michigan players + video

Posted by: Jason Gonzalez Updated: February 18, 2014 - 12:21 PM

RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER/Star Tribune

A fight broke out between Michigan's Phil Di Guiseppe (7), Michael Downing (5) and Gophers Hudson Fasching (24) and Kyle Rau (7) during the third period on Friday at Mariucci Arena. Downing was disqualified from the game for the hit that led to the scuffle.
 

Adam Wilcox and Hudson Fasching kicked off a new streak of Gophers Big Ten hockey weekly honors.

The Gophers goaltender was named the First Star and the freshman forward the Second Star on Tuesday. The announcement comes a day after the conference suspended two Michigan players.

Defenseman Michael Downing and forward Andrew Sinelli were suspended one game for illegal hits during their 4-1 loss to the Gophers on Saturday night. They will miss Friday’s game against Penn State.

Wilcox collects his fourth Big Ten honor after stopping 63 of 67 shots over the weekend against Michigan. He leads all conference goaltenders and is second nationally with 20 victories.

Fasching’s three-point weekend earned his first Big Ten honor since Nov. 12. He scored two goals and assisted one, and is tied for the conference's freshmen goal-scoring lead with 11.

After being swept by the Gophers at Mariucci Arena, Michigan’s weekend got worse.

Downing was suspended for his second hit to the head game misconduct in as many nights. Saturday’s replay showed he led with his elbow when making contact with Gophers forward Sam Warning in the third period.

Sinelli was suspended for a hit to the head region on Gophers forward Justin Kloos. Initially, the hit was only a minor penalty, but the Big Ten’s review of the game determined it was worth supplemental discipline.

“We accept the decision of the league. The league is trying to eliminate hits to the head,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said through the program’s Twitter account.

Gophers defenseman Ben Marshall has been punished by the conference’s attempt to eliminate hits to the head. Here’s an in-depth look at the focus on safety.

• The Gophers picked up a new commitment over the weekend. Burnsville native and Waterloo (USHL) forward Tyler Sheehy announced via Twitter he had committed to the Gophers.

The announcement (see below) comes several months after Sheehy decommitted from Ohio State following the firing of coach Mark Osiecki.

Sheehy has 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 31 games with Waterloo this season. The 5-10, 185-pound forward was rated the 150th-best skater in North America in the NHL’s central scouting midterm rankings, last month.

It’s still to be determined when Sheehy will join the Gophers. Depending on early departures for the NHL, his arrival could be delayed until 2015.

• The Gophers remained No. 2 in the polls heading into their bye week.  

Despite the Gophers sweep of No. 10 Michigan, No. 1 Boston College claimed more first-place votes (49 of 50). The Big Ten’s three ranked teams – No. 2 Gophers, No. 8 Wisconsin, No. 10 Michigan – were unchanged.

Complete USCHO poll.

Ready Saturday's 4-1 Gophers' victory game story and blog.
Read Friday's 5-3 Gophers' victory game story and blog.

Gophers hockey video
To view on mobile device, click “View on full site” at bottom of page.

Gophers freshman forward and Second Star of the week Hudson Fasching:

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