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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Gophers freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski got up to speed quick on Saturday night. In his first game in over a month, he picked up an assist and blocked two shots in the Gophers 2-1 victory over Penn State.
It was his 11th point (five goals, six assists) in 20 games. He also was part of the turnover that led to Penn State’s lone goal.
“You could tell there was a little rust to his game and that’s natural,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said. “We’ve got seven healthy defensemen and now there’s competition. A healthy guy that has been a valuable member of that crew is going to have to sit out every night, now.”
• Mariucci Arena announced its third 10,000-plus crowd of the season for the home finale on Saturday night. The announced 10,044 was the second-largest crowd this season.
There were no sellouts during the Gophers’ 16-1-3 home campaign, but 10,495 were announced on hand for their 4-1 victory over Michigan on Feb. 15.
“It closes a chapter of our home ice this year, and to go through 20 games with only one loss, it shows how well we played at home all season long,” Lucia said.
• Notre Dame did the Gophers a favor on Saturday night by beating No. 1 Boston College 2-1 in overtime. The upset should propel the No. 2 Gophers back to the top of the polls.
The Gophers had success against Notre Dame and Boston College earlier this season, going 2-1-1 against the Hockey East standouts.
For sights and sounds from Senior Night, read Saturday's 2-1 Gophers' victory game story.
Read Friday's 5-1 Gophers' victory game story.
• The Gophers women’s hockey team swept St. Cloud State in the first round of the WCHA playoffs on Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena. They combined for 11 goals over the weekend after Saturday's 7-1 victory.
Sophomore Hannah Brandt scored four points and four other Gophers recorded multiple points in the one-sided victory.
"St. Cloud put a little more pressure on us tonight, but I thought we weathered the storm well. Getting those four goals in a short amount of time in the second period was huge to blow the game open," women's coach Brad Frost said.
Gophers women's hockey advances to next weekend's WCHA Final Face-off in Bemidji.
Gophers men's postgame video
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Gophers senior forward Tom Serratore:
Gophers senior goaltender Michael Shibrowski: