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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The Gophers are the No. 1 overall seed in the 16-team NCAA Tournament field. They will host Robert Morris, St. Cloud State and Notre Dame next weekend in the West Regional at Xcel Energy Center.
The regional kicks off on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. with the No. 1 Gophers against No. 16 Robert Morris. St. Cloud State and Notre Dame are scheduled for 8 p.m.
“We’re excited to be hosting the West Regional with a great field of teams coming to St. Paul,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said in a release. “Robert Morris has certainly earned the right to play in this tournament as have St. Cloud State and Notre Dame, and we are looking forward to a great weekend of hockey.”
Boston College (Northeast), Union (East) and Wisconsin (Midwest) are the two, three and four overall seeds and selected as top seeds for their respective regionals.
Minnesota State will compete in the Northeast Regional and meets Massachusetts-Lowell on Saturday night in Worcester, Mass.
Wisconsin and North Dakota will meet in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Cincinnati.
“This is a great time of year, and we’re thrilled to be back in the national tournament,” Gophers co-captain Nate Condon said. “We’re looking forward to a great matchup with Robert Morris and hopefully we’ll have the chance to play for a trip to the Frozen Four on Sunday. “