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.
Nate Condon's big offensive night led to a big milestone. Two goals earned the Gophers senior co-captain his 100th point of his career, joining an elite group to achieve this feat.
Condon scored the first and sixth goals in the Gophers' 7-3 victory over Robert Morris in the NCAA tournament West Regional at Xcel Energy Center. The win advances the Gophers to the regional final on Sunday night at 6:30 p.m. against St. Cloud State.
"It's great. I've playrd a lot of games here an expect a lot of myself, so I think that another milestone really shows me how long I’ve been here how hard I’ve worked to get tot this point," he said.
The 100th point came on an empty-net goal in the third period. The first goal helped set the tone for the Gophers' big offensive night. Late in the first period, he showed off his speed by going the length of the ice and cutting in-between defenders to set up the goal.
Condon has 40 goals, 60 assists for the 100-point total in 156 games. It’s the first game this season in he's scored more than one goal and his fifth multiple-point effort of the season.
More reading from Saturday's West Regional:
Gophers rout Robert Morris 7-3 game story.
Read St. Cloud State's and Notre Dame's overtime game story.
Adam Wilcox keeps it cool in the net column from Chip Scoggins.
Check out lots of video from Saturday below.
• Union and North Dakota advaned to the Frozen Four on Saturday. Here's a look at the results from the full day of college hockey tournament action:
Union 3, Providence 1, NCAA East Regional championship
Boston College 6, Denver 2, NCAA Northeast Regional semis
Gophers 7, Robert Morris 3, NCAA West Regional semis
North Dakota 2, Ferris State 1 (2OT), NCAA Midwest Regional championship
Massachusetts-Lowell 2, Minnesota State 1, NCAA Northeast Regional semis
St. Cloud State 4, Notre Dame 3, NCAA West Regional semis
Tidbits from the Gophers-Robert Morris first-round matchup:
Minnesota is now 22-13-0 all-time at the Xcel Energy Center since the facility opened in the 2000-01 season, including a 2-1-1 record this season. In the North Star College Classic at the Xcel Energy Center on Jan. 24-25, Minnesota beat St. Cloud State 4-1 and tied Minnesota-Duluth 4-4 (OT). Minnesota dropped a 3-1 decision to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals on March 21.
Minnesota is making its 35th appearance in the NCAA tournament this weekend. Minnesota is 54-35 all-time in NCAA tournament play, reaching the Frozen Four 20 times.
This is the second time the Golden Gophers have appeared in an NCAA tournament regional at the Xcel Energy Center. In 2012, Minnesota won the regional with a 7-3 win over Boston University and a 5-2 win over North Dakota. This is the third NCAA regional held at the Xcel Energy Center (2010, 2012, 2014).
In NCAA tournament games played at the Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota is now 4-0-0 (2-0-0 in 2002 Frozen Four, 2-0-0 in 2012 West Regional).
It’s the fifth time Minnesota has scored three or more goals in the first period of games this season, with all five being Gopher wins: four goals in a 6-1 win over Boston College on Oct. 27, three goals in a 5-4 win over Notre Dame on Nov. 9, three goals in a 6-1 win over Minnesota-Duluth on Nov. 22, and three goals in a 5-1 win over Penn State on Feb. 28.
Minnesota had a 50-25 shots-on-goal advantage; Minnesota is 18-4-3 when outshooting its opponents this season. The 50 shots are a season-high for the Gophers and the sixth time the Gophers have had 40-plus shots in a game this season (Minnesota is 5-0-1 in those games).
Minnesota scored three goals in a 3:30 span late in the first period, starting with Nate Condon’s eighth goal of the season at the 16:13 mark, assisted by Michael Brodzinski (seven assists).
Nate Condon has scored a goal in eight games this season (Minnesota is 7-0-1 in those games).
This is Robert Morris’ first appearance in the NCAA men’s hockey tournament, in its 10th season as a Division I program.
Robert Morris enters the NCAA tournament having won five straight games and six of its seven games in the postseason. The Colonials went 2-1 to win an Atlantic Hockey first-round tournament series against Army, then swept Connecticut in a conference semifinal series, beat Niagara in the tournament semifinals and Canisus in the tournament championship game.
This is Robert Morris’ first game played at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, and its 21st game ever played in the state of Minnesota. The Colonials faced Bemidji State as members of College Hockey America from 2004-05 to 2009-10, and are 4-13-1 in games in Bemidji, Minn. (3-13-1 against Bemidji State, 1-0 vs. Niagara) and 0-4 in games in St. Cloud, Minn., against St. Cloud State (2005-06, 2008-09).
It’s the fourth time Robert Morris has surrendered 50-plus shots this season; the Colonials are 1-3-0.
The Colonials’ first line accounted for their first two goals of the game in the second period, as Cody Wydo scored his 31st goal of the season, assisted by Zac Lynch (28th assist) and Scott Jacklin (22nd assist) at the 13:48 mark, and Lynch scored his 19th goal of the season, assisted by Wydo (23rd assist) and Jacklin (23rd assist), at the 19:16 mark.
The line of Cody Wydo, Scott Jacklin and Zac Lynch has now accounted for 15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points in the postseason (AHA playoffs and NCAA playoffs).
Cody Wydo set a single-season goal-scoring record for Robert Morris this year, finishing with 31 goals. He also broke the Colonials’ career record for goals scored with his goal on Saturday, giving him 65 on his career. The old mark was 64, set by Chris Margott (2005-09). Wydo also set a single-season points record this year with 54 points (31 goals, 23 assists). He now has 107 career points (65 goals, 42 assists) in 114 career games.
Zac Lynch finished his sophomore season with 19 goals and 28 assists for 47 points, and now has 61 points (34 goals, 37 assists) in his 76-game career.
Gophers postgame video To view on mobile device, click “View on full site” at bottom of page.