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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Two of the five Gophers invited to skate at the 2014 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp will extend their stay in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Sophomore forward Hudson Fasching and incoming freshman defenseman Ryan Collins were among the 27 players asked to remain at camp for three more games against the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden. The players are auditioning for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team and a trip to the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship in Canada.
Gophers sophomore forwards Taylor Cammarata and Vinni Lettieri, and defenseman Michael Brodzinski were among the 15 players sent home.
Minnesotan Jack Dougherty (Cottage Grove/University of Wisconsin) was also asked to stay, while local standouts Connor Hurley (Eagan/Notre Dame), Tommy Vannelli (Minnetonka/Medicine Hat), Keegan Iverson (St. Louis Park/Portland Winterhawks), Clint Lewis (Burnsville/Cornell University) and Austin Poganski (St. Cloud/University of North Dakota) were released.
"As a staff, we have been very pleased with the effort and competitiveness of the 42 players in camp," said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of hockey operations and the general manager of the 2015 U.S. National Junior Team, in a statement. " The three remaining games this week provide an opportunity for additional assessment of the players that are staying. We will continue to evaluate the players released today throughout the fall.”
Fasching is one of five players from last year’s roster still remaining. The big forward and Gophers junior defenseman Brady Skjei played under Gophers coach Don Lucia on the 2014 U.S. National Junior Team.
Gophers’ incoming international recruit Leon Bristedt scored a goal in one of Sweden's two wins through the opening weekend of competition.