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 looking forward to week off + video

Posted by: Jason Gonzalez Updated: February 15, 2014 - 11:42 PM

Time off the ice will go a long way for the Gophers’ bumps and bruises.

“The week break is going to be great for us,” Gophers forward Nate Condon said. “A lot of bumps and bruises. A lot of defensemen have been hurt this season. Any time you get time off it’s great for guys to heal up and hopefully be ready to make a big push for the end of the season.”

That includes Condon. He went hard into the boards on Friday night and left for the locker room before returning.

The break will also allow the Gophers to return to full strength. Injured freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski is expected to return for the Penn State series in two weeks. He’s been out since the matchup against brother Jonny Brodzinski and St. Cloud State on Jan. 24.

It’s the Gophers’ first bye week since Nov. 1-2.

Coach Don Lucia said the focus this week will be school. The team can practice every day, if necessary, but won’t. He’ll give the Gophers extra days off in hope of a fresh, healthy group returning for practice a week from Monday.

Condon said the team isn’t worried about losing momentum after the sweep of Michigan. Heath is more important at this point in the season.

Ready Saturday's 4-1 Gophers' victory game story.

• Team USA’s shootout victory over Russia on Saturday morning offered a teaching moment for the Gophers.

The coaching staff pointed out several late blocks by defenseman Ryan McDonagh (St. Paul native) and forward Ryan Kesler. That’s the will to win Lucia wants from his players.

“What great talent on the ice and the will to win when you see McDonagh and Kesler taking missiles and blocking shots. That doesn’t feel good,” Lucia said. “We talked to our guys about that. That’s 9.7 million blocked shots between those two, so if they can do it, we can do it.”

Despite the shootout excitement provided by Warroad native T.J. Oshie, Lucia still isn’t a fan of it in college hockey. He still found it in him to celebrate Oshie, though he is North Dakota alum.  

• Michigan coach Red Berenson said the Gophers are as good as team they’ve seen this year. He’ll get two more looks at the Gophers during the final stretch of the regular season. The Gophers travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., March 14-15, the last weekend of Big Ten play.

• Gophers senior captain Nate Condon had the honor of being part of Friday’s ceremonial drop of the puck with legendary John Mayasich. Condon said Mayasich didn’t say much at center ice, but what he did say might have led to the Gophers’ success this weekend.

“I think he said he wanted us to get our scoring back, so hopefully it was his touch that put us over the top,” Condon said. “Obviously he has enough points.”

Read Friday's 5-3 Gophers' victory game story.

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

Gophers redshirt freshman forward Connor Reilly:

Gophers coach Don Lucia:


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Orlando 89
Indiana 109 FINAL
Detroit 119
Milwaukee 107 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Houston 117 FINAL
Memphis 111
San Antonio 90 FINAL
New Orleans 97
Charlotte 75 FINAL
Oklahoma City 98
LA Lakers 98 FINAL
Dallas 102
Minnesota 102 FINAL
Denver 106
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Portland 114
Phoenix 115 FINAL
Sacramento 106
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 1:10 PM
Miami-Florida 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
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Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




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