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 head into unfamiliar territory this weekend in Columbus. None of the current roster has played at Ohio State and it should create a new challenge.
Value City Arena seats about 17,500, but the Buckeyes only average about 5,000 fans a night. The Gophers are used to playing in front of nearly 10,000 most nights at Mariucci Arena.
Unfortunately, I did not make the trip to Columbus. Kevin Zeise will cover the game for us. I'll Tweet the link to his game story later tonight. I'll be covering a high school basketball section championship game tonight, so follow the Gophers hockey Twitter account for in-game updates.
Before then, catch up on everything you need to know about this series and junior forward Sam Warning.
• Read Friday’s feature: Gophers' points leader Sam Warning is fighting to be more consistent in spotlight role + video.
• SERIES PREVIEW: NO. 1 GOPHERS at OHIO STATE
Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
TV/radio/live stream: FSN-Plus on Friday and ESPN News on Saturday; 1500-AM both nights; BTN2Go on Friday and WatchESPN on Saturday.
Gophers at a glance: The No. 1 Gophers (23-4-5, 12-2-2-0 Big Ten) can clinch the inaugural Big Ten hockey title this weekend. A Gophers’ victory and a Wisconsin loss on Friday would get the job done. If Wisconsin wins, a Gophers’ sweep would secure the regular-season title. … They’ll have to do it on Ohio State’s smaller rink. … Junior forward Travis Boyd had four points last weekend against Penn State and his third line was responsible for both goals in Saturday’s 2-1 victory.
For more on Ohio State, read full series preview.
• Gophers Friday lines
Forwards (left wing, center, right wing)
Sam Warning, Kyle Rau, Hudson Fasching
Nate Condon, Justin Kloos, Taylor Cammarata
Tom Serratore, Travis Boyd, Seth Ambroz
Connor Reilly, Gabe Guertler, Vinni Lettieri
Defensemen (left, right)
Brady Skjei, Justin Holl
Mike Reilly, Jake Parenteau
Jake Bischoff, Ben Marshall
|Real Salt Lake||2|
|(7) Florida State||74||FINAL|
|(3) South Carolina||80|
|(2) Notre Dame||77|
Poll: Who is your favorite team in the NCAA men's hockey tournament?