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.

Follow Jason on Twitter @JGonStrib

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State hockey bragging rights on the line in West Regional championship game

Posted by: Jason Gonzalez Updated: March 30, 2014 - 5:02 PM

St. Cloud State and the Gophers will fight for more state bragging rights on Sunday night in the NCAA tournament West Regional championship game.

The Gophers won the inaugural North Star College Cup featuring four Minnesota hockey programs in January, but St. Cloud State forward David Morley said what happened then doesn’t matter anymore.

The Gophers beat the Huskies 4-1 in the first round of the North Star College Cup at Xcel Energy Center. The Huskies will get a chance to avenge that loss with much more at stake – a trip to the Frozen Four.

“At this point of the year it’s do-or-die, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing. … That stuff from Christmas doesn’t matter right now,” Morley said after beating Notre Dame 4-3 in overtime on Saturday night. “It’s bring your ‘A’ game and taking it one game a time, here.”

The Brodzinski brothers will get another opportunity to go head-to-head. St. Cloud State’s Jonny Brodzinski and the Gophers’ Michael Brodzinski each scored goals in their respective wins on Saturday. Michael’s two-point effort earned him a spot in the lineup for a second straight night.

Sunday’s other regional final also features two hockey programs from the same state – Boston College and Massachusetts-Lowell. Boston College won the season series 1-0-1, but Lowell won the Hockey East tournament championship.

• The Gophers can hear you. A full stadium and roaring fans mean a lot to the Gophers success, co-captains Nate Condon and Kyle Rau said.

There was a lack of it at last weekend’s Big Ten tournament, but Condon said that was the Gophers' fault. They’ll need the fans’ help in order to finish this run to the Frozen Four, though.

“Fans don’t realize how important they are, but they are huge for us and we’re thankful we’ve got some of the best fans in college hockey,” Rau said. “If you’re feeling a little tired and the crowd stands up and starts cheering, you get that energy right back.”

Saturday’s announced crowd for the opening round of the West Regional was announced at 9,232. A bigger crowd would arguably favor the Gophers. They average 9,000-plus most nights at Mariucci Arena.

“When you get the crowd behind you, it makes you want to work that much harder,” Condon said. “So it’s great playing in front of home crowd like this and hopefully we can get another big crowd this weekend.”

• Gophers' Sunday 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
Ben Marshall, Michael Brodzinski

Goaltenders
Adam Wilcox, Michael Shibrowski

• WEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW
Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU, 1500-AM, WatchESPN.com

GOPHERS, 26-6-6, Big Ten
There’s no more room for mistakes; the Gophers are aware of that. Associate head coach Mike Guentzel said there was anxiety, frustration disappointment, urgency and pressure throughout the week of practice. Their No. 1 overall seed, single-digit loss total, and their fans demand a successful NCAA tournament run. But the Gophers are young, with six freshman forwards and two defensemen. Their tournament success will — and should — rely on the upperclassmen: five seniors and six juniors. Coach Don Lucia said the upperclassmen’s ability to step up will go a long way in determining the Gophers’ success.

ST. CLOUD STATE, 22-10-5, NCHC

The Huskies are well-rested for another run at the Frozen Four. They were off last weekend after being upset in the first round of the NCHC playoffs. The extra preparation could be what the NCHC regular-season champions needed to regroup. They were considered a potential top seed for a regional until they were swept for the first time this season, losing two consecutive to Miami (Ohio). Coach Bob Motzko called it a hiccup and he’s confident his team can find its consistency once again. St. Cloud State is led by many of the same standouts who fueled last year’s run to the Frozen Four, including Hobey Baker Award finalist Nic Dowd. He’s among the nation’s best scorers with 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists) and has 10 power-play goals. The Huskies average 3.67 goals per game and have a 25.5 percent success rate on the power play, both among the top three in the country.

• Union and North Dakota advanced to the Frozen Four on Saturday. Here's a look at Saturday's results and Sunday's schedule: 

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

Massachusetts-Lowell vs. Boston College, NCAA Northeast Regional, 4 p.m. ESPNU
St. Cloud State vs. Gophers, NCAA West Regional championship, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU

Extra reading from the 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.
Saturday's pregame and postgame blogs.
Friday’s feature: Gophers' Fab Five seniors have helped reshape the program + preview VIDEO from Friday's workout at Xcel Energy Center: Don Lucia, Nate Condon, Kyle Rau VIDEOAdam Wilcox VIDEOSeth Ambroz VIDEO.
Ben Marshall and Gophers eager for a chance at redemption.
From our columnist Chip Scoggins: Robert Morris hockey turned season around halfway through.

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Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
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Tampa Bay
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New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
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St. Louis
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Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Phoenix 44 3rd Qtr 11:59
New York 48
Portland 6:00 PM
New Orleans
Utah 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Houston
San Antonio 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 8:00 PM
Denver
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Arizona 3:00 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
New Jersey
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NY Islanders
Florida 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Carolina
Chicago 6:00 PM
Columbus
Nashville 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Calgary 9:00 PM
Vancouver
St. Louis 9:30 PM
San Jose
VA Commonwealth 68 FINAL
Cincinnati 47
Charlotte 78 FINAL
Georgetown 81
SMU 62 FINAL
Michigan 51
Louisville 76 FINAL
Western Ky 67
Mount St Marys 32 2nd Half 7:37
American Univ 36
Abilene Christian 30 2nd Half 6:54
Boise State 56
UMass Lowell 36 2nd Half 11:40
Duquesne 54
South Alabama 38 2nd Half 11:23
IUPUI 48
Ohio State 45 2nd Half 11:26
North Carolina 60
Massachusetts 33 2nd Half 15:00
Providence 51
Syracuse 45 2nd Half 18:31
Villanova 33
Citadel 36 2nd Half 10:36
Virginia Tech 42
Belmont 29 2nd Half
Fairfield 27
St Bonaventure 15 1st Half 8:30
Binghamton 12
Montreat 10 1st Half 13:00
Campbell 15
Delaware 23 1st Half 9:44
Fair-Dickinson 21
South Florida 8 1st Half 11:50
Florida State 9
Vanderbilt 12 1st Half 11:38
Georgia Tech 12
SC State 14 1st Half 11:53
Houston 12
Missouri 9 1st Half 11:45
Illinois 12
Truett-McConnell 10 1st Half 11:53
Jacksonville 10
Toledo 26 1st Half 9:56
McNeese State 20
Elon 10 1st Half 13:12
UNC Greensboro 10
Drexel 11 1st Half 10:10
Penn State 15
St Francis-PA 13 1st Half 10:59
Rutgers 24
Albany 18 1st Half 8:06
Yale 14
PSU-Beaver 12 1st Half 12:58
Longwood 16
Eastern Ill 10 1st Half 11:44
Indiana State 9
Indiana 1:30 PM
Butler
Marshall 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
Lafayette 2:00 PM
Kansas
Oral Roberts 2:00 PM
Memphis
Western Mich 2:00 PM
Northwestern
Delaware State 2:00 PM
Oregon
Fla Atlantic 2:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Arkansas Tech 2:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Howard Payne 2:00 PM
Texas-Arlington
UMBC 2:00 PM
Kennesaw St
St Josephs (IN) 2:05 PM
Chicago State
Eastern Mich 2:05 PM
Missouri State
UCLA 2:30 PM
Kentucky
UC Davis 3:00 PM
Air Force
Houston Baptist 3:00 PM
UC Riverside
Davidson 3:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
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Miss State
NC Central 3:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Illinois State 3:00 PM
Murray State
Louisiana 3:00 PM
Northwestern St
Oakland 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Detroit 3:00 PM
Rhode Island
Presbyterian 3:00 PM
UT Martin
Monmouth 3:00 PM
Wagner
Southern U 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Iowa State 4:00 PM
Drake
Wake Forest 4:00 PM
Florida
High Point 4:00 PM
James Madison
Texas Southern 4:00 PM
Michigan State
New Hampshire 4:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Northeastern 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
Huston-Tillotson 4:00 PM
Texas State
Purdue 4:15 PM
Notre Dame
Prairie View 4:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Xavier 5:00 PM
Auburn
Bluffton 6:00 PM
Akron
NJIT 6:00 PM
Central Conn St
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Columbia
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Dayton
Iona 6:00 PM
George Mason
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Texas A&M 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Morgan State 6:00 PM
Manhattan
Saint Josephs 6:00 PM
Marist
East Carolina 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Richmond 6:00 PM
Pepperdine
La Salle 6:00 PM
Towson
Incarnate Word 6:05 PM
UMKC
CS-Bakersfield 6:30 PM
Idaho State
Iowa 6:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Long Beach State 7:00 PM
Texas
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
TCU
SE Missouri St 7:30 PM
Arkansas
Lehigh 8:00 PM
Arizona State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Washington
Utah Valley U 8:00 PM
Weber State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
St Edwards 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
NC State 8:30 PM
West Virginia
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Fresno State 9:00 PM
Pacific
Montana State 9:00 PM
Portland
Ball State 9:00 PM
San Diego St
South Dakota St 9:05 PM
Utah State
Stanford 10:00 PM
BYU
Utah 10:30 PM
UNLV
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Livingstone 77 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Dartmouth 70
Georgia Tech 65 FINAL
St Francis-NY 59
Auburn 49 FINAL
St Johns 56
East Tenn St 56 FINAL
Jacksonville St 57
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Detroit 57
Cal-Irvine 42 FINAL
Wright State 80
Gardner-Webb 47 FINAL
Kennesaw St 50
(7) Stanford 22 2nd Half 12:00
(11) Tennessee 39
Alabama A&M 35 2nd Half 15:59
Ole Miss 53
Central Michigan 36 2nd Half 12:12
(1) South Carolina 58
Nebraska Omaha 35 2nd Half 11:36
Creighton 51
FIU 47 2nd Half 8:49
Western Carolina 71
Houston 59 2nd Half 7:20
Nicholls 31
St Thomas Aquinas 34 2nd Half 7:10
Army 58
St Bonaventure 41 2nd Half 13:07
Niagara 38
Texas State 44 2nd Half 8:00
Stetson 59
George Mason 44 2nd Half 14:30
ULM 37
Grambling 1:00 PM
Kansas State
American Univ 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Lipscomb 1:00 PM
Xavier
Charleston Southern 1:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Jacksonville 1:00 PM
Murray State
Missouri 11 1st Half 13:15
Wake Forest 5
Robert Morris 13 1st Half 9:03
Cornell 23
Air Force 4 1st Half 13:32
Abilene Christian 12
Hampton 7 1st Half 11:13
James Madison 20
Texas Southern 18 1st Half 11:30
TX A&M-CC 10
Tenn Tech 10 1st Half 10:30
NC A&T 12
Presbyterian 9 1st Half 8:07
NC Central 5
Penn 17 1st Half 8:07
Drexel 16
Vermont 10 1st Half 11:29
Green Bay 7
Ohio Christian 11 1st Half 9:07
Akron 22
(17) Rutgers 14 1st Half 13:12
Iona 7
Indiana 31 1st Half 9:36
Oakland 16
Indiana State 1:30 PM
SMU
Denver 1:30 PM
Purdue
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
UCF 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Campbell 2:00 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Florida A&M 2:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Northwestern St 2:00 PM
Jackson State
Lehigh 2:00 PM
Arizona State
Valparaiso 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Toledo 2:00 PM
Southern Ill
Liberty 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Wofford 2:30 PM
North Florida
Montana State 3:00 PM
Washington St
Marshall 3:00 PM
(22) West Virginia
Morgan State 3:00 PM
Chattanooga
Northeastern 3:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 3:00 PM
(15) Georgia
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(9) Baylor
Ohio U 3:00 PM
Massachusetts
Prairie View 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
High Point 3:00 PM
(12) Nebraska
Winthrop 3:05 PM
Wichita State
William Jewell 3:30 PM
UMKC
Louisiana Tech 4:00 PM
Utah
Southern Utah 4:00 PM
Gonzaga
Hawaii 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
San Jose St 4:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Northridge 4:00 PM
San Diego State
Norfolk State 4:00 PM
East Carolina
Saint Peters 4:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Arizona 4:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Northwestern 4:30 PM
Eastern Illinois
Oral Roberts 5:00 PM
Wisconsin
Florida Atlantic 5:00 PM
New Mexico St
La Salle 5:00 PM
Georgia State
(16) Oregon State 5:30 PM
Nevada
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Villanova
Delaware 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Washington 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Pacific 7:00 PM
Long Beach St
Old Dominion 7:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Austin Peay 9:00 PM
Montana
Lewis-Clark State 9:00 PM
Idaho
(21) Miss State 9:30 PM
Illinois-Chicago
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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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