Parenteau cleared to play in North Star Cup

Gophers defenseman Jake Parenteau, sidelined since early December, is available to play for Friday's battle against No. 5 St. Cloud State.

Courtesy: University of Minnesota Athletics

Minnesota Gophers defenseman Jake Parenteau, sidelined since early December, is available to play for Friday’s battle against No. 5 St. Cloud State. The game is the nightcap for the first day of the inaugural North Star College Cup, which pits four of Minnesota’s five NCAA Division I hockey teams against each other at the Exel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Minnesota State and Minnesota-Duluth square off in the early game at 4:00 p.m. while the No. 1 Gophers grapple with the fifth-ranked Huskies at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, the consolation game faces off at 4:00 p.m., followed by the title tilt at 7:00 p.m. I’ll call all four games on Fox Sports North, partnering with former Gopher great Tom Chorske. Kevin Gorg and Ben Hankinson report from ice level.

Parenteau has been mending since breaking a bone in his leg at Michigan State in early December. The senior, who hits hard, blocks shots and rarely takes penalties, has been mending ever since.

The Gophers are paced by the streaky and recently red-hot Sam Warning. He’s nailed five goals in his last four games, including his first career hat trick, a pure one, against Ohio State last Saturday.

An interesting battle will be between the Brodzinski Brothers, Jonny (St. Cloud State) and Mike (Minnesota). Jonny, the older of the two, was the top-scoring rookie in Division I hockey last season and is a Hobey Baker candidate this year. Mike assisted on most of Jonny’s goals when the brothers played for Blaine and terrorized teams all over, especially in the state tournament.

Doug McLeod is the play-by-play voice of Golden Gopher hockey on Fox Sports North. He began calling Gophers games on radio in 1978 and has also spent two decades in the National Hockey League.