Minnesota Notes For Oct. 29 at UAA

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10.29.11 at Alaska Anchorage.pdf

About Last Night

Minnesota bounced backed from its only defeat of the season with a 5-0 win last night at Alaska Anchorage. After letting a 3-1 lead slip away last Sunday in a home defeat to Vermont, the Gophers got two goals from sophomore Erik Haula and 22 saves from Kent Patterson to improve to 6-1-0 on the year. Haula bookended the Gopher scoring, while Nick Bjugstad, Mark Alt and Justin Holl also tallied for Minnesota.

Another Shutout

Goaltender Kent Patterson entered the season with zero career shutouts. He now has four in seven games this year. Patterson began the year with three straight home blankings of Sacred Heart (twice) and Vermont. He picked up his first road shutout last night making 22 saves at Alaska Anchorage. Through seven games, the senior is 6-1-0 and has a 1.85 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage. One more shutout would tie Patterson with Robb Stauber for the most in one season. Stauber posted five shutouts during the 1987-88 season. Patterson is currently tied with Kellen Briggs (2003-04, 2004-05) and Jim Mattson (1952-53) for second in program history with four shutouts in a season.

Something Special
The Gophers, who had the top-ranked power play going into Friday, continued to impress, going 2-of-3 with the man advantage with goals by Nick Bjugstad and Erik Haula. Minnesota was also successful all three times it was shorthanded (all in the third period). After giving its opponent a season-high seven power-play chances in last Sunday's loss to Vermont, the Gophers did not commit a penalty in the first two periods of play last night. Minnesota's penalty kill rate is now up to 88.9 percent (32-of-36) and the power play has converted on 14-of-36 chances (38.9 percent).

Good Place To Be
Sophomore Erik Haula leads the nation with 17 points. He has seven goals (tied for third in the nation) and 10 assists (tied for second nationally with teammate Nate Schmidt). Haula has three more points than any other player and his 2.43 points-per-game is tops in the nation. Jake Hansen, Kyle Rau, Nick Bjugstad and Schmidt all rank fifth in the nation with 11 points. Rau leads all freshmen nationally with in points with 11 (two more than anyone else, while Schmidt leads all defensemen in the country with 11 points (two more than anyone else). Kent Patterson's four shutouts are the most in the nation (two more than anyone else).

Back In The Win Column
Minnesota defeated Alaska Anchorage 5-1 in its first of four meetings last year, but lost its final three meetings with the Seawolves, averaging just one goal per game in that span and was eliminated on home ice at the current Mariucci Arena for the first time in March. After a 230-day wait, the Gophers ended their losing streak against UAA in Anchorage on Friday night. Minnesota is now 14-3-2 against the Seawolves in Alaska under coach Don Lucia.

Streak Finally Snapped
After winning three straight games against the Gophers, Minnesota finally solved Alaska Anchorage goaltender Chris Kamal. Kamal's 86 minute, 43 second scoreless run against Minnesota was ended at 18:01 of the first when Erik Haula scored to give UM the lead. Kamal allowed two more goals on Friday than he did in all three of his starts combined (two shutouts and a 4-3 win) against the Gophers last year.

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The Gophers are off to a great start! It's nice to see balanced scoring, great goaltending and improving D. Way to go boys!