Observations from Minnesota's 5-0 win over Alaska Anchorage

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First Place
With the 5-0 win over Alaska-Anchorage tonight, the Gophers kept pace with Nebraska-Omaha and Michigan Tech to remain tied for first place in the WCHA with a 3-0-0 WCHA record. UNO is also 3-0-0 and MTU is 3-2 after being swept by Bemidji State last weekend. Colorado College is the only other team with an unblemished conference record at 2-0-0. So far in seven total WCHA conference series this year, there have been no ties and no splits. The Gophers will look to continue that trend with a win on Saturday. 

Gophers Get Revenge
Minnesota trounced Alaska Anchorage 5-1 in their first of four meeting last year, but lost its final three meetings with the Seawolves, averaging just one goal per game in that span and were 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. UM is now 14-3-2 against the Seawolves in Alaska under coach Don Lucia. 

Perfect Patterson; Haula's Run Continues
Patterson added to an impressive 2011-12 resume with his nation-leading fourth shutout of the season in seven games on Friday. The 22-save blanking of Alaska Anchorage was his first-ever road shutout. No goalie in the country had more than six shutouts last year.

Erik Haula, who leads the nation in points with 17, continued his season-opening point streak in the win, scoring twice to up his goal total to seven and adding his tenth assist. Haula has at least one point in each of the team's first seven games.

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

Kamal Streak Snapped
After haunting the Gophers in three games as a freshman, Chris Kamal was neutralized by the Gophers on Friday. 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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