Observations from Minnesota's 5-4 win over Minnesota-Duluth

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Patterson Passes Test(s)

After facing just 40 shots over two games against Sacred Heart, Minnesota goaltender Kent Patterson had 100 shots fired his way against defending national champion Minnesota Duluth. The senior netminder wasn't rattled however, and has now started his season with a 4-0-0 record for the second straight year. He now owns a .943 save percentage to go along with a 2.00 goals against average and two shutouts.

Hot Start

Minnesota has now won its first four games of the season for the first time since 2001-02, when it won its first six games (and started 11-0-2). UM swept in-state rival Minnesota Duluth for the first time since 2006-07 and swept the Bulldogs in Duluth for the first time in over a decade, last accomplishing the feat in 1999-2000.

Comeback Kids

Until there was two minutes left in the third period of Friday night's game, the Gophers had not been faced with a deficit in the young season. Minnesota pulled off a classic come-from-behind overtime victory in that game, but started slow in the series finale, falling behind 2-0. Instead of caving in front of a hostile Amsoil Arena crowd, the Gophers rallied again, reeling off five consecutive goals.

Burying the Biscuit

The Gophers' offense has started the season on fire, scoring in each of the 13 periods in which it has played so far (including overtime). Minnesota is averaging 6.25 goals per game in the early going and has seen offensive contributions from 15 different players. It's not just the forwards putting up points either, six different defensemen have contributed a goal or an assist. Sophomore Nate Schmidt has six points--all assists--so far.

Special Teams Success

After a so-so year on the power play last season, the Gophers are demolishing opposing penalty kills in 2011-12. After a three-goal weekend against Sacred Heart in their first week, Gophers piled up six goal in nine man-advantage opportunities against Minnesota-Duluth, including a perfect three-for-three night on Saturday. Minnesota, a team recognized as one of the worst penalty-killing teams in the country last year, has now killed 18 of 20 penalties this season.

Super Sophomores Crush Bulldogs

Going into Friday night, sophomores Nate Condon and Nick Bjugstad had five points in five career games against UMD. Condon added two goals to his total and Bjugstad added a goal and two assists. Fellow second-year player Erik Haula also had a big weekend, notching two goals and two assists.

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