Observations from Minnesota's 6-0 win over Vermont

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Free Culvers!
For the fifth consecutive game to start the season, the Gophers scored five or more goals. The last time Minnesota started the season with five-plus goals in its first five games was in 2001-02 when UM recorded five or more in its first eight contests. The Gophers had also scored in all 15 periods of play in 2011-12 prior to Friday's third period, including overtime, and now have 31 goals on the young season. It took Minnesota eight games to score that many goals last year.

Beasts Against the East
After sweeping Sacred Heart of Atlantic Hockey by a combined 15-0 score to start the season, the Gophers dominated another New England foe on Friday, dominating Vermont of Hockey East in the first-ever meeting between the two schools, 6-0. In the three seasons prior to this year, Minnesota has also swept Massachusetts (HEA) and Harvard (ECAC
), beaten Brown (ECAC) and Northeastern (HEA) in individual games, and taken three of four possible points against New Hampshire. The last time the Gophers lost to a team from New England was in the NCAA Regional in 2007-08 against Hockey East's Boston College in Worcester, Mass. The last time an eastern foe beat Minnesota at Mariucci Arena was on Oct. 6, 2006 when Maine, also of Hockey East, beat the Gophers 3-1 on opening night.

A Full 180 Minutes
Gopher senior goaltender Kent Patterson, who had not recorded a shutout prior to this season, now has three shutouts in the first five games of 2011-12, with all three coming at home. Patterson held Sacred Heart off the scoreboard on back-to-back nights to start the year with 20 saves in each game and stopped all 17 UVM shots on Friday. The last time a Minnesota team recorded shutouts in its first three home games of the season was in 1928-29 when the Gophers beat North Dakota State 12-0 and took down Michigan 4-0 and 6-0 two weeks later.
Top of Lines
Minnesota's top line came up big against Vermont with each member of the trio recording at least a goal. Kyle Rau scored less than a minute into the game for the second time this season and chipped in an assist and Nick Bjugstad scored twice. Assistant captain Zach Budish capped the scoring with a power-play goal and added two helpers to the cause.

Gophers at Full Strength! Always Were!
The Gophers killed all six Vermont power plays on Friday and were even in shots (three shots for and three against) during their shorthanded time. Minnesota has now killed 30 of 32 opponent power plays this year for a 93.8% success rate. UM killed off only 77.4% of its penalties last year, ranking the Gophers 52nd of 58 Division I teams.

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