Observations from Minnesota's 9-0 win over Sacred Heart

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Breaking the Ice and Spreading the Wealth

In their first games as Golden Gophers, freshmen Kyle Rau, Sam Warning, and Seth Ambroz notched their first collegiate goals and Blake Thompson and Travis Boyd got on the board with assists. In total 15 of 20 of the team's skaters recorded points on the night. Ben Marshall was the lone freshman to not record a point, hitting two pipes, but the quick defenseman did finish the game with a plus-5 rating.

Shots, Shots, Shots; Goals, Goals Goals

After missing several scoring opportunities in its exhibition against British Columbia, the Gophers had no problem burying the biscuit against Sacred heart. Minnesota put up 47 shots on goal and scored nine times for the first time since Oct. 30, 2011 in a 9-4 road win over Colorado College. It was the first time the Gophers won by nine in shutout fashion since taking down Union 9-0 in 2005.

Turning Back the Pioneers

Goaltender Kent Patterson recorded his first career shutout in his first start as a senior. Patterson made multiple stops in close, while the team was shorthanded and finished the game with 20 saves. It was the Gophers' first home-opening shutout since 1985-86 when the team started out by beating Michigan Tech 3-0.

Fan Support

Sacred Heart, like many Atlantic Hockey programs, is not used to playing in front of large crowds. With a home area that has a capacity of approximately 1,000, the largest crowd the program had ever played in front of prior to Friday night was 6,036 on Dec. 29, 2007 at Magness Arena in Denver. The Pioneers dropped a 5-2 decision to Northern Michigan in the Denver Cup consolation game that night. The Gophers-Pioneers game drew 8,458 fans.

Bjugstad on the Board

Sophomore Nick Bjugstad had a slow start to his freshman campaign, but made sure to get off on the right foot in his second year. The former Mr. Hockey Award winner notched two goals in the 2011-12 opener and almost came out with more points than that. SHU goalie Steven Legatto robbed Zach Budish and Nate Schmidt on one-timers in front that were set up by Bjugstad.

Power Play Struggles

Gophers tended to control the puck well, but had a hard time capitalizing and breaking back into the offensive zone after a Sacred Heart clear. SHU had the nation's worst penalty kill last year, killing only 70.6% of their penalties. Minnesota did break through on its sixth and final chance when Seth Ambroz buried a Nate Condon rebound to finish 1-for-6 on the man-advantage.

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