Morning Skate With Kent Patterson

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Senior goaltender Kent Patterson has been honored by the WCHA twice this year as the Defensive Player of the Week. Through eight games he is 7-1-0 and has a 1.74 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. We talked with Patterson and found out how he became a goalie and ask him about the perception that goalies are a little odd.
Go Gophers! Kent Patterson
Go Gophers!
Gophers goalie Kent Patterson.
Go Gophers!

GopherSports: How did you become a goalie?
Kent Patterson: It started back in mites when I first began to play hockey. Back then they had a bag of equipment and I put on the goalie gear one game and played. We won 3-0 so I was the guy who played goalie every game after that. I was hooked.

GS: Have you played anything else beside goalie?
KP: I played a little defense as well, but mostly I just played goalie. I was pretty good at it and enjoyed it. Defense was my second favorite position to play. My parents told me I was pretty good at goalie and the team always wanted me to play it as well so I figured I would go with it.

GS: What kind of save give you the biggest rush?
KP: Either a big glove save or making a big breakaway save. Any clutch save that gets the crowd going is probably the most exciting. It is always good to make that key save that you need for your team to win.

GS: How much communication is there in a game between you and your defensemen?
KP: There is a ton of communication. Whenever the puck is in the zone there has to be communication. It not only helps myself, but it helps the team help me with regards to getting the puck cleared out. There are a lot of things they cannot see, and I am able to help them out if a guy is sneaking back door or if somebody is moving and they do not see them moving. Communication is a huge part of playing goalie.

GS: A lot of people think goalies are weird...
KP: I can understand that. We have to have a different mindset than players. Instead of shooting the puck, we are getting the puck shot at us. I don't think a lot of people want to be in that position. It is different mentally and physically. We have to play the full 60 minutes of a game. The other players get to take some shifts off, but we have to be able to focus when we need to and to be able to find a mental zone where we can relax and then get ready again when play comes back down toward us.

GS: Where is the worst place to get hit by a puck?
KP: There are two spots. Either the collarbone or the knees are really bad. I have had a few problems in the past where I almost injured my knees and collarbone because pucks hit me there.

GS: You had an assist last year. Is that something you care about or is it something that just happens sometimes?  
KP: It is pretty exciting, but I kind of laugh about it more than anything. The one last year was against Wisconsin. I just kind of wrapped it around the boards. I think Cade Fairchild got it then and moved it ahead to Jacob Cepis who scored. It is always exciting to see that. Sometimes I try to play the puck up and give our guys a shot, but that only happens every couple of games.

GS: Tell us about your mask. Who does the design?
KP: My brother Kris helps a lot with the design. He is a really good artist and has always enjoyed watching me play. Whenever I ask him to design something for a mask he takes it seriously and gives me a bunch of designs and then I pick and choose which one I want.

GS: Tell us something about your mask that nobody knows about.
KP: You would have to look pretty close but on the back of my mask I have a cancer ribbon. I have known a lot of people who have been affected by cancer, including some close friends. Also, my coach growing up and my best friend's dad actually passed away this past year toward the end of the season. It was sad to see, but that is something that has been on my mask for the past year and it is on there again this year.

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