Observations from Minnesota's 3-2 OT Loss to Michigan Tech

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A Monkey Off Their Back
The Gophers entered the night with a seven-game winning streak against Michigan Tech and were undefeated against the Huskies in the month of December under head coach Don Lucia at 5-0-0. MTU put an end to both losing streak by taking a hard-fought 3-2 overtime win at Mariucci Arena.

Kent Patterson, who had won in four straight appearances against the Huskies, fell to 4-2-0 in his career against Michigan Tech. Both of those losses came in overtime. Under Lucia, Minnesota is now 0-3-4 in overtime games against MTU.

Rare Loss
Until tonight, the Gophers had been almost unbeatable when taking the first lead. Minnesota scored the first goal of the game for the 14th time in 19 games this season when Mark Alt's shot from the point wound up in the back of the net at 10:22 of the first. However, Michigan Tech's comeback win dropped the Gophers record to 12-2-0 when scoring first.

Because the two teams entered the third period tied, the Gophers also fell to 12-2-0 when tied or leading entering the third period. Tonight's loss was also UM's first in overtime this year and first at Mariucci Arena in WCHA play, putting them at 1-1-1 in the extra session and 5-1-0 in home conference play in 2011-12.

The defeat dropped the Gophers into a tie for first place in the WCHA with 20 points. Minnesota-Duluth also earned its 20th point with a tie at Wisconsin. The Gophers will look to avoid being swept for the first time in the regular season since Dec. 3 and 4, 2010 against at Minnesota State.

O From the D
One bright spot from Friday's loss was that two UM defensemen scored goals. Mark Alt and Seth Helgeson each notched their third goals of the season in regulation. Alt also picked up his tenth assist on the season on Helgeson's tally. Alt and Helgeson now lead Gopher defensemen in goals, but power-play specialist Nate Schmidt leads the team's blueliners in points with 18 (1g-17a).

Keeping an Eye on No. 27
After taking the national lead in goals by going on a four-game goal streak from Nov. 12-25 (seven goals in that span), Nick Bjugstad has now gone four games without a goal--the longest stretch of time the sophomore has been kept out of the back of the net all year. Bjugstad, who does have three assists in those four games, still leads the team in points with 26. His first collegiate goal game against Michigan Tech in Houghton, Mich. last year and he recorded two shorthanded goals against the Huskies when the teams met at Mariucci Arena later in the season. Bjugstad came close on several power-play chances, but could not convert on Friday night.

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