Observations from Minnesota's 2-1 Win Over St. Cloud State

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Big Conference Win
The Gophers win tonight was their 14th in conference action, surpassing last season's league total of 13. In 2010-11, Minnesota finished 13-10-5 in the WCHA with 31 points. UM now has 28 points with nine conference games remaining.

The Gophers are in first place by three points over Minnesota-Duluth, who tied Michigan Tech 4-4 on Friday. The Bulldogs have played two less games, but the Gophers own the tiebreaker over UMD after picking up a sweep in Duluth in October. Minnesota is chasing its first MacNaughton Cup since 2006-07 when the Gophers finished with 39 points at 18-7-3.

49 Going On 50
Dating back to 2010-11, Kent Patterson started his 49th straight game for Minnesota on Friday. Since taking over as the team's starting goaltender on Dec. 4, 2010, Patterson has gone 26-17-6 and has recorded a school record six shutouts in 2011-12. He is expected to make his 50th consecutive start on Saturday against St. Cloud at the National Hockey Center.

Same Score Different Night
Four out of the last five of Minnesota's games, including the last three, have been decided by a 2-1 score. It is the first time in school history Minnesota has played three 2-1 games in a row and is also the first time the Gophers have had that score in four out of five games. The last time UM has had three or more games in a five-game stretch end in a 2-1 score was from Jan. 12-28, 1938. The Gophers then lost 2-1 on Jan 29, 1938.

A Win on Friday Night
After losing three Friday conference contests in a row dating back to Dec. 2, the Gophers finally earned a series opening win against St. Cloud. Minnesota is now 8-6-0 on Fridays on the season with a 10-2-1 record on Saturdays and an 0-1-0 record (a 5-4 loss to Vermont) on Sundays. Overall, the last time UM won on Friday was on Dec. 30 against Niagara in the Mariucci Classic. The Gophers are 9-0-0 in Saturday games in the WCHA, meaning that all four times they've opened a league series with a victory, they were able to complete the sweep.

No Shots For You!
The Gophers held St. Cloud to a season-low 13 shots on goal in the game, including just one in the third period. The previous season low for shots against for Minnesota came on Nov. 12 when Wisconsin only mustered 14 shots on goal in a 4-1 UM win. The last time Minnesota allowed 13 shots or less was on March 11, 2007 against Alaska-Anchorage when the Gophers allowed 12 shots in a 3-1 win.

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