Observations from Minnesota's 4-1 Loss to Wisconsin

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MacNaughton Cup Champs
Thanks to a 2-1 Minnesota-Duluth loss to St. Cloud, Minnesota clinched at least a share of its 13th MacNaughton Cup as the WCHA's regular-season champion on Friday, despite losing 4-1 to Wisconsin. The UMD loss also locked the Gophers into the first seed for the conference playoffs, which begin next weekend. Minnesota will host last-place Alaska-Anchorage starting next Friday. The Gophers can claim sole possession of the trophy on Saturday with at least a point or another loss or tie by the Bulldogs. The MacNaughton Cup title is Minnesota's first since 2006-07.

Three-goal Loss
The loss for the Gophers on Friday was their 12th of the year and eighth in WCHA play, but it was the first time they were beaten by more than two goals all season. It was also their first home loss that came by more than one goal. Minnesota's 3-1 loss to the Badgers on Nov. 11 in Madison, Wis. and its 5-3 loss to Denver on Feb. 10 were the only two multiple-goal defeats UM had suffered all season before Friday.

Patterson Pulled
After starting in 57 straight games for Minnesota, goaltender Patterson's streak of 3414:13 consecutive minutes played came to an end after he was pulled after allowing four goals on 15 shots in the first two periods on Friday. The streak went through 170 regulation periods and 12 overtime sessions. Prior to Friday, the senior netminder was on pace to become the first goaltender to play every minute of a Gopher hockey season (excluding empty net time) since John Lothrop did it in 1965-66.

Sophomore backup and Colorado College transfer Mike Shibrowski replaced Patterson for the third period and turned away all five shots he face. The last time Shibrowski appeared in an NCAA game was on Feb. 6, 2010 for the Tigers, who beat Mercyhurst 5-3 that night.

Empty Penalty Box
The Gophers and Badgers had a combined four power plays on Friday night. Minnesota came up empty on its only power play of the game in the first period and Wisconsin went two-for-three on the man advantage. The four combined power plays for the Gophers and their opponent tied a season low in a Minnesota game. The Gophers had four power plays on Feb. 17 and played a penalty-free game against Bemidji State.

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