Three keys to Gophers sweeping UMD:
1. Patterson. The senior goalie saw his shutout streak, which was seven-plus periods, come to an end in the second period on Friday when UMD scored twice in under two minutes. But he kept his poise. He has to play big again. He had 46 saves, a ridiculous number the first game.
He says he likes to stay busy.
2. Cover everyone. The Gophers did a good job keeping UMD's big guns -- Jack Connolly, J.T. Brown -- off the scoreboard although JC had six and JT eight. But freshmen Caleb Herbert and Justin Crandall scored their first goals and junior D-man Drew Olson got his second goal in three seasons. Can't forget about those guys. Herbert left Gophers freshman blue-liner Ben Marshall grabbing at air on a nifty inside move on his goal.
3. Unleash Bjugstad and Budish. Sophomore Nick Bjugstad had two assists on Friday, but he is the first line center. He needs to get more than three shots. Zach Budish, Bjugstad's right wing, missed most of the game after getting a game disqualification for checking from behing early in the second period.
Budish should be well-rested to make some hits, maybe score on a rebound.
Before going up to Duluth, the Gophers coaches would have been happy with a split. Now, of course, they are thinking sweep. What a start that would be. It's possible. But the Bulldogs and their crowd will be super hyped. It won't be easy, especially if UMD can grab the lead early. On Friday, UMD led for just over a minute late in the third period. That's it.