Nick Bjugstad is healthy and so is everyone else. So the Gophers are going with their usual lineup against Alaska Anchorage tonight. This is the first game of their best-of-three WCHA first round series.
1st line/ Kyle Rau-Nick Bjugstad-Zach Budish ... Bjugey was named to the all-WCHA first team on Thursday, Rau to the all-rookie team. Will they play like award winners?
2nd line/ Sam Warning-Erik Haula-Jake Hansen ... Haula scored a big shorthanded goal last Friday. If the second line can score tonight, it would help a lot
3rd line/ Nate Condon-Taylor Matson-Seth Ambroz ... Lot of speed with Condon and Matson, maybe they can get a breakaway or two?
4th line/ Tom Serratore-Travis Boyd-Nico Sacchetti ... Boyd replaces senior Joey Miller who played last Saturday
1st/ Seth Helgeson-Justin Holl
2nd/ Ben Marshall-Mark Alt
3rd/ Jake Parenteau-Nate Schmidt
Goalie/ Kent Patterson ... He will make his 59th start in a row. Said sitting out a period last Friday was good for him to get a different perspective
THREE KEYS TO WIN
1. Score first ... Alaska Anchorage tries to stay back, wait for mistakes that opponents make. If the Gophers get a lead, it might force the Seawolves to change their style
2. Shoot, shoot ... Enough of the fancy passing on the perimeter already. The two UAA goalies have the worst two save percentages in the league. Put as much rubber on them as possible.
3. Be aggressive, force UAA to commit some penalties. ... The Gophers power play is at 23.1 percent, UAA's penalty kill is at 80.6 percent. Gotta like that matchup.