Senior goalie Kent Patterson is having an amazing season so far. On Friday, he tied Robb Stauber's record for most shutouts in one season with five. Stauber set the record in 19870-88, Patterson did it in just nine games, so three-fourths of his season is still left.
How Patterson compares nationally with other Division I college goalies:
First in shutouts with five -- three more than anyone else
Tied for second in winning percentage at .889 with an 8-1-0 record.
Third in save percentage at .945. In college hockey, anything above .900 is considered satisfactory. He is way above that threshhold.
Fourth in minutes played with 541 minutes, 51 seconds. It has either been Patterson in the nets or an empty net a few times.
Fifth in goals-against average at 1.55. A couple 5-4 victories over UMD, in which he made 46 saves in each game, and a 5-4 loss to Vermont -- his only so-so game -- inflate his average otherwise it would be much lower.
On Friday, Patterson was named the Hockey Commissioners' Association national player of the year for the month of October.
One of his primary competitors for that honor was his own teammate, Erik Haula. Even after back-to-back games without a point, the sophomore center still leads the nation in scoring with seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points. On his heels is Nebraska Omaha forward Matt White with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points.
Why are the Gophers 8-1-0 overall and 5-0-0 in the WCHA? One reason is that Haula, freshman Kyle Rau and sophomore center Nick Bjugstad all have seven goals to share the team lead. Bjugstad got his seventh Friday as the Gophers beat North Dakota 2-0.
The Fighting Sioux (3-5-1, 1-4-0) were shut out for the second time in three games. There top three goal-scorers are Danny Kristo, Corban Knight and Brock Nelson, all with four goals. Big difference from Gophers.
* The Gophers and Cornell lead the nation in scoring, both averaging exactly five goals per game.
* The Gophers are tied for second in defense, giving up 1.56 goals per game.
* In the last two games, the Gophers power play has gone zero for three in a 3-1 victory over Alaska Anchorage and one for seven against the Sioux. That has dropped it from first in the nation to third at 32.6 percent (15 for 46). The Gophers' penalty kill is a solid eighth at 89.4 percent after struggling almost all of last season.
* Penalty minutes? This is one category a team doesn't want to be high in, but the Gophers are. They are tied for third nationally at 18.7 minutes per game. Getting five-minute majors doesn't help like freshman forward Seth Ambroz did last night for contact to the head.
The Sioux, by contrast, are angels on the ice. They are averaging only 12 penalty minutes per game, which puts them 42nd out of 58 teams.
* Kyle Rau was named the national rookie of the month in October and he continues to lead all freshman in goals with seven and points with 14. He picked up his seventh assist on Friday.
* Sophomore defenseman Nate Schmidt is tied for first in points by a blue-line with one goal and 11 assists for 12 points. Wisconsin defenseman Justin Schultz has two goals and 10 assists for 12 points. The Gophers play the Badgers next weekend at the Kohl Center.