Gophers goalie Kent Patterson's mask fell off after being hit by a flying puck in the second period Saturday night.

Janet Hostetter, Associated Press


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Patterson zeroes in again as U splits with St. Cloud State

  • Article by: ROMAN AUGUSTOVIZ
  • Star Tribune
  • November 21, 2011 - 12:08 AM

Nick Bjugstad scored every time he put a shot on net. Goalie Kent Patterson, on the other end, stopped every shot he faced.

Little wonder the Gophers rolled to a 5-0 rout over St. Cloud State on Saturday at Mariucci Arena.

Bjugstad, a sophomore center, scored three goals before an announced crowd of 10,044. Patterson swallowed or turned aside 30 shots in his sixth shutout, a program single-season record.

"It is not often a guy gets a hat trick and kind of gets upstaged," Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "But tonight that is the case with Kent being able to put his name in the record book."

Patterson, a senior, had been tied with Robb Stauber (1987-88) for the most shutouts in a single season with five. Now he stands alone.

"Our team did a great job of clearing guys out, letting me see the puck," Patterson said. "Whenever I can see the puck, I always have a good chance of stopping it, putting rebounds in the corners or just covering it up."

The victory enabled the No. 1-rated Gophers (11-3-0, 8-2-0) to stay in first place in the WCHA standings -- a point ahead of Minnesota Duluth -- and salvage a split in their home-and-home series with the Huskies. St. Cloud State won 4-3 Friday despite being outshot 43-18.

Bjugstad's first goal came in the opening period, his other two on power plays in the third.

Those three goals give Bjugstad five in his past three games and 13 total this season -- five more than he had as a freshman.

"[Friday] night we didn't come out like we wanted to," said Bjugstad, Florida's first-round pick in the 2010 NHL draft. "We were all pretty sour on the bus ride home. We got to think about what we wanted to do [Saturday], and we capitalized."

Said Lucia: "Bugey was huge tonight. It was nice to see him respond, because he was probably responsible for a couple of those goals we gave up [Friday] night.

"That's what you want to see an elite player do -- is come back and put forth an effort like he did tonight."

St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko said Friday his Huskies (6-6-2, 4-3-1) would have to play much better the second game for a sweep.

They were outshot only 35-30 but had little chance, even with Ben Hanowski's monster game. The Huskies captain had 11 shots.

The Gophers scored two goals quickly twice. Bjugstad and Jake Hansen scored 44 seconds apart in the ninth minute of the first period.

Bjugstad's goal came from the right hash marks. Hansen, moved from right to left wing for the first time this season, scored on a shot from the left circle off a pass from Erik Haula.

The Gophers were still clinging to a 2-0 lead early in the third period when Bjugstad and defenseman Mark Alt doubled the margin by turning the red light on twice in 31 seconds.

Bjugstad's goal was at 3:11 from the left circle. He scored again, from the same spot, at 5:42. Both times defenseman Nate Schmidt set Bjugstad up, faking a shot from the right point and passing instead.

"We showed some video [Saturday]," Lucia said, "and we talked to Schmitty about opening up his left eye on the power play because [Bjugstad] was open a couple of times [Friday] and Schmitty ripped it to the net. [Saturday] he did a good job of finding him."

Bjugstad did the rest. And it all turned out pretty sweet.

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