Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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For now, Gophers atop WCHA

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Men's hockey, Gophers postgame Updated: October 16, 2011 - 12:01 AM

Gophers coach Don Lucia tried to downplay UMD's 50-16 advantage in shots on Saturday night. He said a lot of the Bulldogs' shots were from long range, kind of like dump-ins.

But the most important this for the U is, despite being outshot so badly the Gophers won 5-4, holding on after taking a 5-2 lead.

Also promising is the Gophers' specialty teams. The power play was three for three -- can't do better than that -- while the penalty kill held the Bulldogs to one for six on the power play. The one time UMD did score the 'Dogs had a two-man advantage. Again, hard to improve on that.

This seems to be an exciting Gophers team. It has scored at least one goal in 13 consecutive periods, counting one overtime.

Kent Patterson is also playing very well. He made 92 saves in two games; UMD had 50 shots on net each game and lost twice. Hard to believe.

Kyle Rau, although only a freshman, seems to fit in well, too. He stands by the right post and just waits for the puck -- and scores. He had the game-winner on Saturday. He has four goals in four games. Nice pace to be on. 

Erik Haula has five goals and four assists in four games. He has stepped up his game. It should be fun watching this Gophers team develop over the course of the college hockey season.

For now the Gophers are 2-0-0 in the WCHA standings, tied for first place with Colorado College and Michigan Tech. Not a bad place to be,

 

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