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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Gophers finding the net, winning games

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers postgame Updated: October 22, 2011 - 12:04 AM

After five games, the Gophers have three players with five goals. A nice pace to be on.

Erik Haula has five -- one shy of his total as a freshman last season. Nick Bjugstad scored two goals on Friday in a 6-0 victory over Vermont at Mariucci Arena to also reach five. And freshman left wing Kyle Rau has five.

In their 5-0-0 start, the Gophers have scored at least five goals in every game. If they can keep scoring that many goals, they won't lose many games. But the opposition, of course, will get tougher.

Vermont is probably not as bad as the Catamounts looked on Friday. It was their first game; the Gophers were coming off a sweep of NCAA champion Minnesota Duluth and ready to play at a fast pace. The difference was obvious early.

"Last year we really didn't do that well here," Bjugstad said after Friday's victory at Mariucci. "We have been emphasizing playing well here and starting off well. And that's what we have done so far."

The Gophers are 3-0-0 at home and have outscored the opposition 21-0 in those games.

"We didn't know much about [Vermont] coming in, we had never played them ever," Bjugstad said. 'We didn't want our heads to get too big after last weekend. We just emphasized we can't underestimate the opponent. And that's what we did."

The Gophers outshot Vermont 38-17 and held the Catamounts' power play scoreless on six chances.

Bjugstad was named the No. 1 star of the game, Budish the No. 2 star with one goal and two assists and Rau the No. 3 star with one goal and one assist. They play together on the Gophers' top line.

"We worked a lot on our corner work and going to the net this week," Bjugstad said. "That was emphasized with our coaches and that showed tonight. We really had a lot of puck possesion in the zone and we were running crosses and all that helped."

So what will the Gophers do on a rare Saturday with no game; the second game is 1 p.m. Sunday. "We will practice, get a meal in us," Bjugstad said, "and I'm sure a lot of us will go to the football game, homecoming weekend. That will be fun." 

 

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