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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3 keys to Gophers' 6th win today

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers, Men's hockey, Pregame Updated: October 23, 2011 - 12:34 PM

This is no time for a letdown for the Gophers. Sure, they beat Vermont 6-0 on Friday and it looked easy. But the Catamounts will be tougher today. Count on it. Their coaches were not happy with the effort of key plays in their season opener.

Three keys to the Gophers going 6-0-0 to start the season:

1. Keep shots down. Gophers goalie Kent Patterson has not allowed a goal in three games at Mariucci Arena. Of course, he has not been tested that much. He has 20, 20 and 17 saves in those three games, that's 57 total. At UMD, he faced 100 shots in two games.

2. Score early. That was a key to winning the series opener on Friday, too. The Gophers scored a goal in the first minute and were up 2-0 after four minutes. Why let the Catamounts feel they have a chance to win? Get a quick lead and build on. That's always a good strategy.

3. Get the power play humming. The Gophers were only one for six on the power play on Friday after going six for nine in a sweep of the Bulldogs.The Gophers' power play should be a potent weapon throughout the season. They have some skilled forwards, They need to take a few more shots than they did Friday. Only nine on six power plays. Expect Vermont goalie Rob Madore to be much better. He's a veteran who got out of his comfort zone real quick the first game.


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