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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Three keys to Gophers earning a split

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers, Men's hockey, Pregame, St. Cloud State Updated: November 19, 2011 - 6:30 PM

The Gophers will try to bounce back after losing 4-3 to the Huskies on Friday at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud State. Minnesota had a huge 43-18 shot advantage but trailed 4-1 until the last five minutes.

So how can the Gophers gets a split. Three keys:

1. Pass less, shoot more on odd-man rushes. Gophers needed to score more one goal through two periods. They had plenty of chances but once, on a three-on-one, didn't even get a shot. Several times they had two-on-ones and missed the net.

2. Stop the Huskies' top line. St. Cloud State has only one really dangerous line. The Gophers need to do a better job of shadowing those players. Ben Hanowski had one goal and two assists and David Eddy, the other wing on the first line, had three assists. And Nic Dowd, their center, had a goal, too.

3. Help Patterson more. Kent Patterson was put in a tough spot on several of the Huskies' four goals. The first one came off a turnover near the Gophers end. Hanowski was alone in front of the net when he got the puck. The second game when Cam Reid was alone on the backdoor. The third was a rebound when the scorer had nobody on him. The fourth came on a pass to a player in the deep slot.

LINE CHANGES

For the first time this season, coach Don Lucia has changed around his lines to start a game. The new lines:

First line/  Kyle Rau-Nick Bjugstad-Zach Budish. This one he didn't touch. Both Rau and Bjugstad had goals on Friday. Rau scored his ninth goal, Bjugstad his 10th.

Second line/ Jake Hansen-Erik Haula-Travis Boyd, Boyd moves up from fourth line center to right wing. Hansen moves from right wing to left. Haula stays at center but is in a scoring slump.

Third line/ Sam Warning-Nate Condon-Taylor Matson. Warning drops down from the second line. Condon moves from left wing to center, Matson from center to right wing.

Fourth line/ Tom Serratore-Nick Larson-Seth Ambroz. Larson moves from right wing to center, replacing Boyd. Ambroz drops down from the third line.

Defensive pairs ... no changes

Seth Helgeson-Justin Holl

Ben Marshall-Mark Alt

Jake Parenteau-Nate Schmidt

Goalie ,,, no change

Kent Patterson

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