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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U juggles bottom two lines for Niagara

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers game day Updated: December 30, 2011 - 6:00 PM

Three keys for the Gophers to beat Niagara:

1. Pressure, pressure. Put sustained pressure on Niagara's goalie. The Gophers need to use their speed advantage on the big ice at Mariucci.

2. Get balanced scoring. With the team's top two scorers gone, everyone has to try and chip in with the goals,. The power play will be different , too, with Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau gone. Keep firing shots.

3. Get a lead and build on it. Don't give an underdog hope. The WCHA is 9-0 against Atlantic Hockey teams. Make sure it is 10-0 by the end of the night.

Gophers' lines:

1st line/ Sam Warning-Erik Haula-Jake Hansen. ... Haula has nine goals, Hansen eight. Time for one of them to reach double figures. Warning seems stuck on three.

2nd line/ Nate Condon-Taylor Matson-Seth Ambroz. ... Could use a goal from this intact line tonight, too.

3rd line/ Nick Larson-Christian Isackson-Zach Budish. ... Budish drops down from top line. Isackson playing only sixth game, still looking for first point as a Gopher.

4th line/ Tom Serratore-Nico Sacchetti-Joe Miller. ... Sacchetti playing sixth game, Miller second. Miller scored a goal in his first game, Dec. 10, a 6-2 Gophers rout of Michigan Tech.

D-pairs:

Seth Helgeson-Justin Holl

Ben Marshall-Mark Alt

Jake Parenteau-Nate Schmidt

Goalie

Kent Patterson ... 42nd start in row going back to last season

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