Nick Bjugstad's power-play goal and Kent Patterson's stalwart goalie play led the Gophers to a shutout over the Sioux that was as hard-fought as anticipated.
With Kent Patterson in the nets, the Gophers can win without many goals. On Friday, they got a power-play goal from their top center and a breakaway goal from a fourth-line winger.
That was plenty.
The Gophers edged North Dakota 2-0 as Patterson made 24 saves in his team's WCHA home opener at Mariucci Arena before an announced crowd of 10,176. The shutout was Patterson's fifth in nine games; he already has tied Robb Stauber's program record set in 1987-88 for most shutouts in one season.
Nick Bjugstad scored the game-winning goal midway through the second period on a power play. The 6-5 sophomore got an open look from the left hash marks and buried it for his seventh goal of the season.
Tom Serratore gave the Gophers a two-goal lead in the middle of the third period. Nick Larson's pass created the breakaway.
"Just another ho-hum game, huh?" Gophers coach Don Lucia joked. "No, it was the type of game we expected. It was hard-hitting, it was physical [29 penalties]. There was blocked shots, goaltending, guys making plays.
"And there was not a lot of space in the game tonight. The game was settling in. You knew it was going to be a low-scoring game."
The No. 5-ranked Gophers (8-1, 5-0) remained in first place in the WCHA with the victory and buried the defending MacNaughton Cup champions a little deeper in the league standings. No. 15 North Dakota (3-5-1, 1-4) has struggled to score goals much of the season.
The Gophers, averaging an NCAA-best 5.38 goals per game, were held scoreless in the opening period for the first time this season and started the second period on a five-minute penalty kill.
Freshman winger Seth Ambroz received a major penalty and a game disqualification for contact to the head at 30 seconds. The Gophers killed that penalty, making plays repeatedly that had the crowd roaring.
"We were able to do a good job on our kill," Lucia said, "and maybe even for some momentum from our kill because we did not give up a lot of looks on it."
If the penalty kill didn't energize the Gophers, a melee in the middle of the period probably did. It began when Patterson dived out of the crease to cover a puck and North Dakota's Dan Senkbeil crashed into him.
Soon the ice looked like a shot of the main floor at the state high school wrestling meet, with eight players rolling around on the ice, all paired up. Out of the melee, the Gophers got a power play and scored on what was a 5-on-3 1/2.
The half was Sioux captain Mario Lamoureux. A hard point shot by Gophers defenseman Nate Schmidt broke Lamoureux's stick and had him hobbling around in pain.
"[Schmidt] can really hammer the puck -- I think that's what hurt [Lamoureux] and he broke his stick," Bjugstad said. "Fortunately, it ended up being a 3-on-0. If I wouldn't have scored, I would have caught some heat from the guys."
Serratore gave the Gophers a 2-0 lead with his second goal of the season midway through the third period.
"Our team has been doing a great job of letting me see pucks, letting me make the first save," Patterson said. "I am going to have to make a few big saves once in a while."
But not too often.
Friday afternoon, Patterson was named college hockey's National Player of the Month for October. Last night he started building his case to repeat this month.Notes
• Along with Patterson, Kyle Rau also was named the winner of a national award on Friday. While Patterson was named Player of the Month, Rau got Rookie of the Month honors.
Patterson was 7-1 in October with a 1.74 goals-against average and four shutouts. Rau led all freshmen with seven goals and 13 points.
• On Thursday, the Gophers got a major commitment for the 2013-14 season. Taylor Cammarata, a forward for Waterloo of the USHL, said he would accept a scholarship offer. Cammarata scored 71 goals for the under-18 Shattuck-St. Mary's team last season. He was the No. 1 pick in the USHL Futures Draft in April.
• The Gophers' shutout was the first against North Dakota since Oct. 23, 2004, and the first at Mariucci Arena against UND since Dec. 12, 1993.
|Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos||4||FINAL|
|Baltimore - WP: B. Norris||5|
|Boston - WP: J. Kelly||9||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene||4|
|Detroit - WP: P. Coke||4||FINAL|
|Cleveland - LP: C. Allen||2|
|NY Mets - WP: J. Niese||8||FINAL|
|Miami - LP: B. Penny||6|
|Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick||4||FINAL|
|Atlanta - LP: M. Minor||0|
|Toronto - WP: R. Dickey||8||FINAL|
|Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson||2|
|Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo||1||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta||7|
|LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson||3||FINAL|
|Houston - WP: B. Peacock||8|
|Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb||6||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros||3|
|Texas - LP: M. Kirkman||1||FINAL|
|Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor||2|
|Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke||4||FINAL|
|St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright||6|
|San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos||12||FINAL|
|Colorado - LP: M. Belisle||7|
|Seattle - WP: J. Paxton||6||FINAL|
|Oakland - LP: S. Gray||5|
|Washington - LP: D. Fister||1||FINAL|
|Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw||4|
|Arizona - LP: B. Ziegler||1||FINAL|
|San Diego - WP: K. Quackenbush||2|
|Green Bay||9/4/14 7:30 PM|
|Buffalo||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|New Orleans||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Minnesota||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Cleveland||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Jacksonville||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Oakland||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Cincinnati||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Washington||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Tennessee||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|New England||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Carolina||9/7/14 3:25 PM|
|San Francisco||9/7/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||9/7/14 7:30 PM|
|NY Giants||9/8/14 6:10 PM|
|San Diego||9/8/14 9:20 PM|
|Arizona||9/4/14 7:00 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/5/14 6:00 PM|
|Washington St||9/5/14 9:30 PM|
|SMU||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Fla Atlantic||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Buffalo||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(24) Missouri||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Arkansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(7) McNeese State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Central Mich||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Akron||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ill||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(20) Kansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(4) Oklahoma||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ky||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|SC State||9/6/14 11:30 AM|
|Navy||9/6/14 12:00 PM|
|UAB||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|South Alabama||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|Colorado||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|Fresno State||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(2) Eastern Wash||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(14) USC||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ohio U||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Northern Ill||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Missouri State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ball State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Maryland||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Eastern Mich||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|(15) Ole Miss||9/6/14 3:30 PM|
|Old Dominion||9/6/14 5:00 PM|
|(7) Michigan State||9/6/14 5:30 PM|
|(17) Arizona State||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|San Jose St||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|East Carolina||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(21) So Carolina|
|Duke||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(15) Sam Houston St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Michigan||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(16) Notre Dame|
|Lamar||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(9) Texas A&M|
|Northwestern St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|BYU||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Citadel||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|San Diego St||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(21) North Carolina|
|Virginia Tech||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(8) Ohio State|
|Memphis||9/6/14 9:00 PM|
|Colorado State||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Air Force||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Oregon State||9/6/14 9:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||9/6/14 10:00 PM|
|Brt Columbia||9/5/14 6:30 PM|
|Calgary||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Hamilton||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan||9/7/14 3:00 PM|
|Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois||6 pm||X||42-20|
|Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St.||2:30 pm|
|Sep 13 - at TCU||3 pm|
|Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St.||TBA|
|Sep 27 - at Michigan||TBA|
|Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern||TBA|
|Oct 18 - vs. Purdue||11 am|
|Oct 25 - at Illinois||11 am|
|Nov 8 - vs. Iowa||TBA|
|Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State||TBA|
|Nov 22 - at Nebraska||TBA|
|Nov 29 - at Wisconsin||TBA|