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Updated: October 29th, 2011 12:44am
Kent Patterson solid again in Gophers' shutout of Alaska-Anchorage

Kent Patterson solid again in Gophers' shutout of Alaska-Anchorage

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
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Goalie Kent Patterson recorded his fourth shutout of the season as the Gophers hockey team tempered the sting of last year's playoff loss to Alaska-Anchorage slightly by defeating the Seawolves 5-0 on Friday night for their sixth win of the year.

The skinny

When the Gophers last met the Seawolves they were knocked out of the first round of the WCHA playoffs in two-straight games, which resulted in a failure to secure a NCAA tournament bid for the fourth year in a row.

Friday's game didn't hold nearly as much consequence, but the Gophers still capitalized.

Although the Seawolves out-shot them 22-21,  the Gophers converted twice on the power play for two of their four goals in the final two periods. Sophomore Erik Haula led the scoring barrage with two goals -- his sixth and seventh of the season -- as well as an assist. Defenseman Mark Alt joined in with his first score of the year, and only third of his career.

With the defense in front of him in-sync, unlike in last Sunday's loss to Vermont, Patterson turned out another impressive performance, turning away 22 shots -- 14 of which came in the second period.

Turning point

Alaska-Anchorage had no response once the Gophers fell into a rhythm offensively.

Jake Hansen scored a power play goal at the 11:46 mark in the second period to put the "U" up 2-0. Alt followed just over a minute later with his team's third goal. From there, the Gophers would score twice more early in the final period to seal the win.

Numbers game

7: Goals scored by Erik Haula this season, giving him them the team lead in goals and total points (17).

4: The fewest goals the Gophers have scored in any of their seven games. They average a WCHA-best five goals per contest.

20: The number of periods, out of 21, that the Gophers have scored in this season.

Summary

First period

• Gophers -- Erik Haula (6), assists by Zach Budish (5) and Kyle Rau (4), 18:01. Gophers 1, Alaska-Anchorage 0

Second period

• Gophers -- Nick Bjugstad (6) on the power play, assists by Haula (10) and Nate Schmidt (9), 11:46. Gophers 2, Alaska-Anchorage 0

• Gophers -- Mark Alt (1), assist by Travis Boyd (2), 12:49. Gophers 3, Alaska-Anchorage 0

Third period

• Gophers -- Justin Holl (2), assist by Budish (6) and Rau (5), 0:30. Gophers 4, Alaska-Anchorage 0

• Gophers -- Haula (7) on the power play, assists by Schmidt (10) and Bjugstad (6), 4:41. Gophers 5, Alaska-Anchorage 0

Coming up

The Gophers (6-1, 3-0 in the WCHA) could complete their third series sweep of the season, and second in the WCHA, on Saturday in the second game of the weekend set against the Seawolves (3-3-1, 0-3 in the WCHA).

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
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