Kent Patterson solid again in Gophers' shutout of Alaska-Anchorage
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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.
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.
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.
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.
• Gophers -- Erik Haula (6), assists by Zach Budish (5) and Kyle Rau (4), 18:01. Gophers 1, Alaska-Anchorage 0
• 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
• 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
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).