No. 7 Minnesota holds BSU scoreless in series-opener
Friday, February 17, 2012
No. 7 Minnesota holds BSU scoreless in series-opener

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Mariucci Arena) -- Zach Budish scored a pair of first period goals and the No. 7 University of Minnesota held Bemidji State University to a season-low 13 shots on goal as the Golden Gophers cruised to a 3-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) victory Friday at Mariucci Arena.

Posting 13 saves, Minnesota goaltender Kent Patterson logged his seventh blank sheet of the year holding BSU without a single goal for the first time since Oct. 29--a streak spanning 22 games--and shut out the Beavers for just the second time in 2011-12.

The Golden Gophers were quick out of the gate and sustained pressure for the entire first period.  Minnesota out shot BSU 14-2 in the period, holding the Beavers without a shot on goal until the 12:35 mark.

Budish put Minnesota up 1-0 just 60 seconds after the opening face off.  Positioned at the top of the crease, he tipped a Mark Alt shot from the top of the right face off circle through traffic passed BSU goaltender Dan Bakala (Sr., Calgary, Alberta).

Budish would extend Minnesota’s lead to 2-0 at the 9:13 mark of the first.  Bakala kicked a Nick Bjugstad shot to the top of the crease and Budish was in the right place at the right time and buried the rebound for his 10th goal of the season. Ben Marshall was also credited with an assist on the play.

Bemidji State settled into the second period with a pair of quality scoring chances in the opening minutes of the frame, but with Aaron McLeod (Jr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) in the penalty box, the Gophers would capitalize on their second power-play opportunity of the evening to stymie any momentum the Beavers were building.

Minnesota’s third goal came of the stick of its leading scorer Bjugstad.  After a pair of nifty passes from Kyle Rau and Erik Haula, Bjugstad lifted a shot high stick side and out of position, Bakala was not able to recover. It was Bjugstad’s 22nd goal of 2011-12.

That was all Patterson would need as the senior turned aside BSU’s four third-period shots to complete the shutout.

Bakala returned the favor at the other end of the ice piling up nine saves during the final 20 minutes of play to finish the game with 33 saves, but surrendered all three Minnesota goals in the loss to dip to 9-8-2 on the season.

With the only power-play goal of the game, Minnesota finished 1-for-4 (.250) on the man advantage, while for the second time this season, the Beavers were held without a power-play opportunity.

Minnesota continues to hold a 9-1-1 lead in the series between the team that got its start in 2000 and is unbeaten the last three times the team’s have met (2-0-1). 

Bemidji State (15-13-3; 9-11-3 WCHA) and University of Minnesota (20-12-1; 16-8-0 WCHA) wrap up the series with a 7:07 p.m. start tomorrow from Mariucci Arena.