Minnesota completed the weekend sweep of Sacred Heart Saturday with a 6-0 victory at Mariucci Arena.
Though it paled in comparison to the 9-0 drubbing the Gophers dished out on Friday, the team seemed to fire on all cylinders in their first two games of the season.
Minnesota (2-0-0) could not match that fast start from Friday’s game, but once again used a strong second period to pull away from Sacred Heart.
The Pioneers showed more fight Saturday, outshooting Minnesota 7-5 through the first half of the first period, but they could not contain the Gophers for the entire period.
Minnesota struck first as Sam Warning netted his second goal of the season at 12:12 into the first period. Warning hung around the net and slammed in the rebound following a Mark Alt shot.
Seven minutes later the Gophers were on the attack again.
Jake Hansen controlled the puck and centered it to Erik Haula in the slot. Haula fired a wrist shot past the Sacred Heart goaltender Andrew Bodnarchuk at 19:20 to make it 2-0 entering the second period.
Ben Marshall and Taylor Matson scored back-to-back goals less than 30 seconds apart early in the second period to take complete control of the game.
It was the first goal of Marshall’s career and Matson’s first goal on the season.
Matson scored on a breakaway as Nate Condon found him streaking down the ice. Matson deked Bodnarchuk right, came back left, and used his backhand to flip the puck into the net.
While Minnesota was clearly the better team on the weekend, the Gophers struggled to find the net on the power play.
Perhaps frustrated on the heels of a blowout, Sacred Heart (0-2-0) took multiple penalties early in the game and finished with nine on the night.
Zach Budish scored his first goal of the season on the power play in the third period.
Haula added a late power play goal to finalize the score at 6-0.
The Gophers, however, went 3-13 with the man advantage in the series and were unable to score on a 5-on-3 midway through the first period on Saturday.
Newly appointed alternate captain, Jake Hansen tallied four assists on the night for Minnesota.
Kent Patterson stood on his head all night, turning away Sacred Heart whenever it seemed to have a scoring chance.
Patterson, who had never recorded a shutout prior to the matchup with Sacred Heart, posted consecutive shutouts in the series.
Minnesota will open up WCHA play on the road next weekend against defending NCAA champions, Minnesota-Duluth.
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