Minnesota defeats Bemidji State 3-0

Zach Budish scored two goals in the first period, and that was all it took.

Minnesota Forward Kyle Rau plays against Colorado on Jan. 20 at Mariucci Arena.  Rau was ejected Friday with a game misconduct penalty and suspended for Saturday's game.

Marisa Wojcik

Minnesota Forward Kyle Rau plays against Colorado on Jan. 20 at Mariucci Arena. Rau was ejected Friday with a game misconduct penalty and suspended for Saturday’s game.

Dane Mizutani

 In a weekend series it needed to have after a sweep at the hands of Denver last weekend, No. 7 Minnesota asserted its dominance over Bemidji State Friday night with a 3-0 victory.

The Gophers (20-11-1, 16-7-0 WCHA) jumped on the Beavers right away with a goal exactly one minute into the game and never looked back.

They did not take a single penalty in the game — a stark contrast to the 14 penalties it took in the series to Denver.

Minnesota’s early dominance paired with its uncharacteristically clean play was a recipe for success in front of an announced crowd of 9,975.   

Zach Budish picked up where he left off last weekend in the scoring department and paced Minnesota with two goals in the first period.

Budish used every inch of his 6-foot-3, 214-pound frame to get his stick on a Mark Alt shot from the point for his first goal of the game. His second goal came as a gift-wrapped rebound shot that floated just outside the crease eight minutes later.

Bemidji State (15-13-3, 9-11-3) struggled to generate scoring chances in the period and was severely outshot 14-2.

Nick Bjugstad stretched the lead to three in the second with his team-leading 22nd goal of the season.

Kyle Rau found Bjugstad with a beautiful tape-to-tape pass on the power play and Bjugstad took it from there. He effortlessly found the nylon with a wrist shot to make it 3-0.

Bemidji State goaltender Dan Bakala gave up three goals total last weekend against Colorado College, but surrendered three in the first 27 minutes Friday.

Bakala recovered from the slow start to the game and did not allow another goal the rest of the way.

However, the damage was done and the Gophers waltzed to a 3-0 win and Kent Patterson’s seventh shutout of the season.

Patterson is now three away from tying former Michigan State goaltender and current Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller’s record of 10 shutouts.

The Gophers will attempt to complete the sweep tomorrow at Mariucci Arena.