Three Gopher Stars of the Weekend: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin
3. Ben Marshall: 0G-1A-0P
Marshall recorded a single assist in Minnesota's loss on Friday, and was a minus-three on the weekend. However, the freshman defenseman is a big part of the Gopher attack and can skate and control the puck like a young version of some great Gophers past (comparisons to Jordan Leopold or Paul Martin are not entirely inaccurate at this stage of their careers). Marshall is smooth on his skates and brings an element of offense to Minnesota's blueline that the Gophers have been lacking the past several seasons. He took over the play at several stages in Saturday's game. Marshall needs to get a little more unadventurous in the defensive zone, but his skating and offensive abilities are encouraging, and his encouraging play this weekend earned him the number three star.
2. Kent Patterson: 4 Goals Against, 31 saves on 35 shots, .886 Sv %
Don't let Patterson's seemingly pedestrian save percentage numbers fool you - the senior netminder had a solid weekend between the pipes for the Maroon and Gold. Patterson allowed four goals on the weekend - a two-on-one, a goofy deflection and a breakaway beat him on Friday, whereas the only puck to cross the Minnesota goal line on Saturday was a backdoor play. None of these goals are the fault of the goalkeeper, which is something that Patterson gives this Gopher team a lot - he makes all the saves that he's supposed to make and quite a few that he shouldn't. Wisconsin had numerous chances in Saturday's game that Patterson stopped before the Gophers were able to take over the game. He gave Minnesota a chance to win both nights, and his solid performances give him the number two star.
1. Taylor Matson: 1G-1A-2P
Matson is the captain of this Gopher team for a reason. When the team laid an egg in Friday's game, it was Matson's constant hustle and consistent play that helped Minnesota rally to a victory on Saturday night. Matson assisted on the Gophers' first goal of the game and scored the game winner in the third period. His presence on the team is an energizing one, and it is often Matson who picks the team up after a lull in energy by winning a one-on-one battle or by creating a chance by himself or for a teammate. Matson's leadership qualities are what this young Gopher team needs to keep itself on track, and the way he led the team to victory on Saturday gets him the number one star of the weekend.
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