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Rau, Schmidt earn WCHA awards

For the second consecutive week, two Golden Gophers have earned WCHA awards. The conference named Kyle Rau its rookie of the week -- the third time he's won the award. Nate Schmidt was named co-defensive player of the week.
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For the second consecutive week, two Golden Gophers have earned WCHA awards. The conference named Kyle Rau its rookie of the week -- the third time he's won the award. Nate Schmidt was named co-defensive player of the week.

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Patterson and Rau named WCHA players of the week

For the third time this season Kent Patterson has been named WCHA defensive player of the week. The senior Gophers' goalie allowed one goal in a weekend sweep of Bemidji State. The WCHA rookie of the week award was given to Gophers' forward Kyle Rau. It's the second time he's won the award.

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Rau is required to serve his one-game suspension Saturday night during the series finale at the University of Denver. He was given a five-minute major penalty for boarding and a ten-minute game misconduct after a high check to Denver's Jason Zucker Friday night.

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Gophers sophomore center Nick Bjugstad has been named WCHA offensive player of the week. Bjugstad tallied five points in Minnesota's weekend split with St. Cloud State, including a hat trick in Saturday's 5-0 win.

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Nate Schmidt has come a long way since graduating high school at St. Cloud Cathedral. He learned a lot in the ten games he played in as a freshman last season. Now, as a sophomore, Schmidt is tied with Kyle Rau with a plus/minus rating of plus-21 -- fourth best in the nation.