MINNESOTA There's a certain philosophy to it all, the fundamental problem of puck in net, of learning to stop something that should be inevitable.
Being an effective goalie involves more than brute strength and hours of conditioning. It's beyond just sharp vision and a keen sense of space. Succeeding in goal is, to a large extent, a mindset, and negotiating the mental aspect of his position has been at the forefront for Gophers' goalie Kent Patterson this season.
Patterson, a native of Plymoth, Minn., assumed the role of the Gophers' starting goalie mid-way through his junior season a year ago. He finished that first season as a starter with a record of 14-9-6 and had a .920 save percentage. That save percentage was the best in the WCHA, and Patterson was named to the All-WCHA Second Team at the end of the season. But those honors and statistics were just a hint of what was to come.
Last season, Patterson did not record a shutout. He'd had shutouts in high school and juniors, o...