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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Lynx host game two of WNBA finals tonight

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MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Lynx host the Atlanta Dream in Game Two of the WNBA Finals tonight at the Target Center. 

Minnesota grabbed a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-five series with an 84-59 rout of Atlanta on Sunday.  After tonight's game, the series will shift to Atlanta for Game Three on Thursday.  If necessary, Game Four would be played on Sunday.  Here is the schedule, with results so far, for the 2013 WNBA Finals:

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Game One:  Minnesota 84, Atlanta 59 (Final - MN leads series 1-0)

Game Two (Tuesday, October 8th): Atlanta at Minnesota, 7pm

Game Three (Thursday, October 10th):  Minnesota at Atlanta, 7:30pm

Game Four (Sunday, October 13th):  Minnesota at Atlanta, 7pm (if necessary)

Game Five (Wednesday, October 16th):  Atlanta at Minnesota, 7pm (if necessary) 

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The Minnesota Vikings were back on the practice field yesterday getting ready for this Sunday's game at home against Carolina at the Metrodome.  They have a new man at Winter Park who will be in the hunt for the quarterback job.  Minnesota inked former Buccaneer signal-caller Josh Freeman to a one-year, $3 million contract.  The former first-round draft choice from Kansas State made the Pro Bowl in 2010 and is still only 25-years-old.  But, he was awful earlier this season for Tampa Bay, completing only 46-percent of his passes and not winning any of his three starts.  He has three interceptions and two touchdown passes in those trio of games.  Freeman arrived at Winter Park last night and says he looks forward to an opportunity to earn playing time.  Head coach Leslie Frazier says Freeman will not play this weekend, which will give him time to learn the offense.  Sunday's kickoff is set for noon at the Metrodome.

Here is the 2013 Vikings schedule and results:

Sunday, September 8 - Detroit 34, Minnesota 24 (final)

Sunday, September 15 - Chicago 31, Minnesota 30 (final)

Sunday, September 22 - Cleveland 31, Minnesota 27 (final)

Sunday, September 29 - Minnesota 34, Pittsburgh 27 (final)

Sunday, October 6 - BYE WEEK

Sunday, October 13 - vs. Carolina, noon

Monday, October 21 - at NY Giants, 7:30pm

Sunday, October 27 - vs. Green Bay, 7:40pm

Sunday, November 3 - at Dallas, noon

Thursday, November 7 - vs. Washington, 7:25pm

Sunday, November 17 - at Seattle, 3:25pm**

Sunday, November 24 - at Green Bay, noon**

Sunday, December 1 - vs. Chicago, noon**

Sunday, December 8 - at Baltimore, noon**

Sunday, December 15 - vs. Philadelphia, noon**

Sunday, December 22 - at Cincinnati, noon**

Sunday, December 29 - vs. Detroit, noon**

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Kickoff time for next Saturday's football game between the University of Minnesota and Northwestern has been set for 11 a.m., in Evanston, Illinois.  The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.  That contest can also be heard on the statewide Gopher Radio Network.  Minnesota is idle this weekend, while Northwestern visits Wisconsin.  The Gophers have lost two straight games and are hoping some rest and recuperation can help them this week.  

Here is the 2013 Golden Gopher football schedule with results to date:

Thursday, August 29 - Minnesota 51, UNLV 23 (final)

Saturday, September 7 - Minnesota 44, New Mexico State 21 (final)

Saturday, September 14 - Minnesota 29, Western Illinois 12 (final)

Saturday, September 21 - Minnesota 43, San Jose State 24 (final)

Saturday, September 28 - Iowa 23, Minnesota 7 (final)

Saturday, October 5 - Michigan 42, Minnesota 13 (final)

Saturday, October 12 - BYE WEEK

Saturday, October 19 - at Northwestern, 11am

Saturday, October 26 - vs. Nebraska, TBD

Saturday, November 2 - at Indiana, 2:30pm

Saturday, November 9 - vs. Penn State, TBD

Saturday, November 16 - BYE WEEK

Saturday, November 23 - vs. Wisconsin, TBD

Saturday, November 30 - at Michigan State, TBD

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The NSIC has named its football Players of the Week.  Southwest Minnesota State senior receiver Anthony Dean of Tampa is the league's Offensive Player of the Week after setting a single-game conference record with 308 yards receiving in a win over Sioux Falls on Saturday.  Winona State senior defensive back Patrick Lazzara of Chicago is the conference's Defensive Player of the Week after picking off two passes in a victory over Upper Iowa.  Minnesota State-Mankato senior kicker Sam Brockshus of Spencer, Iowa is the Special Teams Player of the Week.

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The MIAC football Players of the Week have been released.  Gustavus Adolphus senior running back Jeffrey Dubose of St. Paul is the league's Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 200 yards and five touchdowns in the Gusties win over Hamline.  Bethel senior defensive back Josh Treimer of Burnsville is the conference's Defensive Player of the Week after making ten tackles and forcing a key fumble in the Royals win over Augsburg  Bethel sophomore kicker Andrew O'Reilly of Lakeville is the MIAC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second straight time.  He made all four of his extra points and kicked a decisive field goal to help keep Bethel undefeated.

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Minnesota forward Derrick Williams scored 21 points but it wasn't enough as the Timberwolves opened preseason play with a 108-106 loss to CSKA Moscow.  Kevin Martin added 16 points and A.J. Price had 14 off the bench for the T'wolves, who take on the Raptors tomorrow night in Toronto.  Head coach Rick Adelman says he was not thrilled with how his team played, saying his started needed to come out with more intensity.

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The Minnesota Wild matchup against the Nashville Predators tonight in Tennessee with each team looking for their first win of the year.  The Wild have lost a game in a shootout and a game in overtime to begin the year.    The puck drops tonight at 7 p.m.

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Catcher Joe Mauer is the Twins nominee for the Hank Aaron Award, which is given to the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.  Voting is underway through Thursday.  The winners will be announced during the World Series.  Mauer hit .324 with 11 homers and 47 RBI in 113 games this season.

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The number of wolf hunting and trapping license applicants this year in the state is about half of what it was last year.  About 13,000 applied for licenses, compared to over 23,000 last year.  Dan Stark with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it's likely due in part to the fact that last year was the first season and there was a lot of interest, plus this year the DNR has reduced the number of licenses.  Stark also attributes the decline in applications to low success rates last year for wolf hunters and trappers. 

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Three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart has gone under the knife once again.  Stewart had a third surgery on his broken leg yesterday in what his team characterized as a "proactive measure."  This procedure was to close a wound on his right shin stemming from the injury he suffered on August 5th.  This surgery is not expected to effect his scheduled return.

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IndyCar racer Dario Franchitti is expected to stay hospitalized for another few days from injuries sustained in a crash at the Grand Prix of Houston.  Franchitti suffered a broken ankle, two spinal fractures and a concussion when his car crashed on the final lap of Sunday's race.  He's expected to be taken to Indianapolis for further evaluation later in the week.

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