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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Ryan cancer surgery successful

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ROCHESTER, Minn. --  The Minnesota Twins say General Manager Terry Ryan underwent successful neck surgery Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic. 

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Sixty-year-old Ryan was diagnosed with squamos cell carcinoma in a lymph node in his neck.  He's expected to remain hospitalized in Rochester for the next few days.  Team doctors say Ryan will also need radiation, but chemotherapy is not likely because a PET scan found the cancer had not spread.  Ryan will miss at least the start of spring training in Fort Myers, Florida. 

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The University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has established a memorial fund in the name of a former athlete murdered last year.  The UMD Softball 1 Four Mandy Matula Fund will provide financial support for the Bulldog softball program.  Matula died last spring at the age of 24, presumably at the hands of her ex-boyfriend who later committed suicide.  Matula was a starting pitcher and utility player with the Bulldogs from 2007 through 2011 and wrapped up her UMD playing days with a .304 lifetime batting average and posted an 11-9 record in 31 career pitching appearances. Her No. 14 jersey will be officially retired this spring, making Matula the first UMD Division II athlete to be so honored. UMD head coach Jen Banford says Mandy was an amazing young woman on and off the field, and emulated everything they want a Bulldog softball player to be.

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The U.S. women's hockey team lost to rival Canada 3-2 today in pool play at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.  St. Cloud native Anne Schleper had a goal and assist for Team USA.  The Canadians scored three times in the third period to rally past the Americans.  The U.S. will be the second seed in the medal round with its first semifinal game Monday.  The schedule will be announced following the quarterfinals Saturday.  Team USA has five current or former University of Minnesota players on its roster.      

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The U.S. men's curling team beat Denmark 9-5 today for its first win of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.  Captain John Schuster of Duluth says the Danes missed some shots they probably shouldn't have, but Team USA still played well.  The Americans improved to 1-2 in round-robin play and have a match against Great Britain Thursday.  The U.S. team also includes Jeff Isaacson of Gilbert, Jared Zezel of Hibbing and John Landsteiner of Duluth.

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