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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: U men's hockey hosts Michigan

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MINNEAPOLIS - The second-ranked University of Minnesota men's hockey team hosts No. 11 Michigan in a Big Ten weekend series. 

The Golden Gophers are coming off a two-game sweep at Wisconsin that ended a 15-week reign as the top team in the nation.  The Wolverines split two games at Penn State last weekend.  Minnesota is 8-2-2 in conference play, Michigan has a 6-3-1-1 record in the Big Ten.  The U of M will honor U.S. Hockey of Hall of Fame member, Olympic silver medalist and all-time leading scorer John Mayasich of Eveleth tonight at Mariucci Arena.  

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The University of Minnesota Board of Regents is expected to approve $6.6 million dollars in renovations for TCF Stadium at today's meeting.  The Minnesota Vikings are paying for the upgrades so they can use the Gopher football field for two seasons while their new stadium is under construction.  The plan includes artificial turf with a heating system, heated restrooms and elevator lobbies... plus air curtains, and 1,750 temporary bleachers.  The money comes from the budget for the new $975 million Vikings stadium.

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The U.S. men's curling team improved to 2-3 at the Olympic Winter Games after an 8-5 win over Germany early this morning. Duluth's John Schuster finished with an 89 percent accuracy rating while Jeff Isaacson of  Gilbert was at 80 percent.  Team USA is tied for sixth in the round-robin standings with five more sessions before the field is cut.  The top four teams advance to the medal round. The Americans are back on the ice later today against host Russia.

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Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund had two goals in Finland's 8-4 win over Austria at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. The 21-year-old also had an assist in his Olympic debut Thursday.  The Finns return to the ice later this morning to take on Norway.  Finland is playing without Wild captain Mikko Koivu, who withdrew from the team because of a lingering foot injury. 

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The Detroit Lions are parting ways with former Vikings wide receiver Nate Burleson.  The 32-year-old veteran was scheduled to earn more than $7.5 million in 2014 and was willing to restructure his contract to stay with the Motor City Kitties.  But the Lions released him Thursday.  Burleson had 39 catches for 461 yards and one touchdown in nine games in 2013.  He was taken  by Minnesota in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. 

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