MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Wild winning streak halted
ST. PAUL (SportsNetwork.com) - Ryan O'Reilly scored twice in his return to the Colorado lineup, including the go-ahead goal with 7:16 remaining in the third period, as the Avalanche came through with a 4-2 decision over the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.
Maxime Talbot added an empty-netter with 1:10 left along with an assist to help the Avalanche bounce back from Friday's home overtime loss to the New York Islanders. Gabriel Landeskog lit the lamp as well to support a 25-save effort from Semyon Varlamov. O'Reilly, whose 16 markers are tied for the team lead, had missed two straight games with a bruised shoulder. Charlie Coyle accounted for both Minnesota goals, which came 40 seconds apart in the second period, but Niklas Backstrom stopped just 14-of-17 shots as the Wild had a four-game win streak halted. Coyle's barrage brought the Wild back from a 2-0 deficit, but the Avalanche regained the upper hand courtesy of a outstanding all-around effort from O'Reilly with time winding down. The Colorado forward stole the puck from Ryan Suter near center ice and gave it to teammate Matt Duchene, who sent it back to O'Reilly before the latter sent a wicked backhander over Backstrom's shoulder. Backstrom was pulled for an extra attacker with under two minutes left, setting up Talbot's clincher on a long wrist shot from the neutral zone.
Keith Appling poured in 24 points, including eight in overtime, as No. 5 Michigan State recovered from a late second-half collapse to dispatch Minnesota, 87-75, at Breslin Center. Gary Harris followed with 19 points, while Kenny Kaminski added 15 for the Spartans (15-1, 4-0 Big Ten), winners of eight in a row since their lone loss to North Carolina. Andre Hollins totaled 24 points and Malik Smith posted 17 for the Gophers (13-4, 2-2), whose two-game win streak came to a halt despite forcing the game beyond regulation by wiping out a late five-point deficit. Minnesota was down 71-66 with 21 seconds to play, but Smith drained a trey and after Harris bricked a pair of free throws, DeAndre Mathieu converted a layup with just over one second left. The luck ran out as the extra session began. Michigan State scored the first nine points as Minnesota missed its first five shots from the floor and committed three turnovers. The Gophers took to fouling MSU's best players, and the strategy backfired. Appling finished 8-for-8 from the charity stripe, Harris connected on both of his attempts, while Matt Costello and Denzel Valentine each converted 1-of-2. Harris and Valentine also made jumpers to account for the hosts' overtime output.
The No. 1 ranked University of Minnesota women's hockey team was jolted by an overtime shootout loss to Ohio State Saturday afternoon. The Buckeye won the shootout 3-2 in front of over 2,200 fans at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. Rachel Ramsey's goal put Minnesota ahead 2-1 in the third period before OSU's Ally Tarr tied the game with a goal at the 18:19 mark. Baylee Gillanders also scored for the Golden Gophers. The game will be a tie in the standings but the Buckeyes will gain an extra point for winning the shootout. U goalie Amanda Levielle made 23 saves but winning goalie Lisa Steffes made 34.