MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Blackhawks take Game 5, now up 3-2 over the Wild
CHICAGO, IL -- Chicago forward Jonathan Toews scored the game-clinching goal in the third period to lift the Blackhawks to a 2-1 win over the Wild in Game Five of their Western Conference Semifinal series at United Center in Chicago last night. Bryan Bickell also scored for Chicago, which takes a three-games-to-two lead over Minnesota in the best-of-seven series. Corey Crawford notched 27 saves for the Blackhawks. Erik Haula scored the lone goal for the Wild when he raced to a goal in the first period. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 26 shots for Minnesota, which hosts Game Six tomorrow night in St. Paul.
The Chicago Blackhawks will be without forward Brandon Bollig again tomorrow against the Minnesota Wild. Bollig missed last night's game serving the first of a two-game suspension handed down by the NHL. Bollig was penalized for an illegal hit on defenseman Keith Ballard in Game Four of the series in St. Paul.
Here is the schedule and the results for the NHL Western Conference Semifinal best-of-seven series between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks:
Game One (Friday 5/2): Chicago 5, Minnesota 2 (CHI leads series 1-0)
Game Two (Sunday 5/4): Chicago 4, Minnesota 1 (CHI leads series 2-0)
Game Three (Tuesday 5/6): Minnesota 4, Chicago 0 (CHI leads series 2-1)
Game Four (Friday 5/9): Minnesota 4, Chicago 2 (series tied 2-2)
Game Five (Sunday 5/11): Chicago 2, Minnesota 1 (CHI leads series 3-2)
Game Six (Tuesday 5/13): Chicago at Minnesota, 8pm
Game Seven (Thursday 5/15): Minnesota at Chicago, if necessary, TBD
Minnesota infielder Eduardo Nunez singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Twins rallied past the Tigers 4-3 in the rubber match of a weekend series at Comerica Park in Detroit yesterday. Josmil Pinto also drove in a run in the eighth and Joe Mauer came around to score on an error on the same play for Minnesota. Jared Burton picked up his first win and Glen Perkins earned his 10th save. Ian Kinsler homered, while Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson also plated a run each for the Tigers, who have dropped three-of-four since an eight-game winning streak. Joba Chamberlain took the loss. The Twins are off today.
Minnesota's Asia Taylor tallied a game-high 18 points as the WNBA Lynx defeated the Chicago Sky 76-69 to win the WNBA's first ever preseason tournament yesterday in Orlando. Maya Moore added 16 points in 18 minutes of action for the Lynx, who went 3-and-0 in preseason play. The Lynx begin the regular season on Friday at Washington.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Indiana Pacers are closer to a title after getting victories on Sunday in the NBA playoffs. The Clippers rallied from 16 down to edge the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99, evening the Western Conference semifinal series at two games each. They will break the tie in Game Five from OKC on Tuesday. In the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Indiana Pacers came back from 19 points down to get by the Washington Wizards, 95-92. Indiana will head home for Game Five on Tuesday with a 3-1 series advantage. The playoffs continue Monday as the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets hook up in New York. The Heat lead the series 2-1. Out west the San Antonio Spurs will look to complete a four-game sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Minnesota Vikings selected 10 prospects in the NFL Draft over the weekend and agreed to terms with 15 undrafted free agents over the weekend. Minnesota used their first round pick on outside linebacker Anthony Barr and traded back into the first round to use the final pick of the first round on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings also used draft picks on defensive end Scott Crichton and running back Jerick McKinnon. The rookies will report to minicamp later this week where they will get to workout for the first time with their new team.
Former Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson is in trouble with the law. Multiple media outlets are reporting that the former "Mr. Minnesota Football" was arrested early Sunday morning in downtown Mankato for allegedly having a role in an assault of another former football player. 24-old Isaac Kolstad was found unconscious following two kicks to the head. Kolstad was a linebacker at Minnesota State-Mankato. Police are also looking for another suspect. Both Nelson and Kolstad are from Mankato, but attended different high schools. A vigil was held last night for Kolstad on the MSU-Mankato campus. A Caring Bridge post from Kolstad's family indicates the young man suffered brain damage and is fighting for his life. Nelson transferred to Rutgers in January to finish his collegiate career.
The Golden Gopher baseball team sealed two wins over Purdue at Siebert Field yesterday. Minnesota received a walk-off home run from Bobby Juan to beat the Boilermakers 6-5 yesterday to complete a suspended game from Saturday. Then, the Gophers beat the Boilers 4-3 in the regularly-scheduled Sunday game. The series sweep clinched a berth into the Big Ten Tournament for the Gophers. That tourney is in two weeks in Omaha. Minnesota is now 26-and-20 overall and 12-and-9 in Big Ten play and will play Big Ten regular season champ Indiana this weekend in the regular season series finale.
The University of Minnesota softball earned the No. 16 overall seed in the NCAA Division I Softball Tournament and will host a four-team regional tourney this week on the U of M campus. The Golden Gophers are 41-and-9 on the season and will take on Wisconsin-Green Bay in an opening NCAA game on Friday. Auburn and North Dakota State are the other two teams in the Minneapolis region and they will face each other on Friday, as well. The regional is a double-elimination tournament and the winner will advance to next weekend's NCAA D-I Super Regional. The Golden Gophers won the Big Ten tournament on Saturday night with a win over nationally-ranked Michigan. Minnesota was one of five teams from the Big Ten to earn a spot in the national tournament, but the only one to earn a top 16 seed to host a regional
The St. Thomas softball team has advanced to the NCAA Division III Super Regionals later this week. The Tommies won two games yesterday to earn the advancement, knocking off Augustana of Illinois in each game, 5-4 and 10-7. St. Thomas will play in a Super Regional hosted by North Central of Illinois later this week with the winner of that regional earning a trip to the D-III Softball World Series. The news wasn't as good for the two Minnesota-based teams in the NCAA Division II Softball Tournament. Winona State let a seven-run lead slip away to Augustana of South Dakota yesterday and saw its season end one win shy of moving to the D-II Super Regional. Minnesota State-Mankato ended its season on Saturday with a second loss in its regional bracket.
Jeff Gordon claimed his first victory of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season by holding off Kevin Harvick for a win in Saturday's race at Kansas Speedway. Gordon led just nine laps but claimed his 89th career checkered flag. Kasey Kahne finished third followed by Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Danica Patrick claimed a career-best seventh-place finish, topping her previous best of eighth at the 2013 Daytona 500. Kyle Busch won Friday's truck race in Kansas City.
Simon Pagenaud earned the victory in Saturday's inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the 14-turn IMS road course. Ryan Hunter-Reay was second followed by Helio Castroneves. Will Power leads the standings by one point over Hunter-Reay. The Indy 500 is next on the schedule.