MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Koivu's third-period goal help Wild over Ottawa
OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- Minnesota forward Mikko Koivu tallied a goal inside of three minutes left in regulation to send the Wild past Ottawa 4-3 last night in Canada. Dany Heatley and Jonas Brodin added a goal and an assist apiece for the Wild, who rebounded from a 6-2 loss in Montreal on Monday to win for the fifth time in the last six games. Josh Harding made 34 saves for the victory. Jason Pominville scored the first Wild goal in the opening period. The Wild trailed 2-1 after one period. Minnesota is at Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon.
Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder will remain under center for the Vikings on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Ponder had been benched in favor of Matt Cassel after a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions in last Sunday's 41-20 loss at Seattle. He finished just 13-of-22 for 129 yards with one touchdown and the two picks. In seven games this season, Ponder has completed 63.7 percent of his passes for 1,375 yards with six TD's and nine interceptions. The Vikings are just 1-6 this season when Ponder starts and are 2-8 overall. Head coach Leslie Frazier insists that Ponder gives his team the best chance to win. Kickoff on Sunday is noon at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its 25 modern-era semifinalists for the Class of 2014. Among them are first-year eligible candidates head coach Tony Dungy, a former Golden Gopher quarterback and Vikings assistant coach, who went on to be a successful NFL head coach. In addition, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, tackle Walter Jones and linebacker Derrick Brooks are in the group. Other notables on the list are running backs Jerome Bettis and Terrell Davis and receivers Tim Brown and Andre Reed. The 25 semifinalists were reduced from 126 players and will go down to 15 finalists on Wednesday, January 8th. The Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be announced February 1st, and be enshrined in Canton on August 2nd of next year.
The University of Minnesota football team continues to gear up for this weekend's big game against Wisconsin. The 23rd-ranked Gophers and the 17th-ranked Badgers kick off at 2:30 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday. Both teams are 8-and-2 on the season. The Gophers will without right guard Caleb Bak, who suffered a concussion in the win at Indiana. Foster Bush will make his second straight start in place of Bak.
Prior to last night's win in Ottawa, the Minnesota Wild recalled forward Jason Zucker from Iowa of the American Hockey League In 12 games with Iowa, Zucker collected eight points and a league-leading 45 penalty minutes. He was previously called up this season on Oct. 6 and saw action in one game on Oct. 8 at Nashville. Zucker, a native of Newport Beach, California, collected five points on four goals and one assist in 20 regular season games with the Wild last season and added two points in five playoff contests, including a game-winner in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series against Chicago.
Clippers stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin each extended their double-double streaks to push Los Angeles past the Timberwolves 102-98 last night in Minneapolis. Paul scored 20 points and handed out 11 assists to notch his 12th double-double in as many games this season. Griffin has now posted a double-double in five straight games after a 20-point, 10-rebound performance. Kevin Martin led Minnesota with 28 points, while Kevin Love scored a season-low ten points on a dreadful 2-of-14 shooting night. He pulled down 12 boards and dished out eight assists. Minnesota hosts Brooklyn tomorrow night.
Golden Gopher redshirt freshman Amanda Zahui of Stockholm, Sweden pushed the Minnesota women's basketball team to a 70-59 win over Kansas last night at Williams Arena. She turned in the program's first triple-double since 2004 by scoring 11 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and blocking ten shots. The ten blocks is a Gopher record. Point guard Rachel Banham of Lakeville led all scorers with 26 points, while Micaella Riche added 20 points. The Gophers are now 3-and-1 on the season and entertain Navy on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Barn.
University of Minnesota sophomore basketball forward Joey King of Eagan had surgery to repair his fractured jaw and will miss tonight's contest against Wofford. The Eastview High School product suffered the injury in Tuesday's win over Coastal Carolina when he collided with his teammate Andre Hollins on the defensive end of the floor. King is averaging ten-points and three-rebounds per game He plans to travel to Maui for next week's tournament, but isn't sure if he'll be able to play. Tonight's game against Wofford begins at 6 p.m at Williams Arena.
Minnesota's firearms deer harvest is down six percent from last year. The D-N-R says hunters have taken just under 129-thousand deer through the second weekend of the season. Big game coordinator Leslie McInenly says weather conditions played a role in the slightly smaller harvest. She says the firearms season ended Sunday for all but the 100-Series permit areas in northeastern Minnesota. A late firearms season runs November 24th through December 1st in the southeast corner of the state.