MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Sharks skate past Wild
SAN JOSE, CA -- San Jose's Joe Pavelski scored a pair of goals as the Sharks skated to a 3-1 win over the Wild in San Jose last night. Thomas Hertl also scored for the Sharks, who put an end to their four-game losing streak. Antti Niemi made 29 saves in the victory. Jonas Brodin scored the lone Wild goal midway through the third period for Minnesota, which has lost three-of-four. Niklas Backstrom allowed all three goals on 39 shots in defeat. Minnesota recalled forward Brett Bulmer from A-H-L Iowa prior to last night's game. The 21-year-old has recorded 12 points in 21 games for Iowa. The Minnesota Wild are in Colorado tomorrow night.
Wild head coach Mike Yeo was not pleased with the officiating in last night's game in San Jose. His team was whistled for seven penalties in the contest, while the home Sharks had only four. All three of the San Jose goals came on the power play. Minnesota's Zanon Konopka was called for a high-stick penalty that replay indicated was not even his stick. The penalty led to a power play goal for San Jose. Yeo strongly hinted after the game he felt San Jose was "embellishing" things to draw penalties. Yeo said he may have to tell his team to begin embellishing to get themselves on the power play.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan says he will leave the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings with a better handle on his remaining offseason plans. Ryan suggested he is still looking to add pitching and offense to his roster and that conversations that took place at the meetings could potentially lead to some action as the off-season progresses. Minnesota did not sign any free agent players during the meetings, but did sign pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes prior to the gathering.
The Timberwolves begin a three-game road trip tonight in San Antonio against the Spurs. Minnesota will also make stops in Memphis and Boston. The T'wolves have won two in-a-row to even their record at 11-and-11. They are coming off a 106-99 home victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday. The Spurs are 17-and-4. Tonight's tipoff is 7:30 p.m.
The red-hot Philadelphia Eagles look to keep their momentum going Sunday at the Metrodome when they play the Minnesota Vikings. The Eagles overcame an early 14-0 deficit to defeat Detroit 34-20 last Sunday in a blizzard in Philadelphia. The Eagles have won five straight and lead the NFC East at 8-and-5, one game ahead of Dallas. The Vikings are coming off a heartbreaking 29-26 loss at Baltimore on a last-second touchdown pass. Minnesota is in last place in the NFC North at 3-9-and-1. Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the second straight week in place of the injured Christian Ponder. Sunday's kickoff is set for noon at the Dome.
When the Vikings host the Eagles at the Metrodome on Sunday, it will mark the 25th time the two NFL franchises have faced each other. The all-time series is currently deadlocked, with each team holding 12 wins. The Vikings dominated the early part of the series, winning the first seven matchups between 1962 and 1978. Philadelphia has turned the tables and won eight of the last ten contests. The Vikings won the last encounter between the two teams, in a weather-delayed victory in 2010 in Philadelphia. The last Vikings home win in the series came in 1997. Sunday's game begins at noon.
The University of Minnesota football team will be back on the practice field this week, getting ready for their bowl game later this month. The Golden Gophers completed the regular season with an 8-and-4 record. Gopher senior defensive back Brock Vereen says the goal is simple. They want to win the bowl game to give the program its first nine-win season in more than a decade and only the third time ever. The Gophers play 6-and-6 Syracuse at the Texas Bowl in Houston two weeks from tonight.
The Minnesota Golden Gopher men's and women's basketball teams have the weekend off. The men return to action next Friday at home against Nebraska-Omaha. The Gophers have won four in-a-row following Tuesday's 75-59 rout of South Dakota State. Minnesota sits at 9-and-2 on the year. The Minnesota women play next Friday at home against UCLA at noon. Students at the University of Minnesota have begun taking final exams, which is why there's a break in the basketball schedule.
The tenth-ranked University of Minnesota volleyball team takes on No. 3 Stanford tonight in the NCAA Tournament's "Sweet 16" in Lexington, Kentucky. The winner of tonight's match between the Golden Gophers and Cardinal will advance to the Elite Eight and a contest tomorrow night in Lexington against the winner of this evening's other match between No. 2 Penn State and 20th-ranked Michigan State. The Gophers match begins at 6 p.m. tonight. Minnesota is 29-and-6 on the season, while Stanford is 26-and-5.
The push for a seventh consecutive national title for the Concordia-St. Paul volleyball team took another step forward with the Golden Bears 3-1 victory over top-seed Tampa last night in the NCAA Division II national tourney in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Concordia-St. Paul advanced to the Final Four with the victory. The Golden Bears will play No. 25 Wheeling Jesuit in a national semifinal game tonight at 7:30 p.m. Concordia-St. Paul is 33-and-3 on the year, while the opposition is now 38-and-5. The winner tonight moves to tomorrow's national title game in Cedar Rapids.