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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wild beat Vancouver in shootout

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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wild beat Vancouver in shootout
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

 Minnesota forward Jason Pominville scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Wild rallied to beat the Canucks 3-2 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul last night. Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle both scored in regulation for Minnesota, which has won two in-a-row after losing three-of-four. Coyle's tally tied the game in the third period. The Wild begin a four-game road trip tomorrow in Pittsburgh.

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Golden Gopher freshman men's hockey player Hudson Fasching of Burnsville scored the game-winning goal in overtime as Team USA knocked off Minnesota State-Mankato 3-2 last night in an exhibition game in Mankato. Fasching is on the pre-tourney roster for Team USA, which will leave later today for the World Junior Championships in Malmo, Sweden. University of Minnesota coach Don Lucia is the USA head coach. His American team has been practicing this week at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis and played the Mavericks last night as a final tune-up before leaving for Europe. Mavericks Jean-Paul Lafontaine and Johnny McInnis scored for MSU-Mankato last night.

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The Timberwolves are back home to battle the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at the Target Center. Minnesota will then head to Los Angeles to face the Lakers and Clippers on Friday and Sunday, respectively. The T'wolves went just 1-and- on its recent road trip and are now 12-and-13 overall. The Blazers have the best record in the NBA at 22-and-4.

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 The Minnesota Vikings prepare for their final road game of the season this Sunday in Cincinnati. Minnesota will then host the Detroit Lions to close out the campaign on December 29th. The Vikings sit at 4-9-and-1 on the season. The Bengals lead the AFC North at 9-and-5, one game ahead of Baltimore. The Vikes had yesterday off and return to the practice field today.

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Vikings center John Sullivan and several of his teammates visited children being treated at the U of M Amplatz Children's Hospital yesterday. Sullivan, who has donated 150-thousand-dollars to the hospital, hosted a holiday party for young patients and their families. Teammates Matt Cassel, Matt Kalil, Jerome Simpson, and others attended the party. Sullivan was named the 2013 Vikings Man of the Year at the party. Sullivan has hosted holiday parties for hospitalized children in each of the past three years. Several Golden Gopher student-athletes also attended the celebration.

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NFL Super Bowl officials want to show they are prepared in the event of a "snow bowl" at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey this February. Officials from the New York-New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee are gathering at the stadium in East Rutherford today with NJ Department of Transportation officials. They will discuss how snow removal from all designated travel routes will be critical to safely moving visitors throughout the region. They'll also detail and demonstrate the snow removal process to be used during the big game.

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The Texas Bowl-bound University of Minnesota football team is scheduled for a late afternoon practice today on campus. The team was given yesterday and Monday off, after practices late last week and over the weekend. The 8-and-4 Golden Gophers are preparing for 6-and-6 Syracuse Orange in a Big Ten vs. ACC matchup in Houston on December 27th. Minnesota will practice again tomorrow and Friday before leaving the Twin Cities on Saturday to head to Houston for a week of preparation in Texas.

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 The Golden Gopher men's and women's basketball teams are each preparing for Friday games at Williams Arena. The Minnesota men are hosting Nebraska-Omaha for an 8 p.m. game at the Barn on Friday. Minnesota is 9-and-2, while U-N-O is 8-and-3. Meanwhile, the Gopher women host UCLA for a noon game at Williams Arena on Friday. That is the opening game of a three-team round robin tournament the U of M is hosting. Game Two of the weekend is Saturday at 2 p.m. and features UCLA and Auburn. Auburn then plays Minnesota on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Gopher women are 9-and-2. UCLA is 4-and-5. Auburn is 7-and-3.

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