MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wild blow two-goal lead, Colorado takes Game 1
DENVER -- Colorado forward Paul Stastny scored the game-winning goal 7:27 into overtime as the Avalanche rallied past the Minnesota Wild 5-4 in Game One of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at the Pepsi Center in Denber. Stastny also scored the game-tying goal with 13.4-seconds left in regulation to force OT. Gabriel Landeskog, Ryan O'Reilly and Jamie McGinn added goals for the Avs, who take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven set. Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves in the victory. Charlie Coyle, Ryan Suter, Erik Haula and Kyle Brodziak all scored for Minnesota, which held a 4-2 lead going into the third period. Ilya Bryzgalov allowed all five goals on 31 shots in defeat. Game Two is Saturday in Denver.
The Rangers, Blues, Avalanche and Sharks are all up 1-0 in their respective first round Stanley Cup Playoffs series. New York used a three-goal third period to down the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1. Alexander Steen scored 26 seconds into the third overtime to lift the Blues to a 4-3 win against the Blackhawks. The Sharks scored three goals in the first and held on for a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. There are three games on tap Friday. The Ducks and Canadiens look to go up 2-0 in their series. Anaheim held on for a 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars in the first game while Montreal defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 in overtime in Game One. The Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings in Game One of their Eastern Conference First Round best-of-seven series
The Minnesota Twins swept their day-night doubleheader with the Blue Jays yesterday and last night at Target Field in Minneapolis. Minnesota right-hander Kyle Gibson fired eight shutout innings as the Twins blanked the Jays 7-0 in the opener. Gibson moved to 3-and-0 on the season. Trevor Plouffe and Josmil Pinto each drove home two in the win. Jason Kubel's two-run single capped off a wild six-run eighth inning as the Twins rallied for a 9-5 victory in the night cap. Minnesota set a club record by drawing eight walks in the decisive inning, scoring three times on wild pitches. The Twins moved to 8-and-7 with the sweep, while Toronto dipped to 8-and-8.
The Minnesota Twins begin a weekend series tonight in Kansas City against the Royals. Ricky Nolasco will get the ball for Minnesota. He is 1-and-1 with a 5.50 ERA in three starts. KC will counter with southpaw Jason Vargas, who is 1-and-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three outings. The Twins swept the Royals in a three-game series in Minneapolis last weekend.
Rick Adelman will almost certainly not return as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves next season. The "Minneapolis Star Tribune" cites a decision-making source as saying there is "zero" chance Adelman will be back for another season. The veteran coach is due to make six-million-dollars next season, but is just 97-and-133 in three seasons with Minnesota. The T'wolves finished 40-and-42 this season and haven't made the playoffs since 2004.
The NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month Award for April was given to Memphis Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger. Memphis went 6-and-2 in the final month to lock up a playoff spot, which was no certainty. They were 4-and-0 at home. Joerger is a Staples native.
Head coach Todd Hoffner and his Mankato State football team will be on the practice field today. The return of the team's head coach sparked a revolt by players who said they wanted their interim coach Aaron Keen to remain in his post. Hoffner is back on the job after an arbitration ruling said the school must give him back his head coaching job. A-D Kevin Buisman offered an apology, saying this is a very difficult time for all involved. Hoffner was fired two years ago after what was described as pornographic pictures of his children were found on his work cellphone. The charges against Hoffner were dropped.
The University of Minnesota athletic department is taking the show on the road again this spring. The second annual "Gopher Road Trip: Chalk Talk" will make nine stops over the course of four days in May and June. Golden Gopher coaches and other department personnel will be part of the tour. The first two legs of the tour are May 20th and May 21st. Willmar and Park Rapids are the two stops scheduled for May 20th. Coleraine/Grand Rapids, Hibbing, and St. Cloud will get visits on May 21st. Redwood Falls and New Ulm are scheduled for stops on June 3rd, followed by Owatonna and Red Wing on June 4th. Athletic director Norwood Teague, football coach Jerry Kill, men's basketball coach Richard Pitino, and men's hockey coach Don Lucia will headline many of the visits.
The Minnesota Vikings have officially signed safety Kurt Coleman. Coleman spent his first four NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He had 14 tackles in 15 games last year. The 25-year-old has 221 tackles and seven interceptions in 59 career games, including 29 starts. He is a product of the Ohio State University.
Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb is free after spending one day in jail for a DUI arrest late last year. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office says McNabb was pulled over for speeding on December 15th and arrested on suspicion of DUI. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail after changing his plea earlier this month, with the first nine days suspended. The speeding charge was dismissed as part of the plea. McNabb spent part of the 2011 season with the Minnesota Vikings.
Lawyers for retired NFL star Darren Sharper say he's been denied bail in Arizona. The Maricopa County Attorney's Office turned down the request Thursday. Sharper is facing multiple rape charges from November. He's currently in jail in Los Angeles facing similar charges. Sharper's lawyers say the Arizona bail denial makes it more likely he'll be denied bail in L.A. as well. Sharper played for the Minnesota Vikings from 2005-2008.