MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wild lose again in a shootout
ST. PAUL -- Edmonton's Taylor Hall scored the game-winning goal in a shootout as the Oilers edged the Wild 4-3 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul last night. Zach Parise, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Pominville all scored first period goals for Minnesota, which allowed the 3-0 lead slip away. Minnesota suffered its third straight loss. The Wild continue their four-game homestand tomorrow against the New York Rangers.
Minnesota slugger Jason Kubel homered for the Twins in a 7-1 loss to the Rays yesterday in Port Charlotte. Ricky Nolasco gave up two runs on four hits in four innings of work for Minnesota, which fell to 5-5-and-1 in spring play. The Twins take on the Pittsburgh Pirates today in Fort Myers.
Minnesota star forward Kevin Love overcame a slow start and racked up 27 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Timberwolves topped the Bucks 112-101 last night at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Kevin Martin dropped in 26 points and J.J. Barea scored 19 off the bench for the T'wolves, who have won five of their last seven. Ricky Rubio contributed 11 points and 10 assists in the victory. Brandon Knight netted 21 points to pace Milwaukee, which was once again denied its first winning streak of the season. St. Cloud native Nate Wolters donated 14 points for the Bucks. The Wolves are at Charlotte on Friday.
The 2014 Minnesota Boy's State Basketball Tournament gets under way this morning at two locations in Minneapolis. DeLaSalle is the lone school back to defend its state title from 2013 in Class 3-A. There will be new champions this season in Class A, Class 2-A, and Class 4-A. Here is the schedule of opening round games in Minneapolis:
Class 4-A (Wednesday): Hopkins vs. Tartan, 10am (Target Center)
Class 4-A (Wednesday): Osseo vs. Shakopee, noon (Target Center)
Class 4-A (Wednesday): Lakeville North vs. Buffalo, 2pm (Target Center)
Class 4-A (Wednesday): Cretin-Derham Hall vs. St. Francis, 4pm (Target Center)
Class 3-A (Wednesday): DeLaSalle vs. St. Paul Central, 10am (Williams Arena)
Class 3-A (Wednesday): Orono vs. Marshall, noon (Williams Arena)
Class 3-A (Wednesday): Austin vs. Alexandria, 2pm (Williams Arena)
Class 3-A (Wednesday): Holy Family Catholic vs. Cloquet, 4pm (Williams Arena)
Class 2-A (Wednesday): Annandale vs. New London-Spicer, 6pm (Target Center)
Class 2-A (Wednesday): Caledonia vs. St. Paul Academy and Summit School, 8pm (Target Center)
Class 2-A (Wednesday): Esko vs. East Grand Forks, 6pm (Williams Arena)
Class 2-A (Wednesday): Fairmont vs. St. Peter, 8pm (Williams Arena)
Class A (Thursday): Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa vs. Park Christian, 11am (Williams Arena)
Class A (Thursday): Canby vs. Fond du Lac Ojibwe, 1pm (Williams Arena)
Class A (Thursday): Maranatha Christian vs. Red Lake, 3pm (Williams Arena)
Class A (Thursday): Rushford-Peterson vs. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, 5pm (Williams Arena)
The North Dakota State Bison are heading to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament after winning the Summit League Tournament. NDSU knocked off IPFW 60-57 in the championship game last night in Sioux Falls. Marshall Bjorklund of Arlington, Minnesota scored 12 points for the Bison in the win.
Golden Gopher men's basketball coach Richard Pitino says he is trying to instill as much confidence as he can into his team as it gets ready for the Big Ten Tournament opening round on Thursday in Indianapolis. Minnesota will leave the Twin Cities today and play Penn State tomorrow. Pitino says he was happy with the way the team played in Sunday's win over Penn State and he wants to continue to build a feeling that the Gophers can win the tournament. Minnesota has never won the Big Ten Tourney. The Gophers are 19-and-12 overall and 8-and-10 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions are the 10th-seed after finishing 15-and-16 and 6-and-12 in conference play. Thursday's game begins at 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Golden Gopher women's team has to nervously wait for nearly a week before it finds out if it made the NCAA Tournament. The Gopher women completed the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament last week. The 64-team women's NCAA field will be announced on Monday.
Here is the schedule of games for the 2014 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis:
First Round (Thursday): Minnesota vs. Penn State, 5:30pm
First Round (Thursday): Iowa vs. Northwestern, 8pm
First Round (Thursday): Indiana vs. Illinois, 11am
First Round (Thursday): Ohio State vs. Purdue, 1:30pm
Quarterfinals (Friday): Minnesota/Penn State winner vs. Wisconsin, 5:30pm
Quarterfinals (Friday): Iowa/Northwestern winner vs. Michigan State, 8pm
Quarterfinals (Friday): Indiana/Illinois winner vs. Michigan, 11am
Quarterfinals (Friday): Ohio State/Purdue winner vs. Nebraska, 1:30pm
Semifinal #1 (Saturday): Quarterfinal #1 winner vs. Quarterfinal #2 winner, 12:40pm
Semifinal #2 (Saturday): Quarterfinal #3 winner vs. Quarterfinal #4 winner, 3pm
Championship (Sunday): Semifinal #1 winner vs. Semifinal #2 winner, 2:30pm
Golden Gopher men's hockey defenseman Mike Reilly of Chanhassen is this week's Big Ten Conference Third Star of the Week. He recorded four points in a split of games at Ohio State last weekend. No. 1 Minnesota is at 13th-ranked Michigan this weekend and can clinch the league title with a win. Minnesota-Duluth forward Kyle Osterberg of Lakeville is this week's NCHC Rookie of the Week. He had a four-point weekend in a Bulldog split against Nebraska-Omaha. U-M-D opens the NCHC tourney at home against Western Michigan on Friday. North Dakota sophomore Zane Gothberg of Thief River Falls is this week's NCHC Goaltender of the Week. He allowed just two goals in two games against Western Michigan this past weekend. North Dakota hosts Colorado College in the NCHC opening round this weekend. St. Thomas junior defenseman Michael Krieg of Phoenix is this week's MIAC men's hockey Athlete of the Week. He helped St. Thomas qualify for the NCAA Division III men's hockey tournament, which begins this weekend. St. Thomas sophomore defender Megan Juricko of Eagan is the MIAC women's hockey Athlete of the Week after helping the Tommies to the NCAA tourney.
Golden Gopher head football coach Jerry Kill put his team through a practice on campus yesterday afternoon as part of the spring practice period. The team will be off today and have another workout tomorrow. Minnesota will work out a total of 15 times this spring, leading up to the April 12th spring game at TCF Bank Stadium. Kill says he is most concerned with getting his young players valuable repetitions during most of spring practice in 2014.
The Minnesota Vikings signed several players on the first day of free agency yesterday. The team inked defensive tackle Linval Joseph to a five-year deal worth a reported 31.5-million-dollars. The Vikings also re-signed defensive end Everson Griffen, quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Larry Dean.