Minnesota Sports Briefs: Minnesota's Pride on Ice back at No. 1Minnesota Sports
-- The University of Minnesota moved up four spots in this week's national USCHO.com Division I men's hockey poll and are now the new No. 1 team in the country.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota moved up four spots in this week's national USCHO.com Division I men's hockey poll and are now the new No. 1 team in the country.
Minnesota swept North Dakota over the weekend and the Gophers now stand at 9-1 on the season and are out in front in the WCHA standings. Minnesota-Duluth moved up four spots, as well, from 14th to 10th, this week. The Golden Gophers are at Wisconsin this weekend, while the Bulldogs host Alaska-Anchorage. Meanwhile, the University of Minnesota women's hockey team held firm at No. 3 in this week's women's poll. Minnesota-Duluth dropped two spots after dropping two games at Minnesota.
Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding was named the NHL's Player of the Week after turning in three victories in three starts. He beat Vancouver, Detroit, and St. Louis in the three victories, allowing a total of three goals in the three contests. He blocked 96 of 99 shots he faced during the week. His winning streak is actually four in a row. The four straight wins have put Minnesota into second place in the Northwest Division, only one-point behind division leader Edmonton. The Wild are playing in Calgary tonight at 8 p.m.
Concordia-St. Paul senior safety Brody Scheff of Waconia is the NSIC Defensive Player of the Week after turning in a career-high 19-tackle effort in the Golden Bears upset win over St. Cloud State. Winona State junior running back Rayon Simmons of University City, Missouri was the Offensive Player of the Week, while Wayne State junior kicker Mas Martin of Sioux City, Iowa was named the conference's Special Teams Player of the Week.
The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has named its weekly award winners in football. Saint John's junior running back Stephen Johnson of Mahtomedi is the Offensive Player of the Week after helping the Johnnies to an upset win over St. Olaf. Johnson's teammate Jimmie Mattson of Eau Claire is the Special Teams Player of the Week after making the game-winning field goal in the win over the Oles. St. Olaf linebacker Wes Lynch of Apple Valley is the league's Defensive Player of the Week despite playing in a loss to Saint John's. Lynch made 18 tackles in the game.
University of Minnesota women's basketball senior Kiara Buford of St. Paul scored a game-high 21 points to pace the Golden Gophers to a 92-50 exhibition win over Bemidji State yesterday at Williams Arena. Heralded freshman Rachel Banham of Lakeville scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds, and handed out four assists for the Gophers. Taylor Davis of Crookston scored ten points off the bench to lead the Beavers. The Gophers open the season by taking on Arkansas this Saturday at 1 p.m. as part of a weekend tournament in Daytona, Florida. Bemidji State next plays against Mayville State on November 19th.
Minnesota State-Mankato beat St. Cloud State 1-0 in Sunday's NSIC Postseason Soccer Tournament championship in Mankato. Junior forward Nicole Dooher of New Hope scored the lone goal of the game. The victory gives the Mavericks an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
Voters in Duluth will consider a $2.6 million referendum for a dedicated parks and recreation fund tomorrow. Mayor Don Ness says they could have taken the proposal to the city council and raised taxes - but felt it was important to bring the question directly to voters. He estimates that a homeowner with a $160,000 house would pay an additional five dollars a month in property tax.
The man known to boxing fans as Smokin' Joe Frazier has died at the age of 67. Frazier lost his battle with liver cancer Monday night. Born Joseph William "Joe" Frazier he was an Olympic gold medal winner in 1964 and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champ. His professional career ran from 1965 to 1976 and was highlighted in 1971 when he beat Muhammad Ali in a championship match. Frazier lost the title two years later when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He retired from professional boxing in 1976.