Minnesota Sports Briefs: Tickets for TwinsFest go on saleMinnesota Sports
-- Tickets for TwinsFest 2012 go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. The Minnesota Twins' annual fan festival is January 27th, 28th and the 29th at the newly-renovated Metrodome.
MINNEAPOLIS - Tickets for TwinsFest 2012 go on sale this morning at 10 a.m. The Minnesota Twins' annual fan festival is January 27th, 28th and the 29th at the newly-renovated Metrodome.
Last year's TwinsFest had to be moved to the National Sports Center in Blaine after the dome's roof collapsed. Advance tickets are nine dollars for adults and five dollars for kids. The fundraising event features autograph stations, photo opportunities with current and former players, a baseball card show and a skills area.
The Twins bullpen will have a different look in 2012. Lefty specialist Jose Mijares was non-tendered by the team yesterday, meaning if he comes back to the Twins, he would likely have to make significantly less than the 700-thousand-dollars he likely would have made as a tendered player. The also team lost right hander Jim Hoey yesterday when the Blue Jays claimed the hard-throwing Hoey off of waivers. Hoey struggled last year in limited work with Minnesota. Minnesota did make tender offers to Alexi Casilla, Francisco Liriano, and Glen Perkins, as expected. That means they will be with the team next season.
Kevin Sumlin was introduced Monday as the new head football coach at Texas A&M. He replaces Mike Sherman, who was fired after the Aggies went 6-6 this season. Sumlin spent the last four years as head coach of the Houston Cougars, leading them to a school-record 12 wins this year and a berth in the TicketCity Bowl. Sumlin was 35-17 at Houston. He served as a receivers and quarterbacks coach at the University of Minnesota from 1993-97 under then head coach Glen Mason.
Mankato West quarterback Phillip Nelson was named the 2011 Mr. Football in Minnesota award winner by the Minnesota Football Coaches Association yesterday at a banquet in St. Louis Park. Nelson led Mankato West to the state tournament this season, where his Scarlets lost to Bemidji in the Final Four. He passed for 2,284 yards and 35 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,253 yards and 20 TD's this season. Nelson is currently verbally committed to join the Golden Gopher football team in college. He is expected to enroll at the University of Minnesota next month.
Various media outlets are reporting that Twins superstar Joe Mauer popped the question to his girlfriend over the weekend and she has agreed to marry the Minnesota catcher. The "Star-Tribune" reports Mauer's fiancee is Madeline Bisanz, whom he has known for years and attended the same high school as Mauer in St. Paul. The couple has been dating for more than a year, according to the newspaper, which reports that Mauer asked Bisanz to marry him at Sanibel Island in Florida, near where Mauer lives in the offseason.
Here are scores from Sunday's women's college hockey games in the WCHA:
Minnesota 3, Ohio State 1 (final)
Minnesota-Duluth 5, North Dakota 1 (final)
The University of Minnesota women's basketball team jumped out to a 44-17 halftime lead and never looked back in beating Alcorn State 75-46 at Williams Arena yesterday. Kionna Kellogg, of Ames, Iowa, scored a career high 16 points off the bench, while Rachel Banham of Lakeville also tallied 16. Minnesota did not make a three-point basket in the game. The victory gave the Gophers the Best Buy Classic title, as they won both games in the three-day, three-team, round robin event. The Gopher record is now 7-and-5 on the season. Minnesota travels to play at Denver on Wednesday night.
The red hot Minnesota Wild returned home for a day off yesterday, following Saturday's 4-1 win in Phoenix. Now, the club will practice on their home Xcel Energy Center ice today before heading out later today to Winnipeg to complete their five-game road trip tomorrow night. The Wild have won all four of the road games on the trip so far, and have won seven games in a row overall. Tomorrow's game against the Jets is set for 7:30 p.m. Minnesota has accumulated 43 points in the NHL standings, which is tops in the entire league.
Minnesota Wild rookie goaltender Matt Hackett received the NHL's Weekly "Second Star" for his work in winning a pair of games last week. Each week the NHL names three players as honorees, and Hackett earned the No. 2 honor. Calgary's Jerome IGinla was the "First Star," while Washington's John Carlson was the "Third Star." Hackett filled in for injured goalies Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding last week. He stopped all 34 shots he faced in his NHL debut in a 2-1 win over the Sharks last Tuesday. Hackett then made 42 saves in a 4-2 win over the Kings two nights later.
Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is out indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms. Crosby was originally slated to sit out two games as a precaution following an undisclosed injury December 5th against Boston. After missing games against the Flyers and Islanders, Crosby still isn't ready to return. He said Monday that he's still had symptoms the last few days and needs to make sure he's 100-percent before coming back. Crosby returned to action November 21st after missing more than 10 months following a concussion suffered this past January. Crosby played prep hockey at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault.
The University of Minnesota men's basketball team takes on Central Michigan at Williams Arena tonight. The Golden Gophers notched a 69-47 win over St. Peter's their last time out on Saturday. Minnesota has won four straight to enter tonight's tilt with a 10-1 on the season. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m.
University of Minnesota women's basketball player Rachel Banham of Lakeville has been named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for her performance over the past week. Banham helped the Golden Gophers to three wins, including a victory to secure the championship of the Best Buy Classic Tournament in Minneapolis. In the three wins, Banham averaged almost 16-points per game and nearly five-rebounds per contest. The Gophers are at Denver tomorrow night.