Minnesota Sports Briefs: BSM and St. Thomas easy winners in state hockey finalsMinnesota Sports
-- Benilde-St. Margaret's and St. Thomas Academy were both easy 5-1 winners in the finals of the Minnesota State Boys High School Hockey Tournament.
ST. PAUL - Benilde-St. Margaret's and St. Thomas Academy were both easy 5-1 winners in the finals of the Minnesota State Boys High School Hockey Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center
University of Wisconsin recruit Grant Bessie set a new state record by scoring all his team's five goals, including three shorthanded in the Knights' victory over Hill-Murray. The previous record was held by John Mayasich of Eveleth with four.
Benilde's Jack Jablonski, who was paralyzed earlier this season due to a check from behind into the boards, watched the game and met the team afterwards in the lockerroom.
St. Thomas was led by junior forwards Alex Johnson, Matt Perry and Austin Sattler combined to score four goals in the Cadets' 5-1 victory Saturday against No. 1-ranked and previously undefeated Hermantown.
Danny Valencia doubled, homered and drove in three runs as Minnesota Twins took down Pittsburgh, 4-2, in Grapefruit League action. Steve Pearce knocked in the other run for the Twins, while Jared Burton picked up the win with a scoreless fifth inning in relief. Starter Terry Doyle was touched for seven hits and two runs over 2 2/3 innings. Casey McGehee finished 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and an RBI for the Pirates. Erik Bedard tossed three innings of one-hit ball, but Jo-Jo Reyes took the loss after serving up five hits and four runs over three innings.
The Minnesota Vikings released veteran guard Steve Hutchinson and two other players on Saturday. Hutchinson spent the last six seasons of his 11-year NFL career with Minnesota. The former 2001 draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks out of Michigan played in 89 games with the franchise, including 14 in 2011. Cornerback Cedric Griffin and guard Anthony Herrera also got the axe. Griffin totaled 67 tackles and one interception in 16 games last season, and has totaled 377 tackles and eight picks in 80 appearances over his six-year pro career, all with the Vikings.
Herrera, a Tennessee product, played in 80 games over the last eight seasons for Minnesota.