Minnesota Sports Briefs: NHL talks now at "make-or-break" level for 2012-13 seasonMinnesota Sports
-- Talks between the NHL and the Players' Association will resume Tuesday in New York. The two sides met over the weekend at an undisclosed location and reportedly made progress towards a new collective bargaining agreement.
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Talks between the NHL and the Players' Association will resume Tuesday in New York. The two sides met over the weekend at an undisclosed location and reportedly made progress towards a new collective bargaining agreement.
Representatives from both sides are referring to Tuesday's talks as "make-or-break" type negotiations. The current labor dispute has already cost the league a chance at a full 82-game season as games have been canceled through the end of November. The league also cancelled the January 1st Winter Classic late last week. The optimism over the weekend has led many to believe a shortened 64-game schedule could be on the horizon.
The University of Minnesota football team will be back on the practice field later today, getting ready for Saturday's road game at Illinois. Head coach Jerry Kill is still in search of his first Big Ten road win and this weekend could be his best bet yet. The Fighting Illini enter the game with a 2-7 overall mark, and 0-5 in the Big Ten. Kill's team would also earn bowl eligibility with a Saturday victory. Minnesota is 5-4 overall, but 1-4 in the league. The Gophers lone conference win is a home victory over Purdue last month. This Saturday's game kicks off at 2:30 p.m.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier says unequivocally that his team's starting quarterback in Christian Ponder. Frazier says he never considered taking Ponder out of last week's game. Ponder has struggled in recent weeks, throwing for only 63 yards in Sunday's loss at Seattle and only 58 yards in a win against Arizona two-and-a-half weeks ago. He has eight interceptions in the last five games, after having not thrown a pick in the first four games of the year. Minnesota is 5-4 and hosting Detroit this Sunday at noon.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees passed for 239 yards and two touchdowns as New Orleans shut down the sloppy Eagles 28-13 last night in Monday Night Football. Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston had touchdown grabs for the Saints, who improved to 3-5. Patrick Robinson returned an interception 99 yards for a score and the Saints' defense had seven sacks in the victory. Michael Vick threw for 272 yards, a touchdown and an interception for Philadelphia, which dropped to 3-5. LeSean McCoy rushed for 119 yards, while Desean Jackson had a 77-yard touchdown catch in the loss.
The NSIC has named its weekly award winners in football. Bemidji State senior linebacker Cory Crosby of Cold Spring is the league's Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Beavers to a 35-25 win over Minnesota State-Moorhead last week. Crosby racked up 17 tackles in the win. Winona State junior quarterback John Teigland of Indianola, Iowa is the Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Warriors to a win over Augustana. And, Wayne State senior kicker Max Martin of Sioux City, Iowa is the NSIC Special Teams Players of the Week.
The MIAC has announced its players of the week in football. St. Thomas quarterback Matt O'Connell of Clear Lake, Wisconsin is the conference's Offensive Player of the Week after helping the Tommies to a 21-7 road win at Concordia-Moorhead. Bethel junior linebacker Seth Mathis of Anoka is the league's Defensive Player of the Week, even though his team lost to St. Olaf. He made 14 tackles in the defeat. Saint John's senior kicker Jimmie Mattson of Eau Claire, Wisconsin is the MIAC Special Teams Player of the Week.
University of Minnesota junior volleyball player Tori Dixon of Burnsville is this week's Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week. She won the award for the second time this season after helping to Gophers to a weekend split against ranked teams last week. Dixon also took home the weekly citation on September 4th. She is the daughter of former Vikings offensive lineman David Dixon.
Three NSIC student-athletes have been honored as volleyball players of the week. Concordia-St. Paul senior outside hitter Ellie Duffy of Fridley is the league's Offensive Player of the Week. Her teammate Amanda Konetchy, a junior from Victoria, is the NSIC Setter of the Week for the sixth time this season. And, Minnesota State-Mankato junior Briel Hendricksen of Lakefield is the Defensive Player of the Week.