Minnesota Sports Briefs: Vikings release JenkinsMinnesota Sports
-- The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly released wide receiver Michael Jenkins.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly released wide receiver Michael Jenkins.
The "Minneapolis Star-Tribune" reports the team has parted ways with the nine-year veteran. Jenkins posted 40 catches for 449 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games last season. The 30-year-old has 354 grabs for 4,427 yards and 25 TDs over 130 career games.
Only eight NFL teams utilized their franchise tags before the deadline passed on yesterday. That's a huge drop from the 21 players who were tagged last year. The Vikings opted to not use the franchise tag on any player. The Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens avoided using their tag on quarterback Joe Flacco by signing him to a reported six-year, 120.6-million contract.
Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom was named the NHL's Third Star for last week. Backstrom went 3-0-0 with a 2.00 goals-against-average in his three starts last week. Backstrom is now 9-5-2 with a 2.21 GAA and a .917 save percentage in 16 games this season.
The Wild are back on the ice tonight as they battle the Blackhawks in Chicago. Minnesota has won three of its last four games following Sunday's 4-2 home victory over Edmonton. The Wild sit at 11-8-2 on the season. At 19-0-3, the Blackhawks are riding an NHL record 22-game point streak to open the season.
The Minnesota Twins blanked the Cardinals 7-0 in Grapefruit League baseball yesterday. Minnesota righthander Cole DeVries of Eden Prairie worked two scoreless innings to start the game and the bullpen was nearly flawless after that. Aaron Hicks homered off of St. Louis closer Jason Motte in the seventh inning, while Brandon Boggs homered in the eighth. Minnesota takes on Tampa Bay today in Fort Myers.
The NSIC has named its weekly award winners for baseball. Concordia-St. Paul sophomore second baseman Kyle Dalton of Minnetonka is the league's Player of the Week after hitting .600 over three games for the Golden Bears. His teammate John Hayes is the NSIC Pitcher of the Week. The junior from Lakeville North High School fired a one-hitter in a win over St. John's last week.
University of Minnesota sophomore pitcher Ben Meyer of New Brighton has been named this week's Big Ten Conference Pitcher of the Week. Meyer tossed eight innings in a 4-1 win over Utah on Saturday. He fanned five Utes in the victory. This is Meyer's first weekly accolade.
University of Minnesota softball player Sara Moulton of Eagan has been named the Big Ten Conference Pitcher of the Week after registering three victories last week. She fired her second no-hitter of the season in a win over Middle Tennessee. This is Moulton's second weekly honor this season and the sixth of her stellar career.
The National Rifle Association announced Monday a sponsorship deal with NASCAR to sponsor the April 13th Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be called the NRA 500. While the organization sponsored a Nationwide Series race at Atlanta last season, this will be the first NRA-branded race in NASCAR's premier series. Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage says the deal is for one year with a one-year option.
The WCHA women's hockey Final Faceoff is set for this weekend at Ridder Arena on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis. Here is the schedule:
SEMIFINAL #1 (Friday): North Dakota vs. Wisconsin, 4pm
SEMIFINAL #2 (Friday): Minnesota vs. Ohio State, 7pm
CHAMPIONSHIP (Saturday): Minnesota/Ohio State winner vs. North Dakota/Wisconsin winner, 7pm
Here are first-round matchups in the 2013 Minnesota Boys' State Hockey Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul:
CLASS A (Wednesday): Marshall vs. Breck, 11am
CLASS A (Wednesday): Duluth Marshall vs Hermantown, 1pm
CLASS A (Wednesday): St. Cloud Apollo vs. St. Thomas Academy, 6pm
CLASS A (Wednesday): East Grand Forks vs. Rochester Lourdes, 8pm
CLASS AA (Thursday): Moorhead vs. Duluth East, 11am
CLASS AA (Thursday): Lakeville North vs. Edina, 1pm
CLASS AA (Thursday): Hill-Murray vs. Eastview, 6pm
CLASS AA (Thursday): Wayzata vs. Centennial, 8pm