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Minnesota Sports Briefs: Wild lose ugly at home

ST. PAUL - Daniel Sedin scored a goal and had an assist as the Vancouver Canucks took care of the Minnesota Wild 5-2 last night in St. Paul.

Dany Heatly and Devin Setoguchi lit the lamp for the Wild in a losing effort. Captain Mikko Koivu returned to the ice after missing eight-straight games with a left shoulder injury. The Wild have lost three-in-a-row and look to snap the losing streak tomorrow against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Xcel Energy Center. Columbus lost to Dallas 4-2 last night, but beat the Wild on Tuesday in Ohio.


Wild star Mikko Koivu played in last night's loss after being activated off of the injured reserve list. Koivu had missed eight games with a shoulder injury suffered on January 14th in St. Louis. To make room for Koivu, Minnesota moved Jed Ortmeyer back to AHL Houston. In addition, Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner was placed on injured reserve.


The University of Minnesota women's basketball team fell behind early at Iowa last night and could not recover. Leading by 18 points in the first half, the Hawkeyes raced to a 75-58 win over the Golden Gophers. Minnesota freshman Rachel Banham of Lakeville led the Gophers with 20 points. Crookston native Kamille Wahlin scored 19 points and had five assists for Iowa. Minnesota is now 12-and-14 overall and has lost three games in a row. The Golden Gopher record in the Big Ten is 4-8. The Gophers host Nebraska on Monday night.


New Pro Football Hall of Fame electee Chris Doleman met with reporters at Vikings team headquarters yesterday and says he is grateful to the voters who pushed his name through the ballot and into the Hall. Doleman says there's little doubt that his career sack numbers were the key to his getting the nod. He says he appreciates the honor more now than he would have had he been chosen sooner. His son will introduce him at the induction ceremony in Canton in August. Doleman says he'll use his induction speech to thank the many people who have helped him during his life.


The Houston Aeros are back on the ice this evening as they kick off a doubleheader at Grand Rapids. The two teams will play again at Van Andel Arena tomorrow. The Aeros are coming off a 2-1 setback against the Chicago Wolves on Tuesday. The Aeros are the AHL affiliate of the Wild.


Warroad's T.J. Oshie scored the only goal of the shootout to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 win over the Devils last night in New Jersey. Twin Cities native Zach Parise had a goal for New Jersey.


The Minnesota Twins have claimed outfielder Darin Mastroianni off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Mastoianni played just one game with the Jays last season and had a strikeout in just two at-bats. He spent most of his time with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2010, hitting .301 with 46 stolen bases. The 26-year-old was designated for assignment after the 2011 season.


Wayzata's Tim Herron carded a two-over-par-74 in yesterday's first round of the PGA Tour stop in Pebble Beach. That is 11 shots off of the pace set by tri-leaders Danny Lee, Charlie Li, and Dustin Johnson. Tiger Woods if tied for 15th after shooting a four-under-par-68. Round two is set for today.


Caution is the word when venturing onto frozen lakes and waterways in Minnesota. The DNR's Tim Smalley says the ice is dangerous all over the state but especially across the southern half. Smalley says conditions are somewhat better in the northern half of the state but some vehicles have gone through the ice as far north as the Canadian border. He says it's best to check ice conditions at a local bait shop. They are in daily contact with anglers and others who go onto the ice and have the latest information.


A new batch of numbers shows the University of Minnesota ranked 20th nationally, 6th in the Big Ten Conference, in overall spending on athletics. The Memphis Business Journal reports the "U" spent $79-million dollars on athletics in 2011. The report comes out as U-of-M officials search for a new athletic director to replace Joel Maturi, who announced he is retiring at the end of June.


West Virginia University is buying its way out of the Big East. The Charleston Daily Mail reports West Virginia University and the Big East Conference have reached a settlement for $20 million dollars. The agreement clears a path for the Mountaineers to exit the Big East and play football in the Big 12 Conference starting this fall. According to the report, West Virginia will pay $11-million and the Big 12 will cover the remainder. An official announcement may come today.