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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Parise hurt as Wild lose to St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - Jaroslav Halak made 22 saves for his second shutout of the season and 27th of his career, as the Blues blanked the Wild 3-0 at Scottrade Center

Alexander Steen scored his 18th and 19th goals of the year, while Vladimir Sobotka also lit the lamp for the Blues, who have won four straight and nine of their last 11 overall.  Niklas Backstrom stopped 18-of-20 shots for Minnesota, which had won six-of-seven coming in.

Wild forward Zach Parise was injured in the first period in Monday nights loss at St. Louis when he blocked a shot.  He did return briefly but left for good in the second period, logging just 11 minutes of ice time.  The team had no further update following the game and the team will stay off the ice today.  Parise's status for Wednesday when the Wild return home to host the Phoenix Coyotes remains unclear.


The Minnesota Wild announced a few roster moves leading into Monday's game against St. Louis.  First the team activated forward Mike Rupp from the injured reserve  Rupp was injured last May and spent the first quarter of the season nursing a lower body injury.  Rupp had been on a conditioning stint with the Wild's top affiliate in Des Moines when he was recalled in the absence of forwards Mikael Granlund and Torrey Mitchell.  Granlund missed the last two games with an upper body injury and is listed as day to day.  Mitchell was placed on IR as he continues to deal with a lower body injury.  Goaltender Josh Harding also remains day to day with a lower body injury suffered in pregame warmups on Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg.  Goaltender Darcy Kuemper backed up starter Niklas Backstrom for the second straight game.


Ten former NHL players are suing the league over its handling of concussions.  The ex-players filed a lawsuit on Monday against the NHL, saying the league either did know or should have known that repeated blows to the head can cause brain damage.  The suit claims "negligence" by the league led players to ignore treatment and to suffer "serious injuries and damages."  Deputy NHL commissioner Bill Daly said the league is aware of the suit and intends "to defend the case vigorously."  The lawsuit comes less than three months after the NFL reached a $765-million settlement over concussion suits filed by former players.


The Indiana Pacers outscored the Timberwolves by nine in the fourth quarter to close out a 98-84 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  George Hill and Paul George each posted 26 points and combined to hit seven of eight from behind the arc.  Indiana held Minnesota to 32-percent shooting and forced the Wolves into 19 turnovers.  The Pacers are 13-1 including victories in their first eight at home.  Kevin Love scored 20 points with 17 rebounds, but was 6-of-20 from the field.  Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic added 18 points apiece.  Minnesota fell to .500 at 8-8.


C.J. Fair was bloodied but unbowed, scoring 16 points Monday to lead No. 8 Syracuse over Minnesota 75-67 in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.  Fair was hit across the face on a dunk late in the first half and played with a bandage below his right eye for much of the game, but was still able to key an important run in the second half and hit a jumper that gave the Orange some space late.  Trevor  Cooney had 15 points and Jerami Grant and Tyler Ennis scored 12 apiece for the Orange (5-0), who will play California in the semifinals on Tuesday.  Malik Smith had 16 points to lead Minnesota (5-1), Andre Hollins scored 14 and Austin Hollins had 11.  The Golden Gophers, who were trying to go 6-0 for the third time in four seasons, will face Arkansas on Thursday.


The Minnesota Vikings will face another back-up quarterback this Sunday when the Bears visit the Metrodome.  Chicago head coach Mark Trestman says starting QB Jay Cutler will likely miss his third straight game due to a high ankle sprain.  The Vikes took on two of Green Bay's reserve quarterbacks Sunday and ended up with a 26-26 tie at Lambeau Field.  Bears back-up Josh McCown has a 1-1 record filling in for Cutler.


The Minnesota Vikings have released cornerback A.J. Jefferson after he was arrested this morning in Eden Prairie.  Twenty-five-year-old Jefferson was booked in Hennepin County Jail for probable cause domestic assault and held without bail.  The Vikings announced the roster move with no further comment.  Jefferson left the first half of Sunday's game in Green Bay with a neck injury.  He signed a one-year contract in the offseason, which was reportedly worth $1.3 million dollars.


This morning, Viking Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams will host "Kevin Williams Turkey Giveaway" at the Cub Foods on 26th Avenue South in Minneapolis.  The 11th year vet will distribute 750 turkeys to families in need from 11 a.m. until noon.  Williams will be joined by a number of members from the Vikings defensive line.


The University of Minnesota men's hockey team is still No. 1 in this week's U.S. College Hockey Online Poll.  The 9-2-1 Golden Gophers retained their top ranking despite a 6-2 loss Sunday to Minnesota-Duluth.  No. 2 St. Cloud State skated to a tie and a win over Colorado College this weekend to improve to 9-1-2.  The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs moved up a spot to 18th following a split at top-ranked Minnesota.  Meanwhile, Golden Gopher women's hockey continues its two-plus-year reign as the number-one ranked team in the nation.   


The Big Ten Conference yesterday announced it's weekly player of the week honors in volleyball and a couple of Gophers were on the list.  Gopher senior Ashley Wittman or Shakopee, MN was named the Big Ten Player of the Week as she helped lead Minnesota to road wins over #19 Michigan and #17 Michigan State.  Her teammate, senior Tori Dixon of Burnsville, we named the Defensive Player of the Week averaging 1.9 blocks per set in the wins over Michigan and Michigan State.


The Minnesota Swarm of the National Lacrosse League announced yesterday that the team agreed to terms with #1 overall pick Logan Schuss on a two-year contract.  Schuss, a left handed forward from Ohio State, became the first #1 overall pick in Swarm history this past September during the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.