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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUNDUP: Wild blank Nashville, host Ottawa next

NASHVILLE --  Minnesota netminder Darcy Kuemper posted 23 saves for his first career NHL shutout as the Wild blanked the Predators 4-0 in Nashville last night. Dany Heatley, Jason Zucker, Matt Cooke and Marco Scandella all notched a goal for Minnesota, which has won five-of-six. Charlie Coyle registered two assists in the win. Marek Mazanec stopped 19 shots in net for the losing side. Nashville has lost three straight and six-of-seven overall. Minnesota is hosting Ottawa tomorrow night in St. Paul.


The top-ranked Golden Gopher men's hockey team skated by Penn State 3-2 in a Big Ten hockey game last night in Pennsylvania. Minnesota defensemen Brady Skjei (SHAY), Mike Reilly, and Ben Marshall netted the Minnesota goals, with Marshall's tie-breaking goal coming with only 4:01 left to play in the hockey game. Gopher goaltender Adam Wilcox saved 28 shots, while Penn State goalie Eamon McAdam kicked away 42 saves in the loss. The Gophers are now 14-2-3 overall and 4-0-and-1 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions fell to 4-11-and-1 overall and 0-and-3 in the league. The same two teams play tonight in Happy Valley at 6 p.m.


Minnesota's Rachel Banham of Lakeville scored 28 points and grabbed ten rebounds to lead the Golden Gopher women's basketball team past Northwestern yesterday 94-59 at Williams Arena. Minnesota improved to 12-and-5 on the season behind the fifth career double-double from Banham. The victory was the first Big Ten win of the season for Minnesota, which is 1-and-2 in the league. The Gophers are at Nebraska on Thursday for an 8 p.m. game.


 San Antonio's Kawhi (kuh-WHY) Leonard posted 17 points and six rebounds to help the Spurs sink the Timberwolves 104-86 last night in Texas. Tim Duncan had 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four blocks for San Antonio, which has won four straight. Tony Parker totaled 14 points and 10 assists in the win. Nikola Pekovic (NEE-koh-luh PECK-oh-vitch) scored 22 points with six boards for Minnesota, which has alternated wins and losses the last eight games. Kevin Love registered 14 points and seven rebounds but was 3-of-14 from the field. Minnesota is at Sacramento on Wednesday night.


The sale of $468 million in bonds to fund part of the new Vikings stadium has been delayed. Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Showalter says in a statement that the sale, which was set to occur on Monday and Tuesday, will not proceed as planned because a petition for a writ of prohibition was filed Friday with the state Attorney General's office. The state is required by federal law to disclose any pending legal actions when bonds are sold. Showalter says it's not yet known if a delay will change the financial parameters of the bond sale. He says once a new pricing date will be announced as soon as it's been determined.


Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is set to have another interview with the Minnesota Vikings, according to various national media reports. ESPN reports Zimmer will meet with the Vikings about their head coaching job early this week. Zimmer has been with the Bengals as the defensive leader since 2008. The Vikings are trying to replace fired Leslie Frazier. Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman says he'd like to have a new coach in place no later than January 25th.


The second-ranked Golden Gopher wrestling team beat Wisconsin 28-6 in a dual at the U of M Sports Pavilion yesterday. More than four-thousand fans watched Minnesota push its dual meet record to 6-and-0 overall and 3-and-0 in the Big Ten. Two-time defending national champion Tony Nelson of Cambridge recovered from a surprise loss in Friday's dual at Northwestern to capture a 4-1 win yesterday. Minnesota is at Michigan State on Friday and at Michigan on Sunday.