The Latest – December 15, 2011 15 Dec 11

Here is the latest sports news:  The Blackhawks beat the Wild in a shootout.  The Wolves officially have a new guard.  Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson are on track to play on Sunday.

Hawks Tame Wild In SO 
(St. Paul, MN)  –  Jonathan Toews [[ TAYVZ ]] and Patrick Kane both found the back of the net in the shootout to lift the Blackhawks to a 4-3 win over the Wild.  Kyle Brodziak, Matt Cullen and Mikko Koivu [[ KOY-voo ]] all scored for Minnesota.  Niklas Backstrom gave up three goals on 31 shots and a pair in the shootout for the Wild, who have dropped back-to-back games on the heels of a seven-game winning streak.  The Wild will host the Islanders on Saturday night. 

Wolves Officially Sign Barea 
(Minneapolis, MN)  –  The Timberwolves officially signed free-agent guard J.J. Barea on Wednesday.  Barea played in 81 games for Dallas last season, averaging 9.5 points and 3.9 assists.  He also averaged 8.9 points and 3.4 assists in 21 playoff games for the NBA champion Mavericks.  The Wolves open preseason play against the Bucks on Saturday.

Ponder Starting, Peterson Likely Returning 
(Eden Prairie, MN)  –  Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier announced Wednesday that Christian Ponder will start at quarterback against the Saints on Sunday.  Ponder was pulled in last week’s loss to the Lions, but Frazier said Wednesday Ponder will be back under center this week.  Meantime, running back Adrian Peterson practiced Wednesday and is on track to play on Sunday.  Peterson has been out of action since suffering a high ankle sprain in Week 11.