The Latest – December 17, 2011 17 Dec 11

NBA Opens Preseason
(Minneapolis, MN) — The Minnesota Timberwolves open their two-game exhibition schedule with a game tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Target Center. The two teams will play a second preseason game on Wednesday night in Milwaukee. The Wolves worked out twice this week in Mankato as part of training camp. They will open the regular season on December 26th against Oklahoma City at the Target Center.

(St. Paul, MN) — The first place Minnesota Wild are looking to end a two-game losing streak with a home game tonight against the New York Islanders at the Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota had won seven games in a row prior to this skid. The Islanders have lost four games straight. The puck will drop tonight at 7 p.m.

(Minneapolis, MN) — The red-hot New Orleans Saints will go for their sixth straight win when they face the Minnesota Vikings Sunday. New Orleans locked up a playoff spot by holding on for a 22-17 road win over the Titans last Sunday. The 10-and-3 Saints are looking to inch closer to the NFC South crown and the number-two seed in the conference. Minnesota’s rally came up just short in a 34-28 road loss to the Lions. Christian Ponder was pulled in Minnesota’s fifth straight loss, but is expected to start at quarterback this week. Adrian Peterson is also on track to return after missing the last three games with an ankle injury. The Saints sunk the Vikes 14-9 in the season-opener for both teams last season. Kickoff tomorrow is noon.

Vikings-Saints By The Numbers
(Eden Prairie, MN) — Tomorrow’s game between the Vikings and Saints in Minneapolis will be the 30th meeting between the two NFC foes. Minnesota holds a commanding 20-9 advantage in the series, but the Saints have won the last two meetings, including the historic overtime win over Minnesota in the 2009 NFC Title Game. New Orleans won last year’s regular season encounter 14-9 in the Louisiana Superdome. Six of the last seven games between the two teams have been played in New Orleans. The last time the two teams have played in the Twin Cities was in 2005 when Minnesota beat the Saints 33-16. This year, the Vikings enter the game with a 2-and-11 record, while New Orleans is 10-and-3.

TwinsFest 2012 Tickets
(Minneapolis, MN) — Tickets for TwinsFest 2012 are now on sale. The Minnesota Twins’ annual fan festival is January 27th, 28th and the 29th at the newly-renovated Metrodome. Last year’s TwinsFest had to be moved to the National Sports Center in Blaine after the dome’s roof collapsed. Advance tickets are nine dollars for adults and five dollars for kids. The fundraising event features autograph stations, photo opportunities with current and former players, a baseball card show and a skills area. For ticket info, go to the Twins team webpage.