(Minneapolis, MN) — A pair of teams that had dreadful NBA seasons last year, but have renewed optimism this season, meet at the Target Center tonight. Minnesota entertains Cleveland for a 7 p.m. game. The 2-and-4 Wolves have a young team that has captured some attention across the league with the play of new guard Ricky Rubio and top-flight effort from Kevin Love. Cleveland is 3-and-3 on the season and boasts the top pick in last spring’s NBA draft in guard Kyrie Irving. Minnesota won both matchups between these two clubs last year. This is the only matchup between the two teams this season.
>>Gopher Men Set For Sunday
(Minneapolis, MN) — The Golden Gophers men’s basketball team will host Purdue on Sunday at Williams Arena. Minnesota has lost its first three Big Ten Conference games and is already in near must-win mode. Purdue lost by 20 points last night at Penn State. Head coach Tubby Smith will meet with the media later today. Sunday’s game tips off at 5 p.m.
>>No. 1 Bulldogs at No. 8 Western Michigan
(Kalamazoo, MI) — The top-ranked men’s college team in America has a weekend series set for tonight and tomorrow. Nunber-one Minnesota-Duluth is at number-eight Western Michigan in Kalamazoo for a pair of non-conference affairs. The Bulldogs are 12-3-and-3 on the season, while the Broncos are 10-5-and-5. Tonight’s game starts at 6:30 p.m. while tomorrow’s game is slated to start at 6 p.m. Both of these teams will be joining the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in 2013.
>>Mavericks at St. Lawrence
(Canton, NY) — The Minnesota State-Mankato men’s hockey team has a pair of non-conference games this weekend at St. Lawrence. Games both nights begin at 6 p.m. The Mavericks are 5-14-and-1 overall, while St. Lawrence is 7-10-and-2.
>>Gophers Host Irish Tomorrow
(Minneapolis, MN) — The number-three Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s hockey team does not play tonight, but does host a big non-conference game tomorrow against fifth-ranked Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish entered the season as the number-one team in the nation. Notre Dame is now 12-6-and-3 overall, while Minnesota is 15-6-and-1. Tomorrow’s game starts at 7 p.m.
>>Wild At Calgary
(Calgary, Alberta) — The Minnesota Wild are scheduled to practice this morning in Banff, Alberta in preparation for their game tomorrow night against the struggling Calgary Flames. Calgary lost to Boston 9-0 last night to complete a seven-game road trip that saw them lose the final three contests. The Wild aren’t playing real well either, having lost 10 of their last 11 games. The puck drops tomorrow night at 9 p.m.
>>High School Hockey Fight
(Winona, MN) — A high school hockey fight in Winona last night was likely triggered by lingering emotions from last week’s devastating check that paralyzed a youth player in the Twin Cities. Ten players were ejected from last night’s game between Owatonna and Winona. The brawl began after an Owatonna player checked a Winona player in the back, in a hit that was similar to the hit from behind that sent a Benilde-St Margaret’s player into the boards last week leaving him permanently injured. The Winona player responded by going after the Owatonna player and the melee was on. Luckily, no one was injured in the incident. Winona’s head coach Fran McDevitt told reporters that he thinks last Thursday’s incident involving 16-year-old Jack Jablonski played a role in how emotional his player was when responding to the hit.