(St. Paul, MN) — Tonight will be the 1000th game of Matt Cullen’s National Hockey League career. The Moorhead native will lead his Minnesota Wild team onto the Xcel Energy Center ice to welcome San Jose for a 7 p.m. game. Cullen says the game is an important one for the Wild, as the struggling club is trying to recover from a mid-season slump. He admits he has used the milestone game as a cause to reflect on his career. Cullen says he feels very fortunate to have played in this many NHL games and that he is living a dream.
(St. Paul, MN) — Tonight’s game between Minnesota and San Jose is a pairing of teams headed in opposite directions right now. San Jose is surging, having won four consecutive games in the early stages of calendar year 2012. Minnesota, meanwhile, has dropped 11 of its last 12 games and is in a much different spot in the standings than when these two teams last played. The Wild were leading the NHL in the point standings back on December 6th when they beat the Sharks in San Jose. Now, Minnesota is tied with Nashville for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Tonight will be Brent Burns first game in Minnesota since he was traded to the Sharks from the Wild in the offseason. San Jose and Minnesota are 1-and-1 this year against each other with both games being played in Northern California.
(Minneapolis, MN) — Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman says he might play star player Kevin Love a few minutes less tonight than he would in a normal game. Minnesota is playing for the third consecutive night when Chicago visits the Target Center. This is the first home game in the three-game stint, which included stops in Washington, DC and Toronto. Adelman says he thought it looked like Love lacked some energy in a 13-point, 14-rebound effort in last night’s loss at Toronto. Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m.
>>Gophers At No. 8 Indiana
(Minneapolis, MN) — The Golden Gophers men’s basketball team will visit eighth-ranked Indiana Thursday night. Minnesota has lost four straight games, including back-to-back home contests against Iowa and Purdue. Indiana has not lost a home game yet this season and is 15-and-1 overall. The Hoosiers boast the reigning Freshman of the Week in the Big Ten in center Cody Zeller, who has won the weekly citation five times this season. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
>>NSIC Award Winners
(Burnsville, MN) — The Northern Sun has named its weekly award winners in men’s and women’s basketball. Minnesota State-Mankato senior center Laura Weber of Eden Prairie is the women’s Player of the Week. She helped the Mavericks to their sixth straight win over the weekend. The men’s honoree is Minnesota-Crookston senior guard Jacolby Anderson of Lancaster, Texas. He average 28 points-per-game in two contests last week.
(St. Paul, MN) — The MIAC men’s basketball Player of the Week is Saint John’s sophomore forward Seth Marx of Maple Grove. The Benilde-St. Margaret’s product averaged 13 points-per-game in a pair of tilts last week. The women’s basketball Player of the Week is Carleton junior Akemi Arzouman of Irvine, California.
>>Swimming and Diving Honorees
(St. Paul, MN) — MIAC Swimming and Diving weekly award winners have been released for the week. Carleton junior Erik Klontz of Bethesda, Maryland is the men’s winner, while Macalester sophomore diver Renee Jordan of Anchorage, Alaska is the women’s honoree.
>>Where Or Where Will The Vikings Stadium Go?
(Minneapolis, MN) — A well-known analyst predicts Minneapolis will probably win the race for a new Vikings stadium, but Doug Grow with MinnPost says two “decidedly different factions” support sites at the opposite ends of downtown. Grow says Mayor R.T. Rybak and the president of the city council are “pushing like crazy” for the Metrodome site, while all sorts of other players prefer the Farmers Market or Linden Avenue. Backers of the Metrodome site argue it’s the least expensive because infrastructure is already in. Supporters of Linden Avenue or the Farmer’s Market say those sites would put the stadium next to the Twins ballpark, Target Center and the Hennepin Avenue entertainment district.
>>Racino Push Shaping Up
(St. Paul, MN) — Momentum appears to be building for passage of the racino bill in the upcoming legislative session. Many supporters of expanded gambling at the state’s two racetracks want to put the revenue towards a new Vikings stadium. Racino spokesman Ron Rosenbaum says their official position is neutral. He says they are will to provide the state with 135 million dollars a year. But adds the legislature can use the money however they want. Rosenbaum admits they have a friend in racino sponsor and new Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, but he says they also had a good relationship with ex-Majority Leader Amy Koch [[ Coke ]]. He believes the bill has a strong chance of passing this year.
>>DNR: Limited Gray Wolf Hunting Season
(St. Paul, MN) — Minnesota wildlife officials have begun to plan for a limited gray wolf hunting and trapping season. The action follows last month’s announcement that wolves will return to state management, following roughly 35 years of federal protection. Minnesota DNR officials say a hunting season would be part of their overall wolf management plan and the first could be held later this year. There are an estimated three-thousand wolves in Minnesota.
>>Update For DNR’s On-Line Reservation System
(St. Paul, MN) — The DNR’s online state park reservation system is getting a facelift and will be out-of-service until March. But DNR spokeswoman Pat Arndt says you can still reserve state park camper cabins and guest houses. There’s an on-line listing of availabilities that’s updated every weekday by noon, and Arndt says you can call the park you’re interested in and they’ll take the reservation. All availabilities can be found at mn-dnr-dot-gov.