The Latest – January 20, 2012 20 Jan 12

Leafs Roll Reeling Wild
(Toronto, Ontario) — Toronto’s Nazem Kadri and Joey Crabb each scored in the first period and the Maple Leafs cruised past the Minnesota Wild 4-1 last night in Canada. Former Golden Gopher Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski also scored to help the Leafs stop a three-game slide. Jonas Gustavsson stopped 20 shots in the victory. Minnesota’s Nick Johnson scored with 2:27 left in the third to break up the shutout. Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves in the loss. Minnesota extended its road winless streak to 11 games. Overall, the Wild have lost 15 of their last 17 games. Minnesota hosts Dallas tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

Wild Possibly Wheeling and Dealing
(St. Paul, MN) — No longer clinging to the eighth spot in the NHL Western Conference, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is working the phones to try to possibly work on trades that could upgrade his team. Minnesota is missing Mikko Koivu [[ MEE-koh KOY-voo ]], Pierre-Marc Bouchard [[ boo-SHARD ]], and Guillaume Latendresse [[ gee-ohm, lah-tahn-dress ]] and could use some added scoring punch. Fletcher says there is a market out there and other teams are also trying to get into the mix and upgrade, so the dealing is tough. This is the first time Minnesota has been out of playoff position since October 31st, seven games into the season.

Gopher Women Win
(Minneapolis, MN) — The University of Minnesota women’s basketball team snapped a two-game losing skid by knocking off Michigan State 71-65 last night at Williams Arena. The win evened teh Gopher conference record to 3-and-3. Minnesota is 11-and-9 overall. Kiara [[ kee-ARE-uh ]] Buford of St. Paul netted 22 points to pace the Gophers. Freshman Rachel Banham of Lakeville added 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals. Jackie Voigt [[ VOYT ]] of Cottage Groved chipped in with 11 points. Minnesota led by 11 at halftime. The Gophers are at Nebraska on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Gophers Host Northwestern Sunday
(Minneapolis, MN) — The Minnesota men’s basketball team will host Northwestern at Williams Arena Sunday afternoon. The Gophers picked up an 80-66 win over Penn State their last time out on Sunday. Minnesota has won two straight to enter the weekend 2-and-4 in Big Ten play and 14-and-5 overall. Sunday’s game is at 3:00 p.m.

Wolves Visit Clippers
(Los Angeles, CA) — The Timberwolves take on the Clippers tonight in Los Angeles. Minnesota notched a 93-85 win over the Pistons its last time out on Wednesday. The Wolves have won two straight to enter tonight’s game 6-and-8 on the season. The nationally-televised game begins at 9:30 p.m.

Rubio, Love In All-Star Voting
(Minneapolis, MN) — NBA All-Star voting continues and Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio is third in votes among Western Conference guards, while Kevin Love is fifth amongst forwards in the West. All-star balloting is being conducted on line at the NBA’s webpage. Fans can vote once per day for their favorite players.

Vikings Name Alan Williams Defensive Coordinator
(Eden Prairie, MN) — The Vikings have named Alan Williams their defensive coordinator. He’s spent the last 10 seasons as defensive backs coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier worked with Williams when he was with the Colts from 2005-06. The Vikings have also named Brendan Daly their defensive line coach. He comes over from the St. Louis Rams.

Twins Continue Caravan Sunday
(Undated) — The Twins continue their Winter Caravan on Sunday in Red Wing. The celebrity group will make a stop at a casino near Red Wing. Glen Perkins, Drew Butera, and team broadcaster Dick Bremer will be the featured Twins celebrities on the stop. The caravan is off today and tomorrow.

Augustana Pegged Softball Favorite
(Burnsville, MN) — Augustana is the preseason favorite to win the NSIC softball title. A vote of league coaches shows the Vikings with eight first-place votes. Minnesota State-Mankato is tabbed for second place with four first-place votes. Winona State and Minnesota-Duluth are selected third and fourth, with each squad getting one first-place vote. Concordia-St. Paul and Wayne State are tied for fifth in the survey, followed by Mary, Southwest Minnesota State, St. Cloud State, Northern State, Upper Iowa, Minnesota State-Moorhead, Bemidji State, and Minnesota-Crookston.

2011 Deer Harvest Declines Seven Percent
(Undated) — The Minnesota DNR is reporting a seven-percent drop in the 2011 deer harvest. Hunters took just over 192-thousand deer last year compared with 207-thousand in 2010. Big game coordinator Lou Cornicelli says harvest was off 20-percent on the opening weekend of the firearms season because of 40-mile-an-hour winds statewide. He says about half the annual harvest usually happens those two days. Cornicelli also says efforts to lower deer densities across the state have been working. He adds that the lack of snow this winter could end up increasing the deer population.

NASCAR Hall Welcomes Five
(Charlotte, NC) — Five new members will be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte today. Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Richie Evans, Dale Inman and Glen Wood make up the 2012 class. They were voted into the NASCAR Hall last June.

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grimm/dmz

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