The Latest – January 31, 2012 31 Jan 12

(St. Paul, MN) — The post-NHL All-Star Break schedule creates a new level of urgency according to Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo [[ Yoh ]]). Yeo’s team entertains Nashville tonight in St. Paul. The Wild are in eighth-place in the NHL Western Conference playoff chase, while the Predators are in fifth. Yeo says he likes the position of his team right now. He says they are lucky to be in playoff position given all of the injuries and recent struggles they’ve had. Yeo says his team must rise to a new level now that the season is nearly into the month of February. Tonight’s game is set to start at 7 p.m.

Latendresse On Ice
(St. Paul, MN) — Injured Wild forward Guillaume Latendresse [[ gee-OHM LAH-tahn-dress ]] has been on the ice and continues to recover from concussion symptoms that have forced him to miss all but 16 games this season. He reports he is headache-free and starting to do a few things on the ice on his own. He told reporters that he’d like to get back to game action soon, slowly working his way back to full-time. Ideally, he is hoping to be able to be 100-percent for the final 25 games of the season.

Adelman Pleased
(Houston, TX) — The Minnesota Timberwolves notched a nice 120-108 win at Houston last night. Head coach Rick Adelman says his team is starting to put things together. He acknowledges the team is young and inconsistent, but he thinks they are slowly starting to eliminate the down periods in games. Adelman says the Wolves have played a tough schedule and the team has matched up well with some of the better teams in the NBA. Minnesota entertains Indiana tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Target Center.

Banham Honored Again
(Chicago, IL) — Golden Gophers freshman Rachel Banham of Lakeville has been named the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for the fifth time this season. Banham poured in a team-high 20 points in Sunday’s stunning upset of number-nine Ohio State. She also scored 19 points in Thursday’s loss to Wisconsin.

Gopher Men and Women Preparing
(Minneapolis, MN) — The Golden Gophers men’s and women’s basketball teams are scheduled to practice at Williams Arena today as both prepare for Big Ten Conference road games this week. Tubby Smith’s team leaves this afternoon for Iowa City, where it will take on the Hawkeyes tomorrow night. Pam Borton’s squad will work out today and leave tomorrow for Champaign, Illinois, where it will battle the Fighting Illini on Thursday evening. Games both nights are set for 7:30 p.m.

A Fourth Site for New Vikings Stadium?
(Minneapolis, MN) — There’s speculation about another potential site for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The proposed location just east of the Metrodome would allow the team to keep playing in the Dome while the new stadium is under construction. But the family that owns the land says it is not for sale. Construction of a stadium on the property would require removal of a power substation and two buildings. Vikings VP Lester Bagley said that location is not under active consideration and they haven’t seen a viable plan.

Gardenhire Hopeful On Liriano
(Minneapolis, MN) — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says lefthanded starter Francisco Liriano has been working a limited number of innings in winter ball and has been doing well. Despite a couple of rough outings by the lefty, Gardenhire says the Twins’ scouts are really liking the way the ball is coming out of his hand. Gardenhire is hoping that carries over to spring training, which starts in less than three weeks.

Rangers Extend Former Twin
(Arlington, TX) — The Texas Rangers have signed manager Ron Washington to a two-year contract extension through the 2014 season. Washington has guided the Rangers to consecutive World Series appearances the last two seasons and has been their manager for 18 of the 19 all-time playoff wins in team history. He joined the Braves’ Bobby Cox, the Yankees’ Joe Torre and current Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel as the only managers in the Division Series era to advance to back-to-back World Series. Washington played infield for the Twins from 1981-86.

Wrestler Honored
(Burnsville, MN) — St. Cloud State junior wrestler Andy Pokorny of Bennington, Nebraska is the NSIC Wrestler of the Week. He helped lift the top-ranked Huskies to a key dual meet win over third-ranked Augustana last Friday.

MIAC Cites Athletes