Huskies Beat Omaha, Johnnies and Bennies Advance to Semis
The St. Cloud State University men's hockey team opened up their last road series of the regular season with a win over Omaha, the Gopher men's hockey team earned a shutout win to start their final series of the season, and the Gopher women's hockey team shutout St. Thomas in game one of the WCHA First Round series Friday. The SCSU women's hockey team dropped their WCHA opener to Duluth, the Granite City Lumberjacks and St. Cloud Norsemen both lost divisional matchups, the Timberwolves were bested at home by the Hornets, and the Wild dropped an OT decision in Toronto. On Saturday the St. Johns University and College of St. Benedict hockey teams will both take on Augsburg in the semifinal round of the MIAC Tournament, the SJU baseball team will take the field for the first time this season to face Luther in a double-header, the Gopher men's basketball team will visit Nebraska, and the Minnesota Twins will kick-off spring training with a matchup against the Rays followed by another game against Baltimore.
- The no. 6 SCSU men's hockey team beat no. 14 Omaha 6-2 to kick-off their final road series of the season. The win marked Head Coach Brett Larson's 100th with the team and made him the fastest coach to reach that benchmark. Grant Cruikshank and Adam Ingram both netted two for St. Cloud. Jaxon Castor made 23 saves and allowed two goals. The Huskies improve to 19-9-3 and will face Omaha in game two at 7:00 p.m. Saturday.
- The no. 1 Gopher men's hockey team blanked no. 8/7 Ohio State 4-0 to start their final series of the season. The Gophers outshot the Buckeyes 38-23 in the win. Mike Koster led Minnesota with four goals, all scored in the second period. Justen Close made a perfect 23 saves. The Gophers improve to 24-8-1 and will close out the season with game two against the Buckeyes at home on Saturday. Puck-drop is set for 4:30 p.m.
- The no. 4 Gopher women's hockey team opened up the WCHA First Round with a 7-0 shutout win over St. Thomas in game one of the best-of-three home series Friday. Minnesota outshot St. Thomas 51-14 in the win. Taylor Heise and Grace Zumwinkle each netted two for the Gophers. Skylar Vetter made a perfect 14 saves. The Gophers improve to 26-5-3 and can advance to the next round with one more win. Game two is set for 2:00 p.m. Saturday in Minneapolis.
- The SCSU women's hockey team suffered a 1-0 shutout loss to no. 7 UMD in game one of the best-of-three WCHA First-Round series. Neither team scored in the first two periods, and it was not until the final three minutes of the third that the Bulldogs found the back of the net for the game-winning goal. JoJo Chobak made 32 saves and allowed one goal in the loss. The no. 12 Huskies fall to 18-17-1 and will need to win Saturday to stay alive in the tournament. Puck-drop for game two is set for 5:00 p.m. Saturday in Duluth.
- The Lumberjacks fell 6-3 on the road against the Toros on Friday. Mason City pushed out to an early 2-0 lead. Granite City responded with some goals of their own to take a 3-2 lead, but the Toros netted four unanswered goals in the third to steal the win. Ashton Ericksen and Finnigan Greely each scored one for the Lumberjacks. Paul Cassin made 28 saves and allowed five goals. The Jacks fall to 36-6-1-1 and the Toros improve to 28-14-1-0. The teams will finish up the weekend series with game two in Iowa at 3:10 p.m. Saturday.
- The Norsemen came up short 3-2 against the division-leading Bruins at home Friday. Neither team scored through the opening period, and it was Austin who scored first in the second period. The Bruins extended their lead to 2-0 midway through the final period, and St. Cloud answered with their first goals of the game to tie it up 2-2. In the final seconds of the game, Austin netted one more goal to secure the win and avoid going to overtime. Kade Peterson scored both goals for St. Cloud in the loss. Ethan Dahlmeir made 24 saves and allowed three goals. The Norsemen fall to 22-18-2-3 and the Bruins improve to 28-11-3-4. The teams will head to Austin Saturday for game two of the home-and-home series. Puck-drop is set for 7:05 p.m.
- The Timberwolves fell 121-113 at home to the team with the fourth-worst record in the NBA on Friday night. Charlotte outscored Minnesota by a narrow margin all but one quarter. LaMelo Ball led all scorers with 32 points for the Hornets. Anthony Edwards led Minnesota with 29 points, and Rudy Gobert added 17. The Wolves fall to 31-31 and will face Golden State (30-30) on the road on Sunday night. Pre-game coverage tips off at 6:00 on AM 1240 and 95.3 FM WJON.
- The Wild came up short Friday, falling 2-1 to Toronto in OT. Both teams lit the lamp in the first period, but the remainder of regulation stayed quiet, forcing overtime where the Maple Leafs scooped up the win. Brandon Duhaime scored the lone goal for Minnesota. Filip Gustavsson made 22 saves and allowed two goals in the loss. The Wild fall to 32-21-6 and will return home to host the Blue Jackets on Sunday. Pre-game coverage starts at 12:45 p.m. on AM 1390 and 93.9 FM Granite City Sports.
- The no. 3 SJU hockey team (13-9-3, 9-5-2 MIAC) will travel to Minneapolis Saturday to face no. 2 Augsburg (14-9-2, 10-5-1 MIAC) in the conference semifinals. The teams split the series 1-1 this season including the thrilling 5-4 SJU overtime win during the Hockey Day Minnesota festivities. Puck-drop is set for 7:00 p.m.
- The SJU baseball team will hit the field for the first time this season when they take on Luther College in a doubleheader in Kansas on Saturday. The Johnnies lead the all-time series 7-3 against the Norse. First pitch for game one is set for 1:00 p.m.
- The no. 3 CSB hockey team (14-11, 11-7 MIAC) will face no. 2 Augsburg (17-6-2, 14-3-1) in the semifinal round of the MIAC Tournament on Saturday. The Auggies swept the regular season series 2-0 in January. Puck-drop is set for 2:00 p.m. in Minneapolis.
- Following the cancellation of Friday's games, the SCSU softball team (2-2) will take the field for the first time at the Washburn Invite on Saturday when they face Central Missouri (8-3) and Pittsburg State (7-6) in a doubleheader in Topeka, Kansas. First pitch for game one is set for 11:30 a.m.
- The Gopher men's basketball team (7-19, 1-15 B1G) will once again look to snap a losing streak that has grown to 11 games when they head to Nebraska (14-14, 7-10 B1G) on Saturday. The Gophers are 54-23 all-time against the Huskers and 15-14 when in Nebraska. Pre-game coverage starts at 2:00 p.m. on AM 1390 and 93.9 FM Granite City Sports.
- Fans will get their first look at the reworked roster when the Twins take the field for their first spring training matchups on Saturday. The Twins will take on the Rays and Orioles in a double-header in Florida. Minnesota finished third in the AL Central last season and missed the playoffs, while Tampa Bay finished third in the AL East and lost to Cleveland in the wild card round, and the Orioles finished fourth in the AL East. Pre-game coverage begins at 12:00 p.m. on AM 1240 and 95.3 FM WJON.