Austin Hollins scored 18 points, Deandre Mathieu added 13 and Andre Hollins hit a late 3-pointer Thursday to give Minnesota a badly needed 63-56 win over Penn State in the Big Ten tournament. The seventh-seeded Golden Gophers (20-12) advanced to Friday night’s quarterfinal against No. 12 Wisconsin with their third win in four games. 10th-seeded Penn State (15-17) had a miserable night shooting, making only 32.2 percent from the field. D.J. Newbill had 16 points and senior Tim Frazier added 11. Penn State heads home from Indianapolis after losing for the third time in four games.
Minnesota sophomore forward Hannah Brandt is among three finalists for the 2014 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award. Brandt joins Clarkson senior forward Jamie Lee Rattray and Cornell junior forward Jillian Saulnier as finalists for the top honor in college women’s hockey. Brandt leads the nation in points (61), assists (40) and assists per game (1.11).
St. Cloud State didn’t need five goals in the second period to get even with North Dakota on Saturday. One goal was all it took. Cory Thorson’s goal late in the second period led St. Cloud State over North Dakota 3-1 and into a first-place tie in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. St. Cloud State and North Dakota share the lead in the NCHC with two games remaining in the regular season. The winner earns the first Penrose Cup and gets the top seed for the playoffs.
Three goaltenders on Minnesota college hockey teams are among candidates for the inaugural Mike Richter Award. The Richter Award honors the top goalie in NCAA hockey.
To say North Dakota is on a roll is an understatement. One week after scoring a National Collegiate Hockey Conference record nine goals, 11th-ranked UND coasted to a 6-2 win over No. 20 Minnesota-Duluth. Paul LaDue scored two of North Dakota’s three power-play goals in a four-goal second period. With the win, North Dakota (18-9-3, 13-7-0) remained tied for first in the conference with St. Cloud State. UND is 14-2-1 in its last 17 games.
Sam Thompson scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, leading No. 24 Ohio State back from a 12-point deficit to a 64-46 victory over Minnesota on Saturday night. The Buckeyes outscored the Golden Gophers 46-18 in the second half. Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 13 points and Shannon Scott 10 for the Buckeyes (22-6, 9-6 Big Ten), who trailed by 10 at the half and by 12 early in the second half before taking control with a 17-0 run.
Minnesota has given football coach Jerry Kill a raise and another year on his contract. The university announced Saturday that Kill’s deal was extended through the 2018 season and that he’ll make $2.1 million in 2014, a big spike from his previous salary of $1.2 million. That was the lowest in the Big Ten. Athletic director Norwood Teague had promised for months the contract would be restructured.
Gopher forward Joey King say there’s nothing like a Gopher-Wisconsin game. “Just the opportunity to play Wisconsin, it’s something that people from Minnesota really look forward to,” King said. The win the first time may have changed the Gopher’s season. It also changed the way teams see Mo Walker, a key down the stretch, according to Coach Richard Pitino.
The University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has set up a fund in memory of former Bulldog softball player Mandy Matula. The UMD Softball 1 Four Mandy Matula Fund was established in partnership with Matula’s family. The fund will provide financial support for the Bulldog softball program. Matula was a starting pitcher and utility player with the Bulldogs from the 2007 through 2010 seasons.
DeAndre Mathieu had 10 of his 16 points in the second half, helping Minnesota overtake Indiana for a 66-60 victory on Saturday night to end a three-game losing streak. Maurice Walker pitched in 14 points and eight rebounds, and Andre Hollins added 10 points for the Gophers (16-8, 5-6 Big Ten), who lost to Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue over the last two weeks by a total of eight points. This time, they came through in the closing minutes.
The University of Minnesota were named Division 1A winners in two separate categories at the College Cheer and Dance Team National Championships over the weekend. The ‘U’ was named tops in both the jazz and pom categories.
The cold didn’t stop thousands of hockey fans from filling TCF Bank Stadium for the Hockey City Classic. Friday afternoon’s match-up marks the first time that hockey has been played outside at the University of Minnesota in more than 80 years. The Gopher women took on the Mavericks of Minnesota State University – Mankato in the early evening, while the Gopher men will face off against Ohio State University at 8 p.m.
TCF Bank Stadium will hold an outdoor doubleheader Friday afternoon at the Hockey City Classic, featuring the Minnesota Gophers men’s and women’s hockey teams. The men’s team took to the ice late Thursday afternoon in preparation for Friday’s game. It was also a chance to see the ice at nightfall, checking out the sight lines under the lights. Coach Dan Lucia says there will be one other element in play that’s a bit more distracting than the waning sunlight.
Derrick Williams walked off the bus and strolled into Target Center toward the entrance to the visiting locker room. As he put his hand on the door knob and started to open it, he did a double-take to make sure he was headed to the right place. It’s hard to blame Williams for his tentativeness since he had spent the first two years of his career walking into the home locker room in this building. Williams made his return to Minnesota on Wednesday night, a month and a half after the Timberwolves traded the former No. 2 overall pick to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute.
On Friday night, “The Bank” will turn into “The Rink.” TCF Bank stadium, typically home to Gopher football, has been taken over by the state of hockey. It’s called the Hockey City Classic, and WCCO wanted to know what it took to create the rink, plus who gets to skate on it.