On Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild played their final home game against the Vancouver Canucks before starting a four game road trip. With games coming against St. Louis, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago it was important to get two points against a Vancouver team that had been imploding over the last couple months.
David Booth scored two unassisted goals and Eddie Lack made 29 saves to lead the Vancouver Canucks over the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Wednesday night. Zack Kassian, Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler also scored for Vancouver as the Canucks try to make a late push to overtake Phoenix and Dallas for the Western Conference’s final wild-card playoff spot.
Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom and forward Jason Zucker had surgery this week to address injuries that ended their seasons. The Wild announced Wednesday that Backstrom had surgery in Philadelphia on Tuesday on a core muscle injury. The injury bothered Backstrom for much of the season. He went 5-11-2 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. He has not played since Jan. 30. The team says it expects him to be fully recovered in time for next season.
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Friends and family are putting together a benefit for a former Gopher hockey star who has been given just a few months to live.
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Minnesota is the top overall seed in the NCAA hockey tournament. Boston College, Union and Wisconsin also received No. 1 seeds when the 16-team field was announced Sunday.
While so many are focused on their basketball brackets, it’s college hockey fans filling both downtown areas Saturday. St. Paul is hosting the Big Ten Conference tournament at the Xcel Energy Center, while Minneapolis has the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament at Target Center. Forget March Madness, for these fans it’s all about the ice.
Mark Zengerle’s rebound goal in overtime lifted Wisconsin to a 5-4 victory over Ohio State on Saturday night in the inaugural Big Ten hockey championship game, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Zengerle and Nic Kerdiles each had two assists, and the Badgers (24-10-2) won for the 10th time in 12 games. This one required a serious rally as Wisconsin trailed 4-2 with 6:52 remaining in regulation after Tanner Fritz scored for the Buckeyes.
Depleted by injuries, and maybe just due for a drop-off, the Detroit Red Wings have found their remarkable 22-season streak of reaching the playoffs in jeopardy. Well, with 12 games to go, they are still in line for a spot. Gustav Nyquist’s third-period goal gave the Red Wings a 3-2 victory Saturday over the Minnesota Wild, their fourth win in five games.
Kelly Terry had a goal and an assist and Minnesota scored three times in the third period to beat Wisconsin 5-3 Friday in an NCAA women’s hockey semifinals.
Andy Greene scored from in close 2 minutes into overtime and the Devils snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night in Zach Parise’s first game back in New Jersey against his former teammates. Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias each had three assists and combined to set up the game-winner for New Jersey, which blew a two-goal third-period lead. Michael Ryder, Mark Fayne and Jaromir Jagr also scored for New Jersey, which played with a lot more energy with their playoff hopes fading in the wake of the losing streak.
Ryan Johansen scored a disputed goal in the fourth round of the shootout to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. Johansen’s shot initially was ruled a rebound, but a video review showed that Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper did not touch the puck, making it a legal shootout goal.
Jack Jablonski, the 16-year-old high school hockey player who was paralyzed during a game in 2012, received a major honor Saturday. Minneapolis Youth Hockey retired Jablonski’s jersey number, 13. In 2012, a check from behind left Jablonski paralyzed.
Avery Peterson of Grand Rapids is the Minnesota Associated Press Player of the Year for high school boys hockey. The award and the AP all-state team were announced on Monday.