Sunday, April 13, 2008

Minnesota: Three Stars for Saturday

Here's Saturday's roundup, as playing cricket might not prolong your life, but it'll make it SEEM a heck of a lot longer...
Need to Know:
MLB: Twins 2, Kansas City 0 - The Twins held the Royals to just five hits, perhaps not surprising given that a) wind chills dipped into the 20s and b) it's the Royals. Boof Bonser continued the trend of very decent starting pitching, and the Twins bullpen unthawed long enough to throw three scoreless innings for the win. At the plate, the top four hitters in the Twins batting order went a combined 0-17, but the bottom five picked the team up by going 9-19 with a walk and two runs. Even Nick Punto got two hits and walked. You can't beat the Twins when you're giving out free hits like that.
NBA: Timberwolves 114, Memphis 105 - Oh, COME ON! These Timberwolves can't do anything right. Here's a tip, guys: you're on a long losing streak. Everyone assumes you're terrible. You could easily laze your way to the third - or even the second! spot in the draft lottery. Instead, you beat Orlando, a playoff team in the East, and then whup Memphis, one of the teams you're competing with for ping-pong balls. This is just not good planning. Three players - Kirk Snyder, Ryan Gomes, and Al Jefferson - had double-doubles for the Wolves, who scored 43 points in the first quarter, which has to be a season high. Minnesota is now just one game ahead/behind Memphis in the lottery race - not a good sign.
Meanwhile...
• MHKY: Boston College 4, Notre Dame 1 (Eagles win third NCAA Championship in school history)
• NLL: Swarm 15, Philadelphia 14, OT
• BSB: Gophers vs. Northwestern ppd. rain (doubleheaders tentative for Sunday & Monday)
• WTEN: Gophers 7, Wisconsin 0 (40 Border Battle Cup points!)
• MTEN: Gophers 6, Northwestern 1
• Golf: Trevor Immelman (-11) in position to blow it to Tiger Woods (-5) today at Masters
Three Stars:
3. Nathan Gerbe - F, Boston College
Gerbe scored twice and added two assists, as Boston College walked over Notre Dame 4-1 for the national championship. The BC junior was named the tournament's most outstanding player, and deservedly so - his seven goals in the NCAA tournament tied the tournament record, held by three players (Bob McCusker, Colorado College, 1957; Shawn Heaphy, Michigan State, 1989; Tony Amonte, Boston Univ, 1990). And, just as a note - Heaphy did that in five games, Amonte in seven, while Gerbe took just four. (McCusker did it in two.)'

2. Sean Pollock - F, Minnesota Swarm
Pollock couldn't buy a goal - at least, until it really counted. The forward scored 1:19 into overtime, his first goal of the game after seven shots on goal couldn't make it through, giving the Swarm the win over formerly division-leading Philadelphia. The victory puts Minnesota at 9-4 on the year, tops in the Eastern Division, and kept its unblemished home record (now 6-0) intact. One win in its final three games will clinch a playoff berth for the Swarm; two wins would clinch home-turf advantage.

1. Jason Kubel
Last week, Kubel was sent out to right field on the theory that he could survive the cold better than Craig Monroe. On this frigid night, he managed to win the right to be the designated hitter, and the warmth apparently paid off. Kubel provided Minnesota's first run with a second-inning solo home run, then scored its second by singling to lead off the seventh and coming around to score on back-to-back hits from Brendan Harris and Denard Span. For the night, Kubel was 2-4 with the homer and two runs scored - in other words, he was more or less the team's entire offense. And he may have earned the right to stay warm on cold nights from now on.
What's On Tap:
1:10 - MLB - Twins at Kansas City - TV: WFTC29 (FSN North outstate)
1:00 - BSB - Gophers vs. Northwestern (doubleheader)

11:00 - WTEN - Gophers vs. Northwestern
12:00 - SB - Gophers vs. Michigan (doubleheader)
12:00 - MTEN - Gophers at Wisconsin

12:35 - MLB - Chicago at Philadelphia - TV: TBS
1:00 - NHL - Philadelphia at Washington - TV: NBC
1:30 - Golf - The Masters - TV: CBS
6:00 - NHL - New Jersey at New York Rangers - TV: Versus
7:00 - MLB - New York at Boston - TV: ESPN
9:00 - NHL - San Jose at Calgary - TV: Versus

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