Minnesota Monday: What’s Happening around the State of Hockey and Beyond?

Four days until the next Minnesota Wild game? Let’s check out what’s happening around the state!

Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey

Minneapolis, MN., Friday, 10/24/2003. The University of Minnesota vs. UMD. Season opener. (left to right) Minnesota’s Thomas Vanek celebrated with Grant Potulny after Potulny scored the Gophers’ first goal. First-period action. (Photo By BRUCE BISPING/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Starting with the Lady Gophers, Minnesota is out to a 4-0 start, sweeping both Colgate (2-0 and 8-2) and Minnesota State (6-0 and 7-1), plus wins in two exhibition games: 9-2 against the Toronto Aereos and 5-1 against the NWHL Champions the Minnesota Whitecaps. Their next home series is October 19th and the 20th against St. Cloud State University and tickets start as low as $5.

The men’s hockey team played an exhibition this past Sunday against Mount Royal (Calgary), which ended in a 2-2 tie. Two-thirds of the famed “BMW” line (the line being Burke-McLaughlin-Walker, the goals from Walker and McLaughlin) scored goals and are looking to continue strong seasons from last year’s performance. An interesting storyline for the Golden Gopher Hockey team is who will start in net for the Gophers this year. Last season, seniors Brock Kautz and Eric Shierhorn graduated and Mat Robson took a contract from the Minnesota Wild organization (Mat Robson, total hockey guy by the way). This season, three new goalies join the team: Junior Jack LaFontaine, Freshman Jared Moe, and Freshman Justen Close. I imagine coach Bob Motzko will give all goalies plenty of opportunities to ‘win’ the job and may enter the season with a ‘Goalie by Committee’ mindset. Also, the Gophers are incredibly young. They only have 8 upperclassmen, three seniors and five juniors. It should be exciting. They travel to Colorado College next week then return to Minneapolis on October 18th and 19th to face Niagra (tickets start at $20).

Minnesota Golden Gophers Football

Minneapolis, MN-October 5: Gophers wide receiver Tyler Johnson (6) caught a touchdown pass in the second quarter in traffic against Illinois. (Photo by Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

On homecoming weekend, the Golden Gophers took care of the Fighting Illini, winning 40-17. Interestingly enough, the Golden Gopher defense held the Illini out of the endzone; the offense gave up two turnover touchdowns. Coming off a career week, Tanner Morgan threw three touchdowns and threw one pick, which would be returned for a touchdown. Rodney Smith carried the ball twenty-four times for 211 yards (8.8yds/carry) and a touchdown, a career day for Smith. Shannon Brooks carried the ball sixteen times for 111yards (6.9yds/carry) and a touchdown. Tyler Johson had three receptions for thirty-eight yards and a touchdown, Chris Autman-Bell had two receptions for thirty yards and a touchdown, and Brevyn Spann-Ford had one reception for 12 yards and a touchdown. It should also be mentioned that Rashod Bateman had two receptions for seventy-one yards. Not a bad day for him. The defense would force one turnover, an interception from none other than Antoine Winfield Jr. The Gophers improve to 5-0, have decided that they’re comfortable winning games before the last possible moment. The Gophers play at home this coming weekend against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 6:30 pm.

Minnesota Vikings

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 06: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) before the National Football League game between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings on October 6, 2019, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

After the drama from the prior week, the Vikings traveled to MetLife Stadium to defeat the Giants 28-10. Kirk Cousins went twenty-two for twenty-seven on passes for 306yds and two touchdowns, both to Adam Thielen. Dan Bailey would make four field goals and Anthony Barr forced a safety. Dalvin Cook rushed for 132yds on twenty-one carries, but never found the endzone. Cook also had six receptions for 86yds. Seventh-round draft pick from Colorado State, Olabisi Johnson had a day, catching the ball four times for 43 yds. Stefon Diggs, despite not practicing on Wednesday, played Sunday and had three receptions for 44yds. He would also not find the endzone.

My thoughts on the drama after the Chicago Bears game, Kirk Cousins has not played up to the value given on his contract. Granted he had a ghost of an offensive line for a long time, but with receivers like Adam Theilen and Stefon Diggs, you have to get the ball to them, simple as that. I don’t entirely think that’s Cousins’ fault though. He’s certainly had bad moments that seem to last entire games, but I just can’t imagine he feels comfortable behind that offensive line. Despite this, GM Rick Spielman hardly has gone out and acquired talented offensive lineman but continues to bolster a strong defense. This might be because of Mike Zimmer’s ‘defense-first’ philosophy, but he has to help his $84M guaranteed quarterback. Cousins has to be better, but he doesn’t shoulder the entirety of the blame.

The Vikings play next Sunday at Noon when the Philadelphia Eagles visit. SKOL

For further coverage of the Vikings, check out the FanSided affiliate, thevikingage.com

Minnesota Twins

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – OCTOBER 07: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins at-bat against the New York Yankees during Game 3 of the ALDS between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Monday, October 7, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jordan Johnson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

As I write this, it’s the top of the sixth in game three of the ALDS. The Twins are down 2-0 to the Yankees.

The Twins have left a lot of men on base. If they lose, the story of the game will be how they left the bases loaded with zero outs in the inning.

UPDATE: Taylor Rodgers pitches a perfect sixth inning, now in the bottom

A loss tonight would have the Twins postseason losing streak at sixteen, tying the Chicago Blackhawks from 1975-1979.

Before the series start, the belief(hope) was that this time would be different. The roster is completely changed. No one from the beginning of the postseason streak is on the team. The iconic figures from the late 2000s/early 2010s success are no longer with the team.

(By the way, Joe Mauer is hall of fame worthy. C’mon, don’t let the recency bias convince you otherwise.)

That didn’t happen.

UPDATE: Luis Arraez doubles to Left-Center Field with one out. Two long outs to Right Field keep him there. End of the 6th.

The Twins were outscored in Game One and Two 18-6.

Here’s hoping they turn it around and reverse sweep, exorcise those demons.

If you think about it, the team deserves it.

Heck, the State deserves it.

For further coverage of the Twins, check out puckettspond.com

UPDATE: 3-0, Gregorious hits RBI single. Double play ends the inning