Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.
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The Gophers men’s hockey team, No. 1 in last week’s USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, is now the top-ranked team in the nation in both polls considered to be the guide to college hockey.
This is thanks to annihilating Michigan State by a 12-2 combined score in consecutive wins Friday and Saturday. In the USCHO.com poll, the Gophers moved from No. 2 to No. 1. Defending NCAA champ Boston College, the previous No. 1 team who lost to Northeastern Saturday, fell to No. 3, while the University of North Dakota moved to No. 2.
In the new USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll, it also goes Minnesota, North Dakota and Boston College. Minnesota-Duluth is ranked 13th.
The Gophers open the season against Wild prospect and former Shattuck-St. Mary’s star defenseman John Draeger and the Michigan State Spartans this Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (8 p.m.).
It's looking more and more like Anthony LaPanta, the man with the most famous hair in the Twin Cities and Fox Sports North's longtime studio host for pre- and post-games for the Wild, Twins and Wolves, will be the Wild's next television play-by-play man.
If officially hired, he'll replace Dan Terhaar, whose contract was not renewed last month after seven seasons at the microphone. That move could happen as early as Monday. The Wild last week ironed out new deals with TV color man Mike Greenlay and the radio team of Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid.
LaPanta became the Gophers' TV play-by-play voice in 2010.
There has been a lot of national interest in the position, but LaPanta has been the frontrunner since Day One.
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