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Border Battle renewed in Gophers-Badgers hockey alumni game

Jordan Leopold and Keith Ballard renew their fight in the Border Battle this weekend when the former Gophers hockey stars face off against the Badgers.

The rivals’ alumni will face off at Stillwater’s Lowell Park along the St. Croix River and the state border for Minnesota Hockey Day on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The matchup will reunite some of the program’s all-time great skaters and feature players spanning from the 1980s to the late 2000s. The Gophers roster features 11 former NHL players, including former Hobey Baker Award winner Leopold and Wild defenseman Ballard.

Troy Riddle, Erik Wendell, Lance Pitlick, Ryan Kraft, Mike Anderson and Tony Lucia are among the former Gophers that will skate Saturday. The team will be coached by Mark Bahr, Jim Boo, Bill Butter and Lou Nanne.

The Badgers alumni roster features seven former NHL players led by Sean Hill, Barry Richter, David Tanabe, Adam Burish and Paul Ranheim. Wisconsin will be coached by Jeff Sauer.

Leopold, 36, told Minnesota Hockey Magazine he has not spent much time on the ice recently, but he’s not worried.

“I’ve kind of taken a good eight months off of hockey just coaching my kid,” Leopold said. “I haven’t really worked out a bunch but, you know, when you go out there it’s like riding a bike. The muscles may be a little bit sore but more than anything it’s the laughs, it’s seeing the guys, having a couple adult beverages, it’s all about good fun.

“We don’t get to see each other that much anymore. We all have kids, lives jobs. Then you’ve got guys on the other side who I grew up either watching or playing against too.”

Gophers assistant coach and former player Grant Potulny and former Gophers captain Bill Kohn help contact alumni and build the rosters. Former Badgers player Tom Sagissor also helped organize the event.

"Both teams are going to be loaded up with ego and pride, and I don't think anybody is going to leave anything out on the ice after the game," Sagissor told the Wisconsin State Journal. "I think it's going to be a lot of pride and a lot of fun. At the end of the game, everybody's going to shake hands and go have a beer. But I think it'll be a chance for us to really enjoy the spirit of the rivalry."

Friday’s other matchups include a Police vs. Firemen game and a scrimmage between the Minnesota Whitecaps women’s pro hockey team and the Korean national team.

Minnesota Hockey Day’s Saturday lineup includes two boys’ and one girls’ high school games, and one women’s college hockey game scheduled for outdoor action at Lowell Park. The Gophers and Badgers play at 5 p.m. in Madison, Wis., and the Wild host the Ducks at 8 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center. All of Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Fox Sports North and FSN Plus.  

Alumni game full rosters

Newest baseball Hall of Fame members had their moments vs. Twins

The votes are in and Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez will forever be known as baseball Hall of Famers. The trio was named Wednesday to the 2017 Cooperstown class.

The three certainly earned their inductions. In 7,195 combined games the trio put up some gaudy numbers. Bagwell clubbed 449 home runs. Raines stole more than 800 bases. And Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star behind the plate.

Some digging on revealed a chunk of those accomplishments came against the Minnesota Twins.

Jeff Bagwell

Though Bagwell spent his entire career with Houston in the National League, he did appear in 14 games against the Twins during interleague play. He hit .333 with five home runs in those games including two homers in a three game series in 1999 (both on 3-2 counts). Only the White Sox (nine) surrendered more American League home runs to Bagwell in his career.

They wrote it: The best example of a player having a great season that has the greatest positive impact on his team is Houston's Jeff Bagwell. He leads the league in walks, runs and on-base percentage, is second to [Larry] Walker in slugging percentage, and is among the leaders in homers and RBI.

Playing for a team expected to sorely miss Moises Alou, a team written off by many when it lost Randy Johnson in the offseason, a team decimated by continuing injuries, a team that would be powerless without him, Bagwell has merited this [midseason] MVP vote.

- Star Tribune baseball writer Jim Souhan, 7/11/99


Tim Raines

Raines played 13 seasons with Montreal but another 10 with the White Sox, Yankees, A's and Orioles. He earned the majority of his Hall of Fame credentials with the Expos before interleague play, but in 68 games against the Twins in the second half of his career he managed 66 hits, 29 RBI and stole 15 bases. Raines feasted on Twins' pitching in 1993. In 11 games he had 10 RBI, or 18.5 percent of his season total. Chicago opened the season at the Metrodome that April. Raines led off with a single and added a three-run homer.

They wrote it: After the Twins took that 4-3 lead, the festive buzz that went through the crowd went dead rather quickly. The White Sox scored six runs in the fourth inning, punctuated by a monstrous three-home run by Tim Raines down the right field line.

If Chris Webber had been here, he would have asked for a timeout.

- Star Tribune columnist Dan Barreiro, 4/6/93

Ivan Rodriguez


Pudge played 178 games against the Twins in his career, mostly with the Rangers. He amassed 208 hits in those games with 29 home runs - the most against any opponent - and 94 RBI. In 1997, Rodriguez hit six of his 20 home runs against the Twins with 14 RBI. Three of those came in one game: two off Brad Radke and another off Eddie Guardado. It's the only three-home run game of his career and was part of a 40-game stretch, from 1996-1999, that Rodriguez enjoyed a .364 batting average against Minnesota with 59 hits, 12 home runs and 30 RBI. Radke served up eight home runs to Rodriguez, the most of any opposing pitcher.

They wrote it: Texas had gone 15 innings without scoring a run before Ivan Rodriguez hit a 1-0 changeup from [Brad] Radke over the center field fence in the third, giving Texas a 2-0 lead. In the sixth Rodriguez hit a misplaced Radke sinker over the left field wall to make it 4-0.

For his career, Rodriguez is batting .476 with four homers in 21 at-bats against Radke.

"He's a good hitter, and he certainly hits mistakes," Radke said.

- Star Tribune baseball writer Jim Souhan, 9/11/97


TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Arizona at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at L.A. Clippers

    9:30 pm on TNT, 830-AM

  • Gophers men's hockey at Wisconsin

    7 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • Ohio State at Gophers women's hockey

    7:07 pm

  • Gophers women's basketball at Iowa

    2 pm

  • Ohio State at Gophers women's hockey

    2:07 pm

  • Wisconsin at Gophers men's basketball

    3:30 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers men's hockey at Wisconsin

    5 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • Anaheim at Wild

    8 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Denver at Timberwolves

    6 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Nashville at Wild

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 100.3-FM

  • Wild at Dallas

    7:30 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Phoenix

    8 pm on FSN PLUS, 830-AM

  • Gophers men's basketball at Ohio State

    6 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

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