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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

Gophers hockey eager to reverse negative trend against in-state rivals

In-state dominance is something Gophers junior forward Leon Bristedt has never experienced. The Gophers have a dismal 4-13 record against the state’s other college hockey Division 1 talent since the Swede arrived in Minnesota two-plus years ago.

The Gophers last beat an in-state opponent on Nov. 13, 2015 at Minnesota State and will try to end a five-game losing streak against the rivals this weekend in a home-and-home series against No. 14 St. Cloud State. The No. 7 Gophers host the series opener Friday night at Mariucci Arena at 8 p.m. and the series wraps up in St. Cloud Saturday at 7:07 p.m.

The Huskies swept the Gophers last season.

Despite his relatively recent introduction to the old rivalries, Bristedt is eager to change the negative trend. 

“It's a rivalry and that’s No. 1, which makes the game different. Also we know we’re playing a really good team, a good ranked team,” Bristedt said at Wednesday’s media access. "Since I got here, we‘ve been up and down against St. Cloud, so I’m excited to get going."

Bristedt said he’s learned to love the fans involved in the rivalries and “going up to St. Cloud and playing in a packed barn. The student section is probably going to be full when we warm up and it’s loud. And it’s always great scoring.”

Bristedt compared Minnesota’s college hockey rivalries to a fierce rivalry he was a part of at age 12 in Sweden. 

“We just hated them, really. It wasn’t good,” Bristedt said about the two teams in the same district vying for the status of the country’s top team. “I was nervous for weeks before [the game].

“We were on the left side of the highway and they were on the right side of the highway, and we were probably the two best teams in the country, and I went to school with a couple of guys [on the other team]. You wanted to win those games.” 

All five of Minnesota's men's Division 1 programs are ranked in the USCHO Top 20 this week for the first time in at least 10 years since the poll was expanded to included 20 teams. The national rankings put extra value on the in-state matchups and each team’s nonconference status. The Gophers missed the NCAA tournament last season because of its 6-11 nonconference record with eight of those games against Minnesota schools.

“What we do nonconference is important,” Gophers coach Don Lucia said. "We gave some games away nonconference that cost us come end of [last] year and now we’re 2-0 nonconference [this season] with 14 more to go."

Lynx eyeing another WNBA Finals attendance record for Game 5

Have you ever dreamed of watching a Minnesota franchise win a world championship? Tickets are still available for Thursday night’s decisive Game 5 of the WNBA Finals at Target Center, though they're going fast.

The Lynx, playing for back-to-back WNBA titles, host Los Angeles for the winner-take-all final game at 7 p.m. The Minnesota franchise has won three of the last five league championships and can tie Houston for the most titles (four) in WNBA history.

The lower bowl is sold out Lynx staff said Wednesday morning, but tickets are available in the upper bowl for $31. Tickets can be purchased through the Target Center box office, the Lynx website, or on the secondary market. The first 10,000 fans to arrive at Thursday's game will receive a free WNBA Finals T-shirt. 

"Since Sunday’s Game 4 win over the Los Angeles Sparks, the Lynx organization has had incredible response from Lynx fans across the entire region," a statement from the team read Wednesday. "The community is clearly excited about Game 5 and we are selling tickets at a fast pace but we still have seats available for fans who want to come out and support the team as it looks to capture its fourth WNBA title.  We encourage fans to visit [our website] to purchase tickets for Game 5 and help us PACK the house!"

The Lynx set an attendance record at last year’s Game 5 with a crowd of 18,993. A Target Center basketball sellout is 19,356

The Lynx announced 12,113 attended Game 1 and 12,832 for Game 2 of the 2016 WNBA Finals at Target Center. A lower-level sellout is 9,181.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Toronto at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Los Angeles at Lynx

    7 pm on ESPN2, 106.1-FM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Ohio State

    5 pm

  • Charlotte at Timberwolves (preseason)

    7 pm on FSN/NBATV, 830-AM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers men's hockey

    8 pm on FSN PLUS, 1500-AM

  • Rutgers at Gophers football

    11 am on ESPNU, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Ohio State

    2 pm

  • Wild at New Jersey

    6 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Minnesota United FC at Carolina

    6:30 pm on Ch. 29

  • Gophers men's hockey at St. Cloud State

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 1500-AM

  • Vikings at Philadelphia

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Wild at N.Y. Islanders

    5 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Wild at Boston

    6 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Memphis

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

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