A look at Game 7s in Minnesota history

  • Article by: DENNIS BRACKIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 30, 2014 - 6:52 AM

Kevin Garnett led the Timberwolves over the Kings in Game 7 in the Western semifinals in 2004.

The state has gone a decade without appearing in one, but Minnesota teams have a rich history of Game 7s. State teams have suited up for one 16 times, going a combined 10-6 through the years. Current Minnesota teams are a remarkable 5-1 in Game 7s, and the two teams that left for warmer climes were 5-5.

Twins (2-1 in game 7s)

Year Postseason round Game 7 result

1965 World Series Dodgers 2, Twins 0

Highlight: Sandy Koufax, pitching on two days rest, pitched a three-hit shutout against the Twins. Koufax benefited from a tremendous defensive play by third baseman Jim Gilliam — a diving stop of hard grounder down the line off the bat of Zoilo Versalles — after the Twins had put runners on first and second with one out.

1987 World Series Twins 4, Cardinals 2

Highlight: The Twins tied the score 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Kirby Puckett’s double drove home Greg Gagne. An inning later, Gagne’s two-out infield single with the bases loaded drove in the eventual winning run. Frank Viola pitched eight innings for the victory, with Jeff Reardon recording the save in the ninth.

1991 World Series Twins 1, Braves 0 (10 inn.)

Highlight: Jack Morris had one of the greatest pitching performances in World Series history, allowing seven hits over 10 shutout innings. Morris benefited by Lonnie Smith’s baserunning gaffe after the Braves outfielder led off the eighth inning with a single. On a hit-and-run, Terry Pendleton doubled to left-center. Gagne and second baseman Chuck Knoblauch faked starting a double play by pretending to force Smith at second; Smith slowed down just enough to prevent him from scoring. The Twins won in the bottom of the 10th when Gene Larkin’s fly-ball single scored Dan Gladden.

Wild (2-0 in game 7s)

Year Postseason round Game 7 result

2002-03 Western Conf.quarterfinal Wild 3, Avalanche 2 (OT)

Highlight: Andrew Brunette scored the winner against Colorado goalie — and current coach — Patrick Roy. Manny Fernandez was the winning goaltender in the final three games for the Wild, who trailed in the series 3-1.

2002-03 Western Conference semifinal Wild 4, Canucks 2

Highlight: The Wild overcame a 3-1 series deficit for the second consecutive time, winning Game 7 after trailing 2-0. Darby Hendrickson’s goal with less than six minutes to play broke a 2-2 tie. The Wild became the first team in NHL history to win two Game 7s on the road in the same playoff season.

Wolves (1-0 in game 7)

Year Postseason round Game 7 result

2003-04 Western Conf. semifinals Wolves 83, Kings 80

Highlight: Kevin Garnett had 32 points and 21 rebounds, Sam Cassell had 23 points and seven assists and Latrell Sprewell added 14 points as the Wolves reached the conference finals for the first time. The Wolves lost to the Lakers in six games in the Western Conference finals.

former Minnesota teams

North Stars (3-4 in game 7s)

Year Postseason round Game 7 result

1967-68 Quarterfinals North Stars 9, Kings 4

Semifinals Blues 2, North Stars 1 (2 OT)

Highlight: Ceseare Maniago was the North Stars goaltender for all 14 games of the 1968 playoff run that ended in a double-overtime loss to St. Louis.

1971-72 Quarterfinals Blues 2, North Stars 1 (OT)

Highlight: Maniago was in goal again for the overtime loss to the Blues.

1979-80 Quarterfinals North Stars 3, Canadiens 2

Highlight: Al McAdam scored the winning goal in Game 7 of the 1980 series against Montreal.

1983-84 Division finals North Stars 4, Blues 3

Highlight: Steve Payne had the Game 7 winner in 1984 against the Blues.

1989-90 Division semifinals Blackhawks 5, North Stars 2

Highlight: Jeremy Roenick and Wayne Presley each scored two goals in Chicago.

1991-92 Division semifinals Red Wings 5, North Stars 2

Highlight: In the North Stars’ final playoff game, five different Red Wings players, including a young Sergei Fedorov, scored on Jon Casey.

Minneapolis lakers (2-1 in game 7s)

Year Postseason round Game 7 result

1951-52 NBA Finals Minneapolis 82, N.Y. Knicks 65

Highlight: George Mikan, Vern Mikkelsen and Jim Pollard led the team to its third title in four years.

1953-54 NBA Finals Mpls. 87, Syracuse Nationals 80

Highlight: Mikan announced his retirement after helping Minneapolis win its final NBA title.

1959-60 West Division finals St. Louis Hawks 97, Mpls. 86

Highlight: The home team won all seven games in the series. The Lakers’ loss in St. Louis was their final game for Minneapolis.



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