John Gilbert

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Fri. Jul. 13th, 2012

Parise, Sutor bring star quality to Wild

John Gilbert

SAINT PAUL --- A couple hundred media folks, some of whom may have even been there for a hockey game, crowded into the lobby of Xcel Energy Center on Monday for a true media happening: the introduction of winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, who will make an enormous difference at both ends of the rink for the Minnesota Wild.

Fri. Jul. 6th, 2012

Mauer, Willingham, Plouffe Lead Surging Twins

John Gilbert

It just doesn’t matter whether the Minnesota Twins scratch and claw their way to .500, or even into contention this season, but rarely have the Twins been as interesting to watch as this season.

Fri. Jun. 29th, 2012

Real Drama Puts Sports Drama in its Place

John Gilbert

Those of us who enjoy watching sports events can click through satellite channels and find countless dramas to entertain us. Then along comes a mind-bending occurrence, such as our own “personal-best” record rainstorm, and the whole world recalibrates, as if to cause us to stop and see what is real and what is just fun and games. 

Fri. Jun. 22nd, 2012

Cheer For Kara -- And Abdi -- In London Olympics

John Gilbert

All 36 Grandma’s Marathons have been unique, even though the 26.2-mile run down Hwy. 61 from Two Harbors to Duluth’s Canal Park has taken on an air of similarity in recent years, to the point where cynics say “Which Kenyan will win this year?” Usually a couple of Ethiopian runners challenge the dominant Kenyans, but without question, the East Africans have taken over the race.

Thu. Jun. 14th, 2012

NCHC Picks Target Center, Challenges Big Ten

John Gilbert

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. --- National Collegiate Hockey Conference officials came to Target Center in the Minneapolis Warehouse District Monday to announce jointly with the arena and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak that it would hold its league tournament championships at Target Center for its first five seasons.

Mon. Jun. 11th, 2012

East Ridge 13-year-old Wins Big in 7A Track

John Gilbert

Personal bests and meet record times filled the air at Malosky Stadium last weekend, but in the action-filled afternoon of the Section 7A high school track meet, the most scintillating finish came in the girls 3,200-meter run. That’s two miles -- eight times around the 400-meter track -- which is a long race. And this one boiled down to a two-girl battle, as they ran off away from the field, and as they started the final lap, there was no way the little girl could possibly move up from her distant third.

Fri. Jun. 1st, 2012

Last-Lap Drama Gives Indy To Franchitti

John Gilbert

Once again, the Indianapolis 500 exceeded expectations. For the second year in a row, and under nearly identical circumstances, a finish that might have been the most astounding in the race’s history wound up being crushed by a cruel twist,…

Thu. May. 24th, 2012

Will Chevrolet Blow Away Honda At Indy?

John Gilbert

It’s possible -- in fact, likely -- that Honda’s string of eight straight victories at the Indianapolis 500 will end Sunday when the 96th running of the annual classic unfolds.

Fri. May. 11th, 2012

Saints Seniors Set Pace for UMAC Title

John Gilbert

Being there before meant a lot to Darcy Roach, St. Scholastica’s junior pitcher, and being there for the fourth time meant that Merryssa Tiedeman, one of only three Saints seniors, wasn’t going to wait around to see if somebody else was going to set the offensive tempo -- and she’s the leadoff hitter.

Fri. May. 4th, 2012

Saints Make D-Iii Runs In Baseball, Softball

John Gilbert

UMD has had its struggles in the Division II Northern Sun baseball conference this spring, but just over the hill, St. Scholastica is about to close out an outstanding Division III regular season, while rolling to the championship in the UMAC.

Fri. Apr. 27th, 2012

Upsets Keep Dominating Cup Playoffs

John Gilbert

When you think about it, this has been the year of the upset throughout hockey. Just think back to the state hockey tournament, when the coaches and league officials got together and seeded the top four teams, then drew their opponents -- sure enough, the top four seeds all were upset by the other guys.

Fri. Apr. 20th, 2012

NHL Playoffs Feature Good, Bad, And Lots Of Ugly

John Gilbert

If I had to pick right now, my first-round hunch says that sometime in June, when the final horn sounds to end the final playoff game, National Hockey League president Gary Bettman will hand the Stanley Cup to...the Philadelphia Flyers. While we’re at it, how about a Flyers-Blues final?

Fri. Apr. 13th, 2012

Wild Deserve Luxury Of Fans’ Patience

John Gilbert

The NHL season has ended, and the REAL season is just beginning. It’s a Canadian Fact that all NHL fans are vitally interested in the regular season, but when the last puck is dropped, all Canadians and nearly all U.S. hockey fans consider the Stanley Cup Playoff champions as the best team in the NHL.

Thu. Apr. 5th, 2012

Sacchetti gives Gophers a Northern flair

John Gilbert

Nico Sacchetti was unaware that the University of Minnesota’s NCAA hockey championship heritage has always featured Northern Minnesota players in key roles. In one weekend, Sacchetti, a senior from Virginia, MN., will go from learning Golden Gopher history to living it. He is the only Northern Minnesota player on the team, when Minnesota participates in this year’s NCAA Frozen Four.

Fri. Mar. 30th, 2012

UMD frozen out of Frozen Four

John Gilbert

While we wait a week, it’s OK to spend some of it watching the NCAA basketball tournament play its Final Four this weekend, and then we can refocus next week on Tampa, Fla., and the men’s NCAA hockey Frozen Four.

Thu. Mar. 8th, 2012

Winning It All Giant Step From Reaching Tournament

John Gilbert

ST. PAUL, MN. --- It’s been a long, long year for Duluth East to return to Xcel Energy Center with the main objective being to go one notch beyond last year -- when the Greyhounds lost an excruciating triple-overtime game to Eden Prairie in the championship game. Battling a surprising number of injuries, the Hounds have played the toughest schedule in the state, and a

Thu. Mar. 1st, 2012

Bulldogs and high schools thrive at playoff time

John Gilbert

Playoff hockey. There’s nothing like it. Whether it’s the state tournament in high school, or at the college level, where league, regional and national tournaments are the ultimate steps to prove superiority.

Fri. Feb. 17th, 2012

Connolly jacks up Bulldog title hopes

John Gilbert

Jack Connolly seemed taken aback when it was suggested he might have been off his game in UMD’s 3-1 loss to North Dakota last Friday night. The AMSOIL Arena game was special, with the hanging of banners to pay tribute to UMD’s four previous Hobey Baker winners, and all four -- Tom Kurvers, Bill Watson, Chris Marinucci, and Junior Lessard -- were present for between-periods introductions at center ice.

Thu. Feb. 2nd, 2012

Bulldogs big loss could be a springboard

John Gilbert

The good thing -- make that, the ONLY good thing -- about the complete meltdown of the UMD men’s hockey team last Saturday night was that if the Bulldogs rebound and rise to win the WCHA title or go on to repeat glory in the NCAA tournament ...

Thu. Jan. 26th, 2012

East gets back on impressive track

John Gilbert

It was clean, fast, and almost surgical, and when it was over, Forest Lake High School hockey coach Aaron Forsythe came up to Duluth East coach Mike Randolph in Forest Lake’s arena and said, simply: “What a team!”

Fri. Nov. 25th, 2011

UMD Sneaks to Football Playoff Victory

John Gilbert

Big plays and high drama were the order of the day when UMD defeated Saginaw Valley State University 30-27 in their Division II NCAA playoff game last Saturday. But after three hours of high-pressure football ...