John Gilbert


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Wed. Jul. 15th, 2015

Dozier Makes Most of His Brief All-Star Bid

John Gilbert

As fans, we’re all provincial when it comes to All-Star games. The new young studs who fill up both rosters are pretty generally unknown to fans of the other league, and even within the league

Wed. Jun. 24th, 2015

Grandma’s Marathon Becomes ‘Eldoret West’ 

John Gilbert

It happened again this year, at the 39th running of the North Shore classic, a 26.2-mile jaunt down what is normally a very scenic Hwy. 61 to revisit as it curves around the shoreline terrain of Lake Superior. Only this time, it was more specific.

Wed. Jun. 17th, 2015

Grandma’s Marathon Signals Summer, at Last

John Gilbert

Oh, they can tell us that the first day of summer is on a certain specified date in Duluth. But we know better. We know that summer doesn’t officially start until Grandma’s Marathon runs its annual shot sometime in mid-June.

Thu. Jun. 11th, 2015

Surprises Dominate Baseball, Tennis, Even Horses

John Gilbert

Sports television dynasty ESPN puts out things called power ratings, which apparently go beyond simpler things like standings to try to convince the public that their vast ability to accumulate statistics and speculation means more than mere results.

Wed. Jun. 3rd, 2015

Kurvers, Maciver Make Cup Final Special

John Gilbert

There are those, myself included, who think the Stanley Cup Playoff final series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning is as close as we can get to a match made in heaven.

Thu. May. 28th, 2015

Montoya Wins Scintillating 99th Indy 500

John Gilbert

The race restored some of the old-style tradition and drama to the Speedway – something that had been mostly missing ever since the Indy Racing League locked out the higher-profile CART teams in the mid-1990s, forcing CART to form a rival league

Thu. May. 21st, 2015

NHL Division Finals Make for Classic Hockey

John Gilbert

There are a lot of hockey fans who get so wound up cheering for their own team, such as the Minnesota Wild, that they quit paying attention to the Stanley Cup Playoffs once their team is knocked out. I feel nothing but sympathy for them.

Wed. May. 13th, 2015

Wild Deserve Appreciation, Not Insults

John Gilbert

Enough, already. After listening and reading for most of a week about the terrible insult perpetrated by the Minnesota Wild, who had the audacity to NOT win the Stanley Cup this spring, it is time to analyze all the analyses.

Thu. Apr. 30th, 2015

Wild Playoff Run Can Even Rewrite History

John Gilbert

It isn’t even necessary for the Twins to get off to a faltering start, or the Timberwolves to stumble to a place far removed from NBA playoff consideration. No, the Wild captured the state’s sport fancy completely on their own

Wed. Apr. 22nd, 2015

Wild Sticks to Hockey to Gain Edge on Blues

John Gilbert

School is still in session, which is a good thing, because school is still out – as they say – on the Minnesota Twins. They seem intent on playing as poorly as any team above sandlot ball can possibly play for several games

Wed. Apr. 8th, 2015

Hockey Back in Spotlight for Final Weekend

John Gilbert

Those things aren’t completely resolved, of course, except for Duke securing the NCAA basketball title with an impressive triumph over Wisconsin. 

Wed. Apr. 1st, 2015

After Further Review, April 1 Brings Big News

John Gilbert

Maybe you missed it, but after further review, the NCAA Ice Hockey Committee has determined that any questionable calls that are questionable enough to be reviewed by video, but still are questionable, can be reviewed one more time after a cooling-of

Wed. Apr. 1st, 2015

Best of Times, Worst of Times for UMD 

John Gilbert

When a few weeks have passed, and the sting of losing 3-2 to Boston University subsides, the UMD Bulldogs players will appreciate their strong effort in the Northeastern Regional of the NCAA hockey tournament.

Thu. Mar. 26th, 2015

NCAA Puck Tournament Leans to the West

John Gilbert

Enjoy the NCAA hockey tournament, which starts this weekend with four regionals, because it seems quite likely the ruling body will look over something approaching Western domination and make some major changes to the structure.

Wed. Mar. 18th, 2015

Playoffs Rage, Bulldogs Stay Home

John Gilbert

College hockey used to be so easy to follow. Races roared to a conclusion in the WCHA, CCHA, Hockey East and ECAC, and then those four leagues went into their own specific tournaments.

Wed. Mar. 11th, 2015

Hawks Repeat as Class A Runner-Up

John Gilbert

Northern Minnesota had no chance but to succeed in the state high school hockey tournament’s Class A state tournament, because for the second straight year, Hermantown from 7A made it to the championship game against East Grand Forks from 8A.

Wed. Mar. 4th, 2015

AMSOIL Arena Filled With Puck Drama

John Gilbert

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat played out on the ice at AMSOIL Arena last week, where enough drama filled the place to satisfy even the most zealous hockey fan. You could pick your favorite, and make the case for high school hockey

Wed. Feb. 25th, 2015

Hardly a Normal Weekend for UMD Hockey

John Gilbert

Under normal circumstances, this would be a fabulous weekend for UMD’s hockey teams, both men’s and women’s, at AMSOIL Arena. 

Wed. Feb. 18th, 2015

The True ‘Hockey Day‘ in Minnesota

John Gilbert

Marketing whizzes can promote what they want with outdoor stadium hockey games and all. But for sheer significance to Northern Minnesotans, nothing can match this weekend.

Wed. Feb. 11th, 2015

Western College Hockey Leagues Hit Homestretch

John Gilbert

Without a doubt, the NCHC was the most potent league in the nation, with the most competitive teams from top to bottom. But they were pretty much disregarded in post-season selections.

Thu. Feb. 5th, 2015

UMD Teams Struggle

John Gilbert

The top four, of course, get home ice for the first round of WCHA playoffs. But the jarring end of the Shannon Miller coaching era at UMD has only that one home series remaining, for certain.

Thu. Jan. 29th, 2015

Krauss Puts the Bite Back in Bulldogs

John Gilbert

There is no real explanation for it, but no matter how strong a team is and how good its record, there are going to be flat spots in a sports season. Being up and down is common, but the best teams find a way to put it all together and hit a peak

Wed. Jan. 21st, 2015

Seahawks Win Greatest - but not Best - NFL Game

John Gilbert

Let’s agree on one thing: Seattle’s victory over Green Bay in the NFC championship game was NOT the best game in pro football history. But it might have been the most amazing -- maybe even the greatest -- in NFL history

Thu. Jan. 15th, 2015

Couple Calls, Misplays Help Decide Games

John Gilbert

Officials make calls, and sometimes they make mistakes. Football players try their hardest, but sometimes they drop passes. Examples of both helped determine a couple of pretty important football games in the past week.

Thu. Jan. 8th, 2015

Quarterbacks Rule at Football Playoff Time

John Gilbert

Now we get serious with the National Football League playoffs. The wild card games are over, and the four teams that spent last weekend with byes swing into action.

Wed. Dec. 24th, 2014

Shannon Miller Saga Dominates Sports Scene

John Gilbert

“Well,” he said, “I don’t know anything about the team, but I have heard a lot about Shannon Miller. Does UMD have any idea what an impact she has? Everybody knows who Shannon Miller is.”

Thu. Dec. 18th, 2014

UMD Chooses to Lose Shannon Miller

John Gilbert

Shannon Miller is not just the head coach of the UMD women’s hockey team. She is the head, the face, the force, and the personality of UMD women’s hockey. She IS UMD women’s hockey.

Thu. Dec. 11th, 2014

UMD Sweeps CC, Lead NCHC

John Gilbert

So the question is, if the Pairwise uses objective logic and has UMD No. 2, what sort of logic are the voters in the USCHO ratings using to rate UMD No. 9?

Thu. Dec. 4th, 2014

Bulldogs Save Final Trick to Win 48-45

John Gilbert

If you’ve got the chance to head on down to Mankato to watch the Division 2 Super Region Three football final Saturday

Thu. Nov. 27th, 2014

Bulldogs Stun NW Missouri With 3-TD Rally

John Gilbert

Words like resilience and tenacious roll easily off the tongue as contemporary sports cliches. But never have the words been as significant as in the fourth quarter of UMD’s astounding 25-21 victory over defending Division 2 football champion NW

Thu. Nov. 20th, 2014

Bulldogs Disassemble Gopher Ice Machine

John Gilbert

They had their No. 1 ranked Golden Gopher hockey team, playing the “lowly” No. 13 UMD Bulldogs, and while the Gopher folks say they knew it would be a tough series, they had no idea how tough.

Thu. Nov. 13th, 2014

College Football Rolls On, Despite Ratings

John Gilbert

Playing down to legitimate college football championships create a wide-open climax to the season, whether Division 1, or 2 -- or, for that matter, 3. Focusing on Division 1 and 2, it is impossible to guess at the favorites for the championship

Thu. Nov. 6th, 2014

Bulldogs, Miami Create Rivalry as NCHC Contenders

John Gilbert

When the National Collegiate Hockey Conference was formed, in a pro-active move after the Big Ten’s hockey representatives went off to form their own league, it was obvious to those of us with an objective eye on college hockey

Thu. Oct. 30th, 2014

Both UMD Hockey Teams Enjoy Home Life

John Gilbert

UMD’s hockey teams will play their second straight weekend where both teams are at home, affording hockey fans the chance to see four hockey games in rapid-fire succession.

Thu. Oct. 30th, 2014

Rick Nolan

John Gilbert

Reader endorsements

Thu. Oct. 23rd, 2014

UMD Weekend Bigger than Homecoming

John Gilbert

This might just be the greatest sports weekend of the whole year. We’ve got so much going on in Duluth this weekend, that maybe this should have been homecoming week. Or maybe the Bulldogs should have two.

Thu. Oct. 16th, 2014

Sweeps Spark UMD to 18-1 Volleyball Rush

John Gilbert

But the biggest triumph for UMD last weekend remains the No. 2 nationally ranked volleyball team’s stunning three-game sweep against Concordia of St. Paul.

Thu. Oct. 2nd, 2014

Football, Hockey Replace Twins

John Gilbert

As the good ship Twins settles to the bottom of the lagoon, the seasons have already changed to football and hockey around here.

Thu. Sep. 25th, 2014

Triple-threat Bulldogs Run in the Rain

John Gilbert

The tandem rushing attack of Logan Lauters and Austin Sikorski flashed its full form last Saturday night, and quarterback Drew Bauer joined them in a three-pronged 100-yard rushing attack that led UMD to its impressive 38-7 football victory

Thu. Sep. 18th, 2014

Who Can Judge Peterson’s Parenting?

John Gilbert

What we can discern is that Peterson is less than deserving of the pedestal we’ve built for him. Quietly, he has led the good life, if that includes getting involved with an assortment of young women who apparently were all too willing to get involve

Thu. Sep. 11th, 2014

Bauer, Lauters Help Avoid Upset

John Gilbert

Over 5,000 rabid UMD football fans tailgated themselves into being prepared to watch their Bulldogs open the 2014 football season and could be excused for anticipating a dominating, lopsided triumph over Concordia of St. Paul.

Thu. Sep. 4th, 2014

Packers-Seahawks, MSU-Oregon Highlight Week

John Gilbert

Yes, we’re only one week into the major college football season, and this is the first week of NFL play, but for those who can’t wait, this week promises a couple of the highlight games of the whole season.

Thu. Aug. 28th, 2014

Vikings, Twins, And Private Air Shows

John Gilbert

What do you mean, bad weather? Oh, I was out of town, suffering with my J-Hawks team at the state Senior Men’s Over-35 tournament, so I missed both Saturday and Sunday at the Air Show.