John Gilbert

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Thu. Jul. 3rd, 2014

We Need More Spectacular Plays

John Gilbert

We can agree that ESPN is doing an impressive job of broadcasting the World Cup soccer matches from assorted cities in Brazil. What I would like to see is ESPN compiling a series of, say, 20 spectacular plays from each day’s games, and then play them

Thu. Jul. 3rd, 2014

World Cup Gains Intense Interest in U.S.

John Gilbert

There is no doubt that U.S. sports fans have watched soccer more than ever before, and the last two U.S. games were the most-watched soccer games in this country’s history.

Thu. Jun. 26th, 2014

Beardsley Yields Record, but Can’t Erase Memory

John Gilbert

Beardsley remembers details of that race as if they happened yesterday, instead of 33 years ago. And he was amazed when told that the track public address announcer proclaimed that the greatest thing about Beardsley’s victory was that “he did it all

Thu. Jun. 26th, 2014

Out of the Fog and on to Grandma’s Record

John Gilbert

Dominic Ondoro was confident even back in the fog halfway through his first Grandma’s Marathon. Even then he was leading a swift pack of 11 East African runners that emerged almost mystically from the foggy North Shore and then disappeared again. 

Thu. Jun. 19th, 2014

NHL, NBA Mercifully Cease Firing Before July

John Gilbert

How different the NHL and NBA are, in their sports, and their followings, and, to some, in their level of excitement. But this spring, the playoff rushes in both sports turned out to be surprisingly similar.

Thu. Jun. 12th, 2014

Twins Move to Ignite a Move

John Gilbert

If I’m right, Minnesota could be on the verge of taking a giant step upward in pro sports. I’m convinced the Minnesota Wild will be a strong factor all seasoned be a contender in the NHL next season.

Thu. Jun. 12th, 2014

Bridgewatering The Gap

John Gilbert

I had watched a lot of college football last fall, and after a fantastic performance caught my eye at one point, I decided to tune in to watch Louisville play so I could focus in on this guy

Thu. Jun. 5th, 2014

Hawks Make State, as Usual, with a Bang

John Gilbert

Bang looked a lot more at ease and less stressed than some of his Hawks parents, who probably would lapse into a state of shock if Hermantown did not end its softball season with a state tournament trip.

Thu. May. 22nd, 2014

Wild Perfectly Positioned to Reach NHL Elite

John Gilbert

The much more difficult part was for the Minnesota Wild to wake up last Wednesday morning and realize they didn’t have to go practice and prepare to fly to Chicago for Game 7

Thu. May. 22nd, 2014

Wild Home-Ice Advantage Undone by Bad Bounce

John Gilbert

It appeared there would be no chance of that, because Justin Fontaine, the former UMD star now a rookie on the Wild forward corps, had come back into his own end.

Thu. May. 15th, 2014

Cooke Bolsters Wild’s Playoff Surge 

John Gilbert

“I went pretty hard when I wasn’t playing,” Cooke said. “I pushed myself, so when I got the opportunity, I’d be able to make the most of it.

Thu. May. 15th, 2014

Duluthian Maciver Helps Steer the Blackhawks

John Gilbert

Of course, I immediately realized Maciver couldn’t fully appreciate the other team in that setting, and could only see the Blackhawks perspective professionally.

Thu. May. 8th, 2014

Wild Make Long Winter Appreciably Longer

John Gilbert

We’re not ready to declare winter over. Not as long as the Minnesota Wild have even the faintest hope of extending their current second-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks. And after what we’ve witnessed so far

Thu. May. 8th, 2014

Saints Earn Trip to NCAA Softball Tournament

John Gilbert

We can hold out hope that the Minnesota Twins will make something out of this season after all, now that their high-priced starting pitchers have started to show some potential.

Thu. May. 1st, 2014

UMD, Saints Enter Softball Playoffs

John Gilbert

So it was on Senior Day, a blustery afternoon a week ago at Malosky Stadium, where the softball diamond was set up on the football field’s artificial turf.

Thu. May. 1st, 2014

Rocking The Xcel Center

John Gilbert

Fighting off checks and cheapshots, Parise was planted, facing Koivu and with his back to the net. He deftly got his stick on the sizzling missile, and deflected it from heading just inside the left pipe.

Thu. Apr. 24th, 2014

Every Kid Deserves a Break

John Gilbert

It finally happened. St. Scholastica improved to 12-0 in the UMAC softball race, and 18-10 overall on Tuesday, but the big news is they did it while playing their first actual home games of the season on their home field.

Thu. Apr. 24th, 2014

The best thing about the Stanley Cup Playoffs

John Gilbert

We’ve still got about two months of Stanley Cup Playoffs to go before a champion is named, but when it’s all over, if you could stack all the games end-to-end, they might not add up to the scintillating show

Thu. Apr. 17th, 2014

Globetrotters Offer Appetizer for Stanley Cup

John Gilbert

The biggest project of watching the Harlem Globetrotters play basketball is to wind down your sports-watching adrenaline from Intense to Moderate, and then to Relax-and-Enjoy.

Thu. Apr. 17th, 2014

Softball In Duluth, Brrrrr

John Gilbert

In the background, there was the west-end goal post, and behind that, neatly framing Sadler as she pitched, was the nation of Greenland. Or maybe it was Anarctica. Actually, it was merely the glacier piled high from the winter that wouldn’t end

Thu. Apr. 10th, 2014

Hockey Takes Center Stage

John Gilbert

It’s cordial of NCAA hockey to willingly - as if they had a choice - step aside and put their season on hold for a full extra week to make way for the basketball tournament to conclude before convening for their championship.

Thu. Apr. 10th, 2014

Highlights Of The Week

John Gilbert

It’s the annual time when we’re caught between the ice going out on area rinks, let alone Lake Superior, and the anticipated first sighting of green grass on a baseball field.

Thu. Apr. 3rd, 2014

Twins, Weather, and March Madness Go Out Like Lions

John Gilbert

Our weather? We’ve shattered the illusion that if March comes in like a lion it will go out as a lamb, by proving the month when winter turns to spring can start like a lion and go out like a lioness.

Thu. Apr. 3rd, 2014

Who ARE These Fighting Sioux Wannabes?

John Gilbert

We have discussed at length the monumental slight the NCAA hockey tournament selection committee inflicted on the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference -- unquestionably the best college hockey league in the land.

Thu. Mar. 27th, 2014

NCAA Hockey Selection Process Needs Review

John Gilbert

The NCAA hockey playoffs got off to a preliminary start filled with suspense and controversy. And that was merely by the selection of the 16 teams that begin play in four regional tournaments this weekend. In some ways, it was an April Fool’s Day jok

Thu. Mar. 27th, 2014

Hockey, Basketball, Baseball...and Ice Fishing

John Gilbert

Amid snowdrifts and sub-freezing temperatures, I couldn’t resist pausing to gaze out on Lake Superior at the village of fish-houses scattered from the North Shore shoreline out about a mile onto the lake itself.

Thu. Mar. 20th, 2014

Western Michigan Brings UMD Hopes Crashing Down

John Gilbert

There is always some sadness when a season ends for a college hockey team, because there are always a few players participating in their final game, and it seems so final when they peel off that jersey for the last time.

Thu. Mar. 20th, 2014

What Home-Ice Advantage?

John Gilbert

While we celebrate the greatest day in the proud sports history of Esko, hockey fans can take a far more detached view of the college tournaments climaxing this weekend.  

Thu. Mar. 13th, 2014

Pain, Anticlimax Dominate State Puck Tourney

John Gilbert

“I’m really proud of Jack Kolar,” said Randolph. “At the tournament, we taped his knee and braced it, and I talked to our trainer, and his dad, who told me he didn’t want Jack to play, but Jack told him it was his senior year, his last chance to play

Thu. Mar. 13th, 2014

College Puck Playoffs as Uncertain as prep basketball

John Gilbert

All bets are off at playoff time, though, because the hard, cold facts of college hockey is that there is more turmoil and less certainty than ever before when it comes to forecasting the 16 teams that will comprise the NCAA tournament.

Thu. Mar. 6th, 2014

Nothing Like Stretch Drive in College Hockey

John Gilbert

First we had the Olympic hockey tournament, now the state high school tournament, and the return to action of the National Hockey League. But somehow wedged in there somewhere, college hockey in its new and changed and various forms is rising

Thu. Mar. 6th, 2014

Hounds, Hawks Give Northern Flair to State

John Gilbert

The entire state will be focused on Xcel Energy Center this weekend to watch the greatest schoolboy spectacle in sports - the Minnesota High School Hockey Tournament. It will undoubtedly live up to, or exceed, its build-up, but it is time once again

Thu. Feb. 27th, 2014

Olympics No Inspiration for Bulldogs

John Gilbert

If UMD’s hockey teams, both men and women, watched Team USA in the Winter Olympics for inspiration last weekend, it would make their shortcomings more understandable.

Thu. Feb. 27th, 2014

High School Hockey Takes the Spotlight

John Gilbert

If East were to win 7AA, it would be the sixth consecutive trip to the state tournament for the Greyhounds, but the road never gets easier.

Thu. Feb. 20th, 2014

Olympic Memories Dominated by T. J. Oshie

John Gilbert

Without a doubt, a rematch of the United States-Russia hockey game for the Gold Medal would be a highlight. But in an event-filled Winter Olympics hockey tournament, the indelible image of the 3-2 U.S. victory at Sochi, Russia, will stand alone

Thu. Feb. 20th, 2014

Olympics Only One of Week’s Hockey Frenzy 

John Gilbert

Olympic hockey has been nothing short of sensational, with the bar set as high as it can get when the U.S. defeated Russia 3-2 in a shootout that shall forever more be known as the “T.J. Oshie Show.”

Thu. Feb. 13th, 2014

UMD Women Trade Major Rallies

John Gilbert

Leading a hockey game by two or three goals is the ideal way to secure a victory, but not necessarily when it comes to the University of Minnesota-Duluth women’s hockey team this season.

Thu. Feb. 13th, 2014

Bulldogs Calmly Rise to 2nd in NCHC

John Gilbert

The Olympic hockey tournament is swirling around us, the National Hockey League is taking its every-four-years break, high school hockey is rising to a fever pitch

Fri. Feb. 7th, 2014

Justin Faulk

John Gilbert

Minnesota Rising Star

Thu. Feb. 6th, 2014

High School Hockey Rises and Shines

John Gilbert

Bob Dylan once wrote “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” In this winter of endless wind-chill, we might paraphrase a little. If you were at Heritage Center Monday night, you might say “You don’t need a calendar to know

Thu. Feb. 6th, 2014

UMD Feeds 7 of 8 Women’s Olympic Hockey Teams

John Gilbert

With the precision of one of those pairs figure-skating maneuvers, the Super Bowl gathers up all its hype, pirouettes, and fades away, making the perfect handoff to hockey, which eagerly sweeps into the forefront on all levels.

Fri. Jan. 31st, 2014

Bulldogs Primed for Second Half Move in NCHC

John Gilbert

With half a season to go, the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference already is a rousing success. Likewise for the first-ever North Star College Cup tournament.

Fri. Jan. 31st, 2014

Seahawks Rate Edge in Super Bowl for the Ages

John Gilbert

If the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos work as hard in Sunday’s Super Bowl as the sled dogs worked during the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, it will be a game for the ages.

Thu. Jan. 23rd, 2014

Seahawks, Broncos Create a Super Match-up

John Gilbert

Only the Super Bowl remains, and we get two weeks to fervently build up our hopes that it will be a truly memorable contest when the Denver Broncos face the Seattle Seahawks in New Jersey.

Thu. Jan. 23rd, 2014

Bulldogs Split with Denver, Head to Excel

John Gilbert

After last weekend, nobody on the UMD team is about to question that theory. Denver came to AMSOIL Arena battling UMD, North Dakota, Nebraska-Omaha, and Western Michigan for second through sixth positions in the logjam.

Thu. Jan. 16th, 2014

UMD Sweeps at Omaha, Now Tries it At Home

John Gilbert

If the UMD Bulldogs had gone down to Omaha, and gone down easy to the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, it would have been logical to write off the Bulldogs as far as contending for the first year National Collegiate Hockey Conference goes.

Thu. Jan. 16th, 2014

Will Youth be Served among NFL QBs?

John Gilbert

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that there was an unusual split among the NFL’s top teams. All of the best teams had outstanding quarterback play