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December 10, 2010

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Save Gopher Football, the website that has been critical of the hiring process for a new coach, posted a message this week sending best wishes to Jerry Kill http://www.savegopherfootball.com/

CBS College Sports will televise tomorrow’s Minnesota Duluth (13-0) and Northwest Missouri State (12-1) NCAA Division II football semifinal playoff game from Duluth.  The Bulldogs are the only undefeated Division II team in the country.  The winner of tomorrow’s game will play for the national championship on December 18.  The Bulldogs were 15-0 in 2008 when they won the national title.

Bethel lost 62-14 to Mount Union in the 2007 Division III football playoffs. The two teams meet again tomorrow in a semifinal playoff game in Alliance, Ohio.

The Wild has its first City Pages cover story ever with a feature this week titled: “The Opposite of Wild: Nik Backstrom is Cool as Ice between the Pipes.”

The Wild’s Martin Havlat, with 17 points since November 12, has been among the NHL’s most productive players.  Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby has 28 during the same period.

Three Wild prospects, all from the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, were named to preliminary rosters for the World Junior Championship that begins later this month in Buffalo. Forward Jason Zucker (second round, 59th overall) was named to the United States roster while forward Johan Larsson (second round, 56th overall) and goalie Johan Gustafsson (sixth round, 159th overall) were named to Sweden’s roster.

Ken Lien, Mr. Basketball chair, rates the top five metro area teams like this: Hopkins, DeLaSalle, St. Paul Johnson, Osseo and Apple Valley.  Hopkins and Osseo play on Saturday night at Minnetonka High School as part of the Breakdown Sports Tip Off Classic.

In a poll of league coaches, St. Thomas is favored to capture its sixth-straight MIAC championship.  Hamline, from 1946-1953, is the only men’s basketball program ever to have won six straight.  Last year UST finished 23-4 overall and 19-1 in conference play. This season 11 of the top 14 players return for head coach Steve Fritz now in his 31st season.  MIAC Player-of-the-Year and All-American guard Tyler Nicolai returns for his senior season after averaging 14.1 points per game last year.  The Tommies are off to a 4-0 start in league play.

Lynx star Candice Wiggins, recovering from a ruptured left Achilles, is finishing her undergrad degree in communications at Stanford.  Finals end today.

Lynx teammate Lindsay Whalen scored 17 points and added seven assists and seven rebounds in USK Praha’s (Prague) 78-58 win over Tarbes (France) on Wednesday. Whalen is averaging 14.7 points per game in seven EuroLeague games this winter.

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers.

Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section.

A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

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