Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Big Game Jan. 19--Mountain Iron Girls and/or Hockey Day

Now and again even a basketball fanatic has to say, It's Hockey Day.

And, I don't know about you, but I'm not even talking about those greedy bastards who run the NHL.

I'm talking about the Gopher men and the Gopher women.

The Gopher Men

The men settled for a 4-4 tie in their last regular season game against the North Dakota Fighting Whatevers for awhile. Last night it was 6-1 Minnesota. Tonight, not so much. And with the Gophers moving to the Big 10, the two won't be playing again anytime soon unless it's in the post-season. This after playing pretty much every year for 83 years. Their loss.

The Gopher Women

The women, on the other hand, hammered Mankato State 6-0. Last night it was 8-1. And as a result, the Lady Gophers (can I call them that?) have tied the NCAA record of 32 consecutive games without a loss. And guess who they're tied with? Wisconsin. And guess who we play next weekend with the record on the line? You guessed it.

But, wait. There's somethin' fishy about that record. The Gophers have WON 32 straight. And now they say we've tied the record of 32 games unbeaten? Well, those are 2 different things. Apparently Wisky had a tie or two in there, so if you ask me, we've already got a record.

And then on top of that Amanda Kessell scored her 200th career point last night, making her the 6th Gopher and 24th in NCAA history to do so. And she's still just a junior. So the school record of 247 points, held by Natalie Darwitz, looks like a goner.

For those of you who don't know, here's a tip. After a basketball game, any basketball game, the best sports show in town is Gopher women's hockey at Ridder Arena. Do yourself a favor and check 'em out. It's a great atmosphere, and for the most part the Gophers are just a bunch of nice Minnesota girls. But what's even better is that Kessell is from Madison, WI. Her dad, Phil, was a Minnesotan who went to Wisky to play college hockey, but now his daughter has returned the favor. And so the Badgers, NCAA champs in '06, '07, '09 and '11, now they're lookin' up at us. Last year we beat Wisky 4-2 in the NCAA final at Duluth.

And Then There's This Other Team

Apparently some other hockey team is playing in St. Paul tonight.

Basketball Game, Team, Player and Coach of the Day

But, hey, I've still gotta come up with some hoops stars for the day. The Game of the Day saw the Mountain Iron-Buhl girls, rated #1A, defeat #3A Maranatha in a replay of last year's state final. The score was 65-57 as 8th grader  Chelsea Mason scored MIB's 1st 9 points and 21 for the night (with 4 boards, 4 steals and 2 assists). Just to keep things simple, MIB is the Team of the Day and MIB coach Jeff Buffetta is Coach of the Day.

But the Player of the Day is the Timberwolves Andrei Kirilenko with 21 points, 11 boards and 3 steals as the Wolves surprised the Houston Rockets 92-79.

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