Tonight is the first night of the high school football playoffs. On the area schedule tonight:
St. Cloud Apollo at Bemidji 7pm
Grygla at Kelliher Northome 7pm on Real Country 98.3
Crookston at Bagley 6pm
Blackduck at Chisholm 6pm
Cass Lake Bena at Nevis 7pm
Northern Freeze at Clearbrook Gonvick 7pm
Barnum at Deer River 7pm
Badger Greenbush Middle River at Fosston 7pm
Duluth East at Grand Rapids 7pm
Northland Remer at South Ridge 7pm
Park Rapids at Perham 6pm
Red Lake at Polk County West 7pm
Walker Hackensack Akeley has a first round bye
Bemidji State University goaltender Michael Bitzer has been selected for Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Week honors following play versus No. 2/3 University of Minnesota Duluth.
Bitzer, the 2014-15 WCHA Rookie of the Year, opened his sophomore campaign in fine fashion by backstopping Bemidji State to a 3-2 upset win over No. 2/3 Minnesota Duluth. The Moorhead, Minn. native stopped 28-of-30 shots, while making a dozen saves during a first period in which the Beavers were outshot 12-5 and another 11 during the decisive third frame. Deadlocked at 2-2 late in the game, Bemidji State won 3-2 on Charlie O’Connor’s goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. In addition, he backstopped a penalty-kill unit that held UMD scoreless on four power-play opportunities.
The award marks the six weekly honor for Bitzer. Last year he was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week three times (Jan. 12, Jan. 26 and March 2) and Rookie of the Week twice (Feb. 3 and Dec. 15).
The Beavers, now 1-0-0 on the season, continue nonconference play at 7:37 p.m. Friday as BSU hosts No. 1 University of North Dakota at Sanford Center for the first half of a home-and-home series. The teams travel west for a 7:07 p.m. match up at Ralph Engelstad Arena Saturday to complete the two-game set.
The Wild have a few days off before heading out on a three-game west coast road trip. The trek begins Thursday in Arizona. Minnesota will also make stops in Los Angeles and Anaheim. The Wild are 2-and-0 after a 3-2 win over St. Louis in their home opener on Saturday.
The Vikings are back to work this week following their bye. Minnesota will host the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings are 2-and-2 on the season after their 23-20 loss at Denver in Week Four. KC is just 1-and-4 on the season.
Things are looking better for the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team this Monday compared to last Monday. A week ago, head coach Jerry Kill was trying to figure out how to get his team's running attack going after a 27-0 loss at Northwestern. Today, he is certainly pleased with the fact Minnesota rushed for 326 yards, including 176 yards from freshman Shannon Brooks, in a 41-13 win over Purdue on Saturday. The Golden Gophers are now 4-and-2 on the season and will host Nebraska this Saturday.
Minnesota Wild assistant coach Darryl Sydor is receiving 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to driving drunk. Sydor will serve the time in installments over four years. If he complies with his probation, the future jail time can be waived. Sydor was arrested on drunken-driving charges in August after authorities said he became lost trying to take his 12-year-old son to a hockey tournament. Sydor has been an assistant in Minnesota since 2011. The 43-year-old posted 507 points over his 18-year NHL career before retiring in 2010.
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