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Duluth East boys hockey coach Mike Randolph was working out at the YMCA in downtown Duluth on Saturday morning when he ran into former player Craig Fellman. Randolph doesn't remember his 500th career win, much less his first, but Fellman did. It was 1988, Randolph's first year with the Greyhounds. "We beat Hermantown at the DECC," Randolph said. "Craig didn't know the score, but it was a close game, and he said it was the opener."
Minnesota Duluth point guard Sammy Kozlowski was sporting a mark under her left eye Friday night, the product of taking a shot to the face driving the lane in practice on Monday. “It’s not the first time it’s happened,” Kozlowski said, “and I’m sure it won’t be the last.” When you play like Kozlowski, you play fearless.
After starting the season with three straight shutouts, Grand Rapids-Greenway girls hockey coach Brad Hyduke knew it was too good to last. It was. Next on the schedule was White Bear Lake, a squad with five NCAA Division I recruits, and the result was a 4-1 Bears victory. "The shutout streak lasted only about three minutes into that one," Hyduke said. Still, the effort was encouraging for the Lightning as they had just as many shots, 23, as the Bears. Despite graduating 11 seniors, GRG (5-2-1) isn't lacking in talent.
Nick Larson laughs whenever he gets asked if he used to play quarterback in high school. That's because you'd never know it now. The 6-foot, 235-pound Larson is officially listed on the Minnesota Duluth roster as a tight end, but the "J-back" as the Bulldogs call it, is a hybrid position incorporating elements of fullback. Nobody moves around on offense more. "You're the adjustor," Larson said.
The Minnesota Duluth volleyball team was feeling pretty good Oct. 27 when it played an NSIC match at Minnesota State-Moorhead. The Bulldogs were tied atop the conference standings, ranked No. 4 in the country and had won six straight, but the Dragons, who'd finish the season 9-19, had other ideas, edging UMD in five sets. The next day, the Bulldogs were swept 3-0 at then-No. 9 Northern State. "It was definitely a wakeup call," junior Sarah Kelly said. "There was a lot of silence on the bus back to Duluth. We knew we could do better."
Tucker Hibbert remembers watching his father, Kirk, race at Spirit Mountain in the early 1990s, when Tucker was just a kid. One year Tucker had a broken leg and was on crutches, with a cast all the way up to his hip, but he begged his parents to let him come.
Snocross superstar Tucker Hibbert had a season most racers could only dream about last winter, with a Amsoil Championship Snocross series-high seven wins, 11 podiums and 14 top-five finishes. But he finished third in the season points and, for the 10-time national champion, that isn't good enough. That season appears to have awoken a sleeping Tucker.
The $10,000-to-win Amsoil Dominator features one-on-one snocross racing in a sprint format, with only 2 1/2 laps deciding the winner of each race. That makes the start even more important than normal, and for the most part, whoever won the start on a mild Friday night on the opening night of the 26th annual Amsoil Duluth National Snocross won the race. That changed in the grand finale, with Tucker Hibbert getting to the corner first on his Arctic Cat before Kody Kamm of Kenosha, Wis., somehow wrestled the lead back and went on to win on his Polaris.
When longtime snocross team owner Steve Scheuring emptied out his race trailer from last year, there wasn't a lot worth keeping. "There were three parts that fit from last year's sled onto this year's," Scheuring explained. "One was a track, one was a ball joint and one was a little oil tank, and that was it." After using modified snowmobiles in the Pro division from 2011-16, snocross is going with stock sleds, and not everyone thinks it is best for the sport heading into the season-opening Amsoil Duluth National Snocross Friday through Sunday at Spirit Mountain.
Matt Skubic with the International Series of Champions arrived at Spirit Mountain earlier this week in preparation for the Amsoil Duluth National Snocross. Skubic looked around and thought to himself, "We can work with this." While the Twins Ports hasn't received an abundance of snowfall, it's been cold, and when it's cold, Spirit Mountain can crank it out. That bodes well for the 26th running of the annual Thanksgiving event, which serves as the kickoff to the Amsoil Championship Snocross series.