News service reports
The Twin Cities welcomed its newest professional sports team on Tuesday with the announcement that the Minnesota Whitecaps will join the National Women's Hockey League. The Whitecaps will become the league's fifth team, joining the Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale and Metropolitan Riveters (New Jersey), and will start playing at the start of the 2018-19 season.
The Minnesota women's basketball team ended a two-year NCAA tournament drought when the Gophers were given a No. 10 seed Monday and will face a team with a Twin Ports flavor in the first round. The Gophers (23-8) meet No. 7 seed Wisconsin-Green Bay (29-3) at 4 p.m. Friday in Eugene, Ore. The Phoenix are led by Superior native Jessica Lindstrom, who averaged a team-high 15.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. The winner will face either second-seeded Oregon or Seattle in the second round Sunday.
Superior senior Oscar Flaherty won his first two matches at the Wisconsin Division 1 high school state meet Thursday at Kohl Center in Madison. Flaherty, a senior, pinned Anthony Balch of Green Bay Preble in 3:20, then won an 8-5 decision over Reed Ryan of Waunakee. Flaherty will face Andrew Salemme of Marquette University in a 220-pound semifinal match at 7 p.m. today. The winner will advance to the championship match at 5 p.m. Saturday. The loser wrestles for third places Saturday morning.
Three candidates are vying for an open Wisconsin Supreme Court seat after Justice Michael Gableman decided to not seek re-election after serving one 10-year term. The candidates — Tim Burns, Rebecca Dallet and Michael Screnock — will face off in a primary election Tuesday to narrow the field to two. Burns is a Madison attorney, Dallet is a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge and Screnock is a Sauk County Circuit Court judge. The top two vote-getters will face off in the April 3 general election.
On Saturday night, Tampa Bay Lightning forward and former Minnesota Duluth player J.T. Brown became the first NHL player to protest during the playing of the national anthem, a practice now happening with regularity in the NFL.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Duluthian C.J. Ham used last weekend's Minnesota Vikings rookie camp to work on a new position: fullback. The Duluth Denfeld graduate dabbled at fullback during the 2016 season on the Vikings' practice squad, but lined up ahead of second-round draft pick Dalvin Cook full-time during the three-day rookie camp, according to the Vikings team website. "I'm kind of playing a new position now," Ham told the website. "(I want to show the coaches) that I can learn it and be accountable."
Kevin King finally heard his name announced in the NFL Draft — on the first pick Friday. The Green Bay Packers traded up to the second round's top spot to select King, a cornerback from the University of Washington, with the 33rd overall pick in the 2017 draft. "I've been waiting for this for a long time, so being able to hear that call feels great," King said on NFL Network after going to Green Bay. King was the only attendee Thursday who returned to the draft site Friday, and he came wearing all black as a tribute to his hometown Oakland.
The Minnesota Vikings agreed to terms with quarterback Case Keenum on a one-year, $2 million deal, according to multiple reports Friday. The Vikings are bringing Keenum in to serve as the backup to Sam Bradford this season. The health of former starter Teddy Bridgewater remains in question after he broke his left leg and tore ligaments in August. Bridgewater is rehabbing the leg injury and it is uncertain when he will return.
Four people, including a police officer, died Wednesday in a series of shootings in central Wisconsin, authorities said. The Wausau Daily Herald, citing local law enforcement agencies, reported that an Everest Metro Police Department officer and three other people died in the string of shootings that took place at three scenes over the course of about an hour in the communities of Rothschild, Schofield and Weston, just south of Wausau. The incident started as a "domestic situation," local police told the Herald.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Pat Shurmur will have his interim tag removed as Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator. A source confirmed the move will be made, which has been expected. Shurmur who had been the tight ends coach, took over for Norv Turner after he resigned Nov. 2. Despite numerous injuries on the offensive line and injured running back Adrian Peterson playing in just one of nine games under Shurmur, the offense showed some improvement. In the final two games of the season, the Vikings averaged 31.5 points and 410 yards per game.