Gophers coach Motzko makes statement with win over UMD
FOX Sports North
Bob Motzko, Gophers men's hockey coach (↑ UP)
Motzko delivered in his first game behind the bench at Mariucci, as his Gophers took down top-ranked Minnesota Duluth for the first time since 2014. The game was a bit closer than the final score (7-4) would indicate -- the Gophers were outshot 46-22 and managed just three in the second period -- but it was an encouraging start for the Motzko regime after the two teams tied 1-1 in the season opener.
Adam Thielen, Vikings receiver (↑ UP)
It's tough to declare that a guy coming off a 1,200-yard season and a Pro Bowl nod is breaking out, but Thielen has found another gear in his fifth season. He hauled in seven receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown Sunday, becoming the first player in the Super Bowl era to start the season with five straight games of 100-plus receiving yards. Thielen ranks second in the league with 589 receiving yards -- behind only DeAndre Hopkins -- and leads the lead with 66 targets. He's on pace for over 1,800 receiving yards this season, which seems unsustainable, but he has also accounted for 42.05 percent of the Vikings' air yards so far -- behind only Julio Jones, John Brown and Odell Beckham -- so maybe it is.
Associated PressMatt Rourke
Hunter Shepard, Minnesota Duluth goalie (↓ DOWN)
Named UMD's most valuable player a season ago after helping the Bulldogs to a national championship, Shepard struggled mightily Sunday against the Gophers after looking sharp in the opener. The junior allowed a whopping six goals on just 11 shots, and was yanked early in the third period in favor of backup Nick Deery.
Aaron Lavinsky/Star TribuneAP
Linval Joseph, Vikings nose tackle (↑ UP)
Joseph stole the show Sunday in Philadelphia with his touchdown run. The 329-pound defensive lineman snapped up a Carson Wentz fumble and rumbled 64 yards for a touchdown, outracing the remaining members of the Eagles' offense in the process.
Associated PressMichael Perez
Minnesota Whitecaps (↑ UP)
The NWHL's newest team is fitting in just fine. The Whitecaps beat the defending champs in their NWHL debut Saturday, topping the Metropolitan Riveters 4-0 in St. Paul. They did it again the next day, winning 3-1. Minnesota native and Gophers alum Hannah Brandt scored twice, while goaltender Amanda Leveille made 40 saves on a combined 41 shots.
Minnesota Whitecaps via TwitterKirsten Burton
Devan Dubnyk, Wild goalie (↑ UP)
The Wild are 0-1-1 following losses to Colorado and Vegas, but Dubnyk already appears to be in midseason form. He made 36 saves on 38 shots in the season opener against the Avalanche, then went 58 minutes before allowing a goal to the Golden Knights' Max Pacioretty, finishing with 41 saves on 42 shots.
USA TODAY SportsBrad Rempel
Andrew Wiggins, Wolves forward (↓ DOWN)
The first year of Wiggins' max contract is off to a concerning start. He had just six points on 2-of-6 shooting in the Wolves' preseason game against the Bucks after putting up four on 2-of-9 shooting against the Oklahoma City. He has just one assist through four preseason games.