FOX Sports North Midweek Stock Report for Dec. 9
Every Wednesday, FOX Sports North takes a look at which athletes’ stock is trending up and whose is trending down.
In other words, who is making a meteoric rise, and who is plummeting — like the public’s confidence in Richard Pitino.
With that in mind, let’s "take stock" of the current sports scene in Minnesota, shall we?
Zach Parise, Wild LW
The Wild star’s knee injury seems like a distant memory these days, considering his stellar play of late. Parise had a goal in Monday’s narrow loss to Colorado and had an assist against the Avalanche in Saturday’s shutout victory. The 31-year-old Minneapolis native has eight goals this season. If Parise stays healthy from here on out, Minnesota (14-7-5, 33 points) seems like a threat to make postseason noise.
Minnesota Duluth football
The Bulldogs cooled off Fort Hays State last Saturday, walking away victorious in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Mo. Duluth won 30-22 to run its record to 9-3 in another solid season on the gridiron. UMD sophomore Nate Ricci threw for two touchdowns and Darren Walker rushed for 126 yards on 31 carries as the Bulldogs eventually overwhelmed FHSU.
Tyler Sheehy, Gophers hockey F
Sheehy helped right the ship for Don Lucia’s Gophers hockey squad last Saturday, as Minnesota recorded a 5-4 overtime triumph over Ohio State, capping a weekend sweep. Sheehy, a freshman forward from Burnsville, registered a pair of goals and assisted on another as the Maroon and Gold outlasted OSU. The 5-foot-10, 182-pounder currently has 11 points for Minnesota (6 goals, 5 assists) — the second-best total on the team.
St. Thomas football
The Tommies have been a fixture in this weekly feature of late, mainly because they’ve made winning in authoritative fashion a habit. Last Saturday, St. Thomas rolled past Wabash (Ind.), winning 38-7 in the NCAA Division III national quarterfinals. Coach Glenn Caruso’s club was fueled by dominant special teams play, as it blocked a punt, recovered an onside kick, saw Nick Waldvogel score on a 48-yard punt return and had Charlie Dowdle produce an 18-yard TD on a fake field goal. For their efforts, the Tommies will get to take on Linfield (Ore.) in the semifinals this weekend.
Gophers men’s basketball
Minnesota dropped a stunning, 85-81 decision to South Dakota in double overtime last Saturday. That loss broke the Gophers’ 47-game home nonconference winning streak. And the box score was rather unsightly. Richard Pitino’s squad shot just 35.3 percent from the field in its setback. The game marked South Dakota’s first win versus a Power Five school since transitioning to Division I in 2009. . . . And then the Gophers lost, 84-70, to South Dakota State on Tuesday. Minnesota (5-4) trailed by 23 points at halftime in that particular setback. The Gophers would probably like to crawl into a hole right about now.
Charles Johnson, Vikings WR
Remember the man with the self-appointed nickname of "Mr. Inkredible?" The 6-2, third-year receiver only has nine receptions for 127 yards (and zero touchdowns) this season. Johnson had a hugely important 35-yard reception late in Minnesota’s win at Chicago on Nov. 1, but he hasn’t caught a pass since Nov. 8. In fact, Johnson hasn’t even had a pass thrown his way since early November. It’s hard to believe the 26-year-old couldn’t help the Vikings’ struggling air attack these days, but his disappearance, if you will, now continues into its fifth week.
Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings QB
Minnesota’s second-year signal-caller appears to be enduring a sophomore slump. In Sunday’s one-sided loss to Seattle, Bridgewater threw for just 118 yards, no TDs and one interception. He ended the day with a 55.4 passer rating. Twelve games into the 2015 campaign, Bridgewater remains stuck on eight TD passes for the season. He hasn’t been helped by underachieving receivers like Mike Wallace (30 receptions in 2015, or a shaky offensive line, but the 23-year-old QB seems to have regressed in Year 2 piloting the Vikings’ offense.
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