Upper Midwest Sports Headlines for Wednesday, February 28th:
Here is the latest Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota sports news from The Associated Press
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Eric Staal had three goals and two assists to combine with linemates Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker for 14 points and propel the surging Minnesota Wild to an 8-3 victory over St. Louis. The Blues lost their seventh straight game. Staal notched his 14th career hat trick, his first in more than five years. He scored 13 goals in 13 games in February to raise his season total to 33, moving him into the top five in the NHL. The Wild are 19-2-5 in their last 26 home games since Nov. 14.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Nate Mason has finished his career with a flourish in his fourth year as the point guard for Minnesota. He has risen in the program’s record books with the performance of a calm, clutch and confident senior leader, but the Gophers haven’t reciprocated. They’ve lost 13 of their last 15 games, entering the Big Ten Tournament. Barring an improbable five wins in five days by the depleted Gophers, Mason is in his final week with the team.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Big Ten Tournament begins Wednesday, one week earlier than usual at a rather unusual venue: Madison Square Garden in New York. Michigan State is the top seed as the league again ventures outside of its traditional Midwest footprint to play at one of the traditional hubs of college basketball. Ohio State is the second seed, while Purdue and Nebraska round out the top four teams, each getting double byes.