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Tom’s Notes: BCS Champs, Garth Heikkinen to Play in East/West Shrine Game + Local Hockey, Football and More

Roll Tide!

The BCS National title football game was played Monday night, and it was all Alabama as they won 42-14 over Notre Dame.

Notre Dame now 12-1, and Alabama 13-1.  3rd title in 4 years for Alabama.

For Alabama Head Coach Nick Saben it’s his 4th title.

Speaking of football, former Duluth Central offensive lineman Garth Heikkinen will be playing in a college post-season bowl game, he will play for the East team in the East/West Shrine game on Saturday January 19th.

Heikkinen will depart for the game this Saturday morning (Jan. 12) for a week of practice leading up to the 88th annual Shrine event, which will be held on Jan. 19 at Tropicana Field.

The Duluth, Minn., native will play for former National Football League Head Coach Jerry Glanville and the East Team. In the process, he’ll become second Bulldog to take part in the East-West Shrine Game, joining fellow offensive lineman Dave Vaiene (1988).

He was recently named the D2 Offensive Lineman of the Year, otherwise known as the Gene Upshaw Award.  Garth did not allow a sack this year and was also named an All-American gain this year.

More on Garth and his teammates later this week.

I’m sure you saw the Vikings/Packers game.  If you like the Vikings, I’m sure it’s a game you would rather forget.  If you back the Pack, then you enjoyed each and every moment.

Packers and San Fran this Saturday night. Niners took the first meeting this year, during the regular season.

If you like hockey, the NHL is almost back.  Players have to vote on the new labor issue, but are expected to sign it.  Which means the games would start about January 19th with either a 48 or 50 game schedule.  Both sides agreed to split revenue 50-50 in the new agreement, and reportedly it’s for 10 years and each side could opt-out after eight years.

But the fans just want the pro game back. We have high school and college hockey around here, to enjoy but other parts of the country don’t have a hockey fix like we do.

About 18 players on the Minnesota Wild roster skated at the Xcel Energy Center on Monday afternoon and are expected to be joined by a few more on Tuesday.  NHL Coaches are not allowed on the ice with the players until a deal has been signed.

Some big high school hockey games in the area on Tuesday night.  Denfeld and East will meet at Duluth Heritage Sports Center, game time set for 7pm.  Both teams are state ranked.  That game will be on My9, and also on the radio at ESPN560 WEBC.

In other high school boy’s hockey games on Tuesday:

  • Hibbing-Chisholm at Cloquet-Esko-Carlton
  • Hayward at Proctor
  • Grand Rapids at Hermantown
  • Pine City at Moose Lake Area

And in girl’s high school hockey tonight:

  • Duluth Northern Stars at Hibbing-Chisholm
  • Proctor-Hermantown at Silver Bay

And in basketball, the UMD men’s basketball team will be helping out on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, helping youngsters learn the game.

The UMD men’s basketball team will be joining the Rookie Basketball Association teams (first – fourth grade boys and girls) for practice Tuesday, January 8 at The Salvation Army Gym, 215 S. 27th Ave W., Duluth,  from 6-8pm, and Wednesday, January 9th at the Lowell Elementary School gym, 2000 Rice Lake Rd.,  from 5:55-7:55.  Last year 781 children from the Twin Ports area participated in The Salvation Army’s Rookie Basketball Association (RBA). Two RBA sessions are held during the school year, and week-long basketball day-camps and 3-on-3 tournaments are held in the summer. The first session is now underway with 298 children playing on 28 teams. Registration forms for the second RBA session are available at The Salvation Army.  For more information call 722-7934.

The UMD men’s basketball team goes on the road to University of Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State this weekend.  The men’s team is 4-7 overall and 2-5 in the NSIC Conference.

In other high school girl’s basketball Esko topped Virginia Monday night, 72-12.

The Eskomos moved to 11 – 1 on the season at home vs.Virginia.  Eleven Eskomos scored in the win, led by Savanna Trapp’s 21 point, 9 rebounds, and 9 blocked shots.  Claudia Turner joined Trapp in double figures with 12 points as well to go with 7 rebounds and 3 assists.  There were no Blue Devils in double figures.

MIB beat Nashwauk-Keewatin 98-38.  The Rangers are now 11-1 and ranked #1 in the state in Class A.

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