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Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Punt, Pass and Kick is Saturday at Willmar

The Willmar Jaycees Punt-Pass-and-Kick for ages 6-15 will be held at the middle school Saturday. Registration opens at noon with the competition starting at 12:30. Free.

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Backstrom stops 33 shots; Wild beats Blues

ST. PAUL (AP) — Niklas Backstrom made 33 saves and the Minnesota Wild beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 Wednesday night in an exhibition game.

Matt Cooke, Charlie Coyle and Torrey Mitchell scored for Minnesota.

Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues. Jaroslav Halak stopped 12 of 13 shots before being replaced by Brian Elliott in the second period. Elliott made eight saves.

Cooke gave the Wild a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when his wrist shot from high in the slot bounced high off the pads of Halak, landed near the goal line and trickled across.

Coyle scored his team-best third preseason goal on a breakaway 38 seconds into the third and Mitchell stole the puck from Elliott for a wraparound short-handed goal 2 minutes later for a 3-0 lead.

Schwartz scored a short-handed goal midway through the third for his team-leading third preseason goal.

Minnesota to be part

of Big Ten-Hockey

East Challenge

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Gophers’ nonconference series against Boston College will be part of the inaugural Big Ten-Hockey East Challenge.

The two conferences made the announcement Tuesday.

Eleven schools will take part in 13 designated games between Oct. 18 and 27. Six games will be played in Hockey East arenas on the first weekend, followed by six games in Big Ten arenas and one game on neutral ice the second weekend.

The Gophers will host Boston College Oct. 25 and 27 at Mariucci Arena.

Wisconsin will play at BC during the first weekend of the Big Ten-Hockey East Challenge, on Oct. 18, and at Boston University on Oct. 19.

A Big Ten-Hockey East Challenge Cup will be presented to the conference that records the most points from the 13 games.

— Associated Press/Staff reports

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