Moore’s Morning Sports Briefing for Monday, April 8

Gooooooooodddddd Morning!Watching Canadian Corey Connors of Listowel, Ontario hold off a couple of veteran challengers with one clutch putt after another on the back nine of Sunday’s Final round of the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio was special to say the least. Connors outlasted Charlie Hoffman and Ryan Moore for his first ever professional win, period.

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Connors shot a “live changing” final round six under par 66 that included 10 birdies, four bogeys, and just four pars. But in addition to winning top prize money of $1.3 million, among other rewards, there will be no more Monday qualifying on the PGA Tour at least through the 2020-21 season — and a ticket to the Masters this week at Augusta.

Kevin Koe was just so good during the playoff rounds on Saturday at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, that the expectation was the veteran Canadian skip and his crew had all the momentum going into Sunday Night’s Gold Medal Final vs Sweden. But Koe’s magical shot making ran out in the eighth end when he was light on a draw and gave up a steal of two. And then a missed an almost impossible triple takeout attempt that resulted in a game ending steal of three in the ninth in a 7-2 loss to Niklas Edin of Sweden – who joined the legendary Ernie Richardson as the only other skip to win four World titles.

Winnipegger, BJ Neufeld threw third stones for Koe in trying to become the first Manitoban to be part of a World Men’s Championship rink since Jeff Stoughton won in 2011 in Regina.

Now comes the waiting game for hockey fans, for the start of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Jets and St. Louis play Game One of their series Wednesday night at 7 p.m., and we’ll dissect that series later today on our first edition of The Hockey Buffet, starting at Noon on Facebook Live, and on 680 CJOB from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. as well.

The first NHL coaching vacancy has been filled – with the Florida Panthers hiring Joel Quenneville to replace Bob Boughner who was fired on Sunday after just two years on the job. And the Panthers have reportedly matched the $6 million a year “Coach Q” was making in Chicago on a five-year deal.

The Manitoba Moose closed out the home portion of their AHL schedule with a 6-2 loss to Stockton. But they remain tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division with three games remaining.

Swan Valley’s Brady Goethals scored his second goal of the game at 1:31 of overtime, as the Stampeders edged Portage 6-5 to tie the MJHL’s Turnbull Cup final at a game apiece.

And there was also overtime dramatics in the Manitoba Major Junior League semifinals as Logan Waskul was the hero for Transcona, scoring the game winner to help the Railer Express slip past St. James 5-4 to take a 3-1 lead in that semifinal series. Stonewall forced a Game 6 in the other semi, as Aiken Chop fired in his second hat trick of the post season in a 5-3 Jets victory over the Pembina Valley Twisters in Morris.

Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (9) drives to the net against Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) during first half NBA basketball action in Toronto on Sunday, April 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

The Toronto Raptors held off Miami 117-109 in overtime in their final home game of the regular season. Toronto is waiting to see if it will be Orlando, Brooklyn, or possibly Detroit who they meet in the first round of the NBA playoffs which start Saturday.

All you need to know about how low scoring tonight’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Final in Minneapolis is expected to be – the over/under is 118 points between Virginia and Texas Tech.

Baylor almost blew a 17-point lead but managed to hang on for an 82-81 win over Notre Dame in the Women’s Championship game at Tampa.

New York Yankees’ Luke Voit hits a single in the ninth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Will Newton)

Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez hit three homers as the Pinstripes pounded on Baltimore 15-3. And the LA Dodgers continued their early season assault on opposition pitching, smacking three more dingers in a 12-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies to complete a weekend sweep at Coors Field. LA has cleared the fences 24 times, and has homered at least once in each of their first 10 games.

The Jays lost 3-1 in Cleveland for a 3-8 start to the season. At the other end of the standings, Seattle downed the White Sox 12-5 for their major league leading ninth win in 11 starts.