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WAMC Sports Report 6/25/24: Panthers win their 1st Stanley Cup, top Oilers 2-1 in Game 7

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad raises the NHL hockey Stanley Cup trophy after defeating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the Final, Monday, June 24, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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AP
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad raises the NHL hockey Stanley Cup trophy after defeating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the Final, Monday, June 24, 2024, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

NHL

There was no collapse. The Florida Panthers are Stanley Cup champions for the first time, and they took about the hardest path possible to the title. Sam Reinhart and Carter Verhaeghe scored goals, Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves and the Panthers beat the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 on Monday night in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. It was the third title-round appearance in Florida’s 30-year history; it was swept in 1996 by Colorado and routed 4-1 by Vegas last season. This time, they were on the right side of history — after avoiding what would have been a historic collapse.

Meanwhile, Connor McDavid has won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP despite he and the Edmonton Oilers losing the Stanley Cup Final to the Florida Panthers in seven games. McDavid was the biggest reason the Oilers fought back from a 3-0 series deficit to get to Game 7. He was the first player to have consecutive four-point games in the final. His 42 points led all scorers in the NHL postseason and were five shy of the record of 47 set by Wayne Gretzky in 1985.

MLB

The Red Sox rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 in a walk-off  last night. Connor Wong and Rob Refsnyder each hit two-run homers as the Boston Red Sox took the series from the Cincinnati Reds with a 7-4 victory on Sunday. The Red Sox have won seven of eight and are now a season-best six games over .500. Jarren Duran led off for Boston and went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs. Nick Lodolo took the loss for Cincinnati. Eight pitchers combined for Boston including Kenley Jansen who recorded his 15th save. Greg Weissert was credited with the victory.

Phillies 8 Tigers 1

The Philadelphia Phillies turned a rare 1-3-5 triple play to snuff out a possible Detroit Tigers rally. Trailing 4-0, the Tigers had a chance to get something going when Zach McKinstry and Carson Kelly hit back-to-back singles to start the third inning, putting runners on the corners. Matt Vierling hit a broken-bat liner back to Aaron Nola, who tossed to Bryce Harper to double Kelly off first. McKinstry had never stopped running, so Harper flipped to Alec Bohm to finish the triple play. Major League Baseball says it's the first 1-3-5 triple play in the majors since the Tigers turned one against the Red Sox on July 11, 1929.

Meanwhile, the Yankees and Mets were off, and will play each other in a two-game series beginning tonight at 7:10 in Queens.

Rays 4 Mariners 3

Reds 11 Pirates 5

Royals 4 Marlins 1

Cole Ragans struck out 11 to win for the first time in a month, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Miami Marlins 4-1 for just their fourth win in 15 games. Vinnie Pasquantino, Salvador Perez and Hunter Renfroe hit solo homers off Roddery Muñoz, who has allowed six home runs in his last 10 innings. Ragans allowed one run, four hits and three walks in six innings. He had been 0-2 in five starts since beating Detroit on May 22.

Rhys Hoskins put Milwaukee ahead for good with a grand slam during a five-run rally in the sixth inning as the Brewers defeated Texas 6-3 on Monday to snap the Rangers’ four-game winning streak. Adolis García homered for the Rangers. Milwaukee pounded the Rangers’ bullpen after Texas’ Michael Lorenzen held the Brewers scoreless for the first four innings. Milwaukee’s Jackson Chourio raced home on Lorenzen’s two-out wild pitch in the fifth to end a streak of 26 straight shutout innings by Rangers pitchers. Hoskins' grand slam came against Texas reliever Jacob Latz.

James Paxton combined with four relievers on a five-hitter, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago White Sox 3-0. Los Angeles was shut down by Garrett Crochet, but it got to Chicago’s shaky bullpen for three runs. The NL West leaders won for the sixth time in eight games. Paxton struck out six while working five innings of three-hit ball. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA over his last three starts. Daniel Hudson, Yohan Ramírez and Evan Phillips each got three outs before Alex Vesia handled the ninth for his fourth save in five chances.

Taylor Ward hit a two-run homer, Griffin Canning pitched seven strong innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Monday night. Ward gave the Angels a 2-0 lead with his drive to right field in the first inning and he had a ninth-inning leaping catch at the wall for the second consecutive game. He did the same at Dodger Stadium on Saturday. Zach Neto, Luis Rengifo and Willie Calhoun each had a pair of hits and Neto scored twice.

Padres 7 Nationals 6

Wilmer Flores drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth, capping a wild comeback as the San Francisco Giants snapped a five-game skid with a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.Matt Chapman homered and started the ninth inning rally with a bloop double off Colten Brewer.Flores was the eighth Giant to bat in the ninth. His walk scored Patrick Bailey, who singled with one on and one out in a 4-3 game to score Chapman, and Austin Slater’s sacrifice fly two batters later tied the game.

Guardians 3 Orioles 2

José Ramírez hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning, and the Cleveland Guardians won their sixth straight game, 3-2 over the Baltimore Orioles. Tanner Bibee allowed one earned run in six innings for the Guardians, who were able to protect their slim lead without using highly worked closer Emmanuel Clase. Tim Herrin and Hunter Gaddis worked the seventh and eighth, and Scott Barlow struck out the side in the ninth for his second save. Since taking two of three in a big series at Yankee Stadium, Baltimore has dropped four in a row for the first time this year.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has been shut down for a week after experiencing lingering soreness in his comeback from left shoulder surgery. Manager Dave Roberts says the 36-year-old Kershaw had an MRI that “showed no new incidents." Roberts says the team is confident this is just “a blip.” Kershaw had surgery in November, a month after he recorded just one out in Game 1 of the National League Division Series against Arizona. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner re-signed with Los Angeles in February, staying with his only big-league club.

OLYMPICS

Olympic champion Athing Mu’s hopes for a repeat title came crashing down during the first lap of the 800-meter final at U.S. track trials. Racing in the middle of the pack, Mu got tangled up with a bunched pack of runners and went crashing to the ground. She got back to her feet and finished, but was more than 22 seconds behind the winner, Nia Akins. Mu headed quickly off the track and through the tunnel after the race. The Olympic trials were her first meet of the year after dealing with injuries all season.

COLLEGE BASEBALL

Christian Moore hit a leadoff homer, Dylan Dreiling went deep for the third time in three games and Tennessee won its first national championship in baseball with a 6-5 victory over Texas A&M in Game 3 of the College World Series finals. The Volunteers bounced back from a Game 1 loss to win two straight and become the first No. 1 national seed in the NCAA Tournament to win the title since Miami in 1999. Tennessee held an Aggies’ offense averaging 8.5 runs per game for the season to six runs over the last 20 innings of the finals.

WNBA

Caitlin Clark became the fourth person ever to win the Honda Cup twice, earning the prestigious honor Monday night. The former Iowa star, who finished her career as the all-time Division I scoring leader, joined Tracy Caulkins (1982, 1984), Maya Moore (2010, 2011) and Rachel Garcia (2019, 2021) as the only people to accomplish that. Moore is the only other person to win the award in back-to-back years. This year there was a tie in voting for the top three finalists resulting in four outstanding honorees. In addition to Clark, the others were Texas volleyball player Madisen Skinner, LSU gymnast Haleigh Bryant and Stanford softball player NiJaree Canady.

NBA

Klay Thompson has been a pillar of the Golden State Warriors dynasty that won four NBA titles the past decade. Whether he will be part of the franchise as the team looks to rebound after missing the playoffs remains unknown. Thompson is set to become a free agent on July 1 as the two sides have been unable to agree on an extension to keep Stephen Curry’s Splash Brothers running mate on the team. General manager Nike Dunleavy said he's hopeful he can retain Thompson but negotiations are ongoing.

The Los Angeles Lakers have formally introduced JJ Redick as their next head coach. The 17-time NBA champion franchise has hired the retired guard for his first coaching job at any level. The 40-year-old Redick acknowledged the unlikeliness of his hiring during a news conference alongside general manager Rob Pelinka. Redick called the process “surreal.” Redick replaces Darvin Ham, who was fired May 3 despite leading the Lakers to two winning seasons, the 2023 Western Conference finals and a victory in the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

COPA AMERICA

Brazil was held to a 0-0 draw by Costa Rica in its Copa America group play opener. Although Brazil controlled play and outshot Costa Rica 18-2, the team known for decades of sublime offensive play was held scoreless by a defense led by goalkeeper Patrick Sequeira, who had to make just three saves thanks to Brazil’s erratic aim. Brazil also had an apparent goal by Marquinhos taken off the board in the first half after a lengthy VAR check. The result left Colombia on top of Group D after its 2-1 victory over Paraguay.

© 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.