Friday, March 31, 2017

Andy Slater Returns

     Andy Slater returned to the radio airwaves at Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM on Wednesday. He has been away from his program for one month. Slater has hosted a mid-afternoon show on WINZ since January 2014. He was previously on 640 Sports WMEN-AM from April 2008 until December 2013.
     The reason he has not been heard on the radio for four weeks is because Miami Marlins exhibition games have pre-empted his show. The Marlins have played spring training afternoon games on weekdays since late February.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Habs Rout And Eliminate Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Thursday night and were pounded 6-2. The Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss and will not appear in the postseason for the second straight year. The Habs wrapped up a playoff spot with the victory.
     Former Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins player Tim Raines was honored prior to the start of the contest. Raines will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July.
     Florida(33-33-11) started off slow as they had one shot in the first five minutes and five shots in the first 17 minutes of play. Montreal(44-24-9) took advantage and got a 1-0 lead at the 7:24 mark. Paul Byron scored from the right circle off a cross-ice feed from Nathan Beaulieu that went off the stick of Brendan Gallagher.
     The Habs made it 2-0 midway through the frame at 10:04. Tomas Plekanec flipped a pass to Gallagher in the neutral zone. He raced down the right wing into the Panthers zone, centered a pass and Plekanec redirected the puck by Reto Berra from the low slot.
     The Canadiens struck again with 6:41 left in the first and extended their lead to a three-goal margin. Gallagher put in a lead pass to Beaulieu on the left wing. He connected a pass toward the middle and Byron ripped a one-time slap shot from the slot area for his second goal of the contest and 22nd goal this season.
     The Panthers cut the deficit at 10:41 of the second period. Jussi Jokinen was on the left point and passed across the ice where Reilly Smith fired a snap shot from the top right circle past Carey Price for his 15th goal of the year.
     In the third period, Montreal made it 4-1 at 3:52. Alexander Radulov recovered a loose puck at center ice and skated into the Florida zone on a 2-on-1 breakaway. He placed a pass from the left circle to the right circle and Max Pacioretty scored on a slap shot which was his 35th tally of the campaign.
     Montreal native Michael Matheson would put in a wrist shot from the high slot to close the gap 4-2 at 8:45. Mark Pysyk saved the puck from leaving the offensive zone and moved it down to Vincent Trocheck. He tried to shoot from the right of the crease, however it rolled through the slot area to Matheson.
     The Canadiens compiled two goals in the later half of the third period for a four-goal cushion. Gallagher picked up his fourth point of the game with his 10th goal at the 12:55 mark. Several minutes later, Radulov fed Phillip Danault for a one-time slap shot from the slot with 3:11 remaining.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Heat Beat Knicks

     The Miami Heat finished a three-game road swing with a 105-88 victory over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. Both clubs will meet each other again in Miami on Friday to complete a home-and-home set. The Heat have won 26 of their last 34 games.
     Miami(37-38) were up 24-22 after one quarter and still in front 49-41 at halftime. New York(28-47) were unable to cut the deficit and were down 77-68 after three quarters. The Heat began the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run to put the contest away.

Arley Londono New Miami FC Voice

     Arley Londono has been named the new Spanish language radio play-by-play announcer of Miami FC for the upcoming 2017 season. The broadcasts will be heard locally on 1140 WQBA-AM.
     Londono is currently in his third season as the Spanish language radio play-by-play announcer of Florida Panthers home games in Sunrise. It is his second tenure announcing for the club. He was the Spanish language radio voice for the team during the first three seasons of that franchise at Miami Arena from 1993-94 until 1995-96.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Heat Motor By Pistons

     The Miami Heat played their final regular season game ever at The Palace Of Auburn Hills and slipped by the Detroit Pistons 97-96 on Tuesday night. The Pistons are moving to downtown Detroit and play at Little Caesars Arena next season.
     Both clubs were tied 24-24 after one quarter and Miami(36-38) was able to get up 55-50 by halftime. Detroit(34-41) fell behind more 78-69 after three quarters. The Pistons did not regain the lead until 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter when they completed a 25-14 run. The Heat went on a 5-2 spurt in the final 30 seconds capped with a tip-in by Hassan Whiteside with no time remaining. 
     Goran Dragic had a game-high 28 points for the Heat while Whiteside added 17 points and nine rebounds. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope got a team-high 25 points for the Pistons.

Maple Leafs Handle Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were defeated by the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night. The Cats played their third regular season game in Toronto. It was the second game of a four-game Atlantic Division road trip for the Panthers.
     Toronto(36-24-15) moved out to a 1-0 lead at 11:54 of the first period. Former Panther Zach Hyman had the puck behind the Panthers cage and backhanded a pass toward the slot. Auston Matthews scored on a snap shot for his 35th goal of the season.
     Leo Komarov added another goal for the Maple Leafs with 5:17 left in the frame to make it 2-0. They came into the Panthers zone on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Connor Brown made a cross-ice pass from the left circle and Komarov blasted a one-time slap shot by former Leaf James Reimer.
     Brian Boyle collided into Reimer and he had to leave the game halfway through the second. He was replaced by Reto Berra in net. Florida(33-32-11) cut the margin to 2-1 with 4:29 remaining in the second period. Reilly Smith picked up his 14th goal this campaign and his third tally in the last six games. Keith Yandle and Jason Demers were credited with assists on the play.
     In the third period, Hyman would burn his former team as he scored a shorthanded goal while the Panthers were on the power play at 3:32. Komarov got his second point of the contest.
     The Panthers pulled their goalie for an extra attacker on the power play in the last two minutes and scored with 56 seconds to go and made it 3-2. Keith Yandle took a slap shot from the top of the zone and it was redirected by Aleksander Barkov from the slot off the right post. Jaromir Jagr put the puck into an open net from the crease area for his 15th goal of the season and 762nd NHL goal.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sabres Upend Panthers

     The Florida Panthers lost to the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 at Key Bank Center on Monday night. It was the first game of a four-game road trip against Atlantic Division opponents for the Panthers who had a two-game win streak stopped.
     Buffalo(32-32-12) stormed out to a three-goal lead in the first half of the contest and compiled two goals in the first period. Ryan O'Reilly scored on the power play at 3:21 and Zach Bogosian followed at 14:26.
     The Sabres made it a three-goal margin at the 1:25 mark of the second period. Brian Gionta, who played in his 1,000th NHL game, scored with the man advantage.
     Jonathan Marchessault helped Florida(33-31-11) break the shutout as he scored his 29th goal of the season on the power play at 10:19. It was his sixth goal in the last three games.
     Marcus Foligno added another goal for Buffalo at 15:08 to make it 4-1. The Cats made a goaltending change as James Reimer was replaced in net by Reto Berra.
     The Panthers pulled to within two goals just over one minute later. Jonathan Huberdeau put in his eighth tally of the year which was unassisted.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Celtics Hold Off Heat

     The Miami Heat started a three-game road swing as lost to the Boston Celtics 112-108 at TD Garden on Sunday night. The Heat have lost three of their last four games. The Celtics tied the Cleveland Cavaliers for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
     Miami(35-38) pulled out to a 27-22 lead after one quarter and at one point had a 15-point margin during the second quarter. Boston(48-26) went on a 15-7 late in the second and were down 58-53 at halftime. The C's then outscored the Heat 32-17 and took a 85-75 lead after third quarters.
     Tyler Johnson had a team-high 24 points while Hassan Whiteside compiled a double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Heat. Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 30 points for the Celtics.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Marchessault Hat Trick Beats Blackhawks

     Jonathan Marchessault got his first career hat trick as the Florida Panthers completed a three-game homestand with a 7-0 shutout victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at BB&T Center on Saturday night. The Panthers have won four of their last seven games. The Blackhawks, who have the best record in the Western Conference, entered the contest 6-0-1 in their last seven games.
      After no scoring in the first period, Florida(33-30-11) got on the scoreboard 17 seconds into the second on a 4-on-4 situation. Jonathan Huberdeau had the puck in the right circle and sent a cross-ice pass to Aleksander Barkov in the left circle. He placed a snap shot by Corey Crawford for his 21st goal of the season.
     The Panthers got numerous opportunities on the power play midway through the frame and scored on a 5-on-3 man advantage at the 10:21 mark. Barkov was in the top slot and fed Huberdeau for a slap shot from the right circle.
     Florida converted on another power-play tally against Chicago(48-21-6) at 11:40 for a three-goal margin. Barkov was in the right circle and zipped a pass to Jonathan Marchessault in the left circle. He fired home a slap shot for his team-high 26th goal of the season.        
     The Cats continued their momentum early in the third period as they made it 4-0 at 4:59. Colton Sceviour skated down the right wing and connected a cross-ice pass to Marchessault who then scored on a one-time slap shot from the left circle for his second goal of the contest. The Blackhawks replaced Crawford in net with Scott Darling.
     Marchessault completed a natural hat trick at the 7:13 mark. He performed a give-and-go pass with Huberdeau in the slot area before he scored from close range, Nick Bjugstad added another tally just 40 seconds later when he redirected a Sceviour shot from the blue line.
     The Panthers increased their margin to 7-0 with 8:15 left in the third. Vincent Trocheck hit the right post on a snap shot from the left circle. Reilly Smith then followed up and scored on the rebound.

Miami FC On Local Television

     Miami FC regular season games will be televised by WSFL-TV Channel 39 in 2017. It is the second season for the franchise in the North American Soccer League.
     WSFL-TV had broadcast another NASL team the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for the last couple of seasons. The Strikers are currently reorganizing their club and will not participate in the 2017 NASL spring season.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Big O Joins Miami FC

     Longtime South Florida sports radio host Orlando Alzugaray, a.k.a. The Big O, has joined Miami FC as their new public address announcer for home games. He was the public address announcer for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for several seasons up until last year.
     Alzugaray is currently the midday host at Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM and has held that post since August 2014. Prior to his second tenure at WQAM, he was the afternoon host on 640 Sports WMEN-AM from October 2010 until August 2014.
     He first got noticed locally as a sports reporter for News Radio 610 WIOD-AM and 940 WINZ-AM in 1993 and stayed there for two years. Alzugaray moved to San Francisco and hosted a sports show on the first national Spanish language sports station in the United States. The organization went out of business in less than a year.    
     The Big O returned to Miami for his first tenure at WQAM as he worked as a sports reporter and weekend host. He was elevated to weekday host and Miami Dolphins pregame host during the 2000s. Alzugaray was shifted from middays to late mornings in July 2010 and then to evenings in September 2010.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Raptors Eat Up Heat

     The Miami Heat lost to the Toronto Raptors 101-84 on Thursday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat finished their five-game homestand with a 3-2 record. They have lost two of their last three games, however they have won 24 of their last 31 games.
     Miami(35-37) finished the first quarter up 33-23 and led 47-45 at halftime. Toronto(43-29) took over in the second half and pulled ahead 75-68 after three quarters. The Raptors, who at one point had a 29-9 run, outscored the Heat by 10 points in the final quarter.
     Hassan Whiteside had a team-high 16 points along with 14 rebounds and compiled a double-double while Goran Dragic contributed 13 points for Miami. DeMar DeRozan drained a game-high 40 points for Toronto.

Panthers Cage Coyotes

     The Florida Panthers played the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night and won 3-1 at BB&T Center. The Panthers have won three of their last six games.
     Lawson Crouse, who was drafted in the first round by Florida at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, played his first game against his former team in South Florida. Former local hockey prospect and Junior Panther player Jakob Chychrun also played his first game in Sunrise.
     Arizona(27-38-9), who entered the contest with the second worst record in the National Hockey League, took the lead on their first shot of the game at 3:20 of the first period. Tobias Rieder skated into the Panthers zone on the right side, raced through the right circle and put in a forehand shot by James Reimer from the crease area.
     In the second period, Florida(32-30-11) tied the game 1-1 in an unusual way at the 7:38 mark. Colton Sceviour passed the puck from the end wall to the crease. Shawn Thornton scored on his second attempt as the cage was pushed off its pegs by the right hand of Mike Smith and stick of Jordan Martinook. It was the second tally this season by Thornton.
     Jonathan Marchessault compiled two goals in a 26-second span late in the frame to give the Panthers their first lead of the contest. Aleksander Barkov sent a cross-ice pass from the left circle to the right circle and Marchessault put in a snap shot with 2:22 left.
     Thomas Vanek held the puck in the right circle and fed Marchessault on the left side. He fired a wrist shot in for his 26th goal of the season with 1:56 remaining.

West Palm Beach Ratings February 2017

     There was only one sports radio station listed in the monthly ratings that were issued for Palm Beach County. 640 Fox Sports South Florida WMEN-AM appeared while ESPN West Palm 106.3 WUUB-FM did not because they do not use the service.
     640 Fox Sports South Florida fell from a 0.6 to a 0.5 in the month of February. Their ratings were the lowest since last September. Alpha Media became the new owner of the radio station during the month. They had a local management agreement to operate it since August 2016.
     It was the first month that the station did not have Jay Mohr in the afternoon slot. They had no NFL game broadcasts following the Super Bowl.
     February was also the final full period in which the local morning show hosted by Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach was aired by WMEN. There is still little to no interest in Nova Southeastern University basketball games.

United States Wins World Baseball Classic

     The United States won the World Baseball Classic 8-0 over Puerto Rico in the title game held at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night. Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays pitched a no-hitter through six innings and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
     Several players on the United States team had a South Florida connection. The Miami Marlins were represented by starting outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich. American Heritage grad Eric Hosmer was the starting first baseman for the squad.
     Jim Leyland, who managed the Marlins to their first World Series title in 1997, was the manager of the team. It is expected to be the last time that Leyland will manage a baseball club.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kelly Saco Joins Fox Sports Florida

     Kelly Saco has become the new studio host for midday minute game preview segments on Fox Sports Florida. Saco has been the game operations stadium host of Miami Marlins games at Marlins Park for the last couple of years. She will continue to stay in that position for the upcoming 2017 season.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Heat Take Suns

     The Miami Heat topped the Phoenix Suns 112-97 at American Airlines Arena on Tuesday night. The Heat have won seven of the last nine games and have been victorious in 24 of their last 30 games.
     Phoenix(22-49), who entered the contest with the third worst record in the NBA, had the edge 26-23 after one quarter. Miami(35-36) responded as they outscored the Suns by 16 points in the second quarter and led 59-46 at halftime. The Heat expanded their margin to 84-63 after three quarters and had no problems in the final quarter.
     Hassan Whiteside compiled a double-double for Miami with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Tyler Johnson added 17 points and Goran Dragic contributed 16 points in the victory.

Hurricanes Storm Past Panthers

     The Florida Panthers started a three-game homestand and fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Tuesday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers have lost 11 of their last 14 games.
     Reto Berra made his first NHL start in goal since December 2015. It was his first starting assignment with Florida since being called up from Springfield in the AHL and his second appearance this year.    
     Florida(31-30-11) struck first at 1:35 of the opening period to take a 1-0 lead. Jaromir Jagr had the puck on the right wing and passed up to Jason Demers on the right point. His slap shot was deflected in by Aleksander Barkov from the slot area past Cam Ward for his 20th goal of the season.
     Carolina(31-27-13) reacted and tied it up 1-1 on the power play at the 5:09 mark. Sebastian Aho made a slap pass from the right circle which was redirected wide left of the net by Jordan Staal. It bounced off the end wall to Teuvo Teravainen and he roofed a wrist shot by Berra from the low left circle.
     The Panthers regained the lead 2-1 midway through the frame at 11:51. Vincent Trocheck was at the top of the zone and connected an outlet pass to Jussi Jokinen in the left circle. He made a cross-ice pass to Reilly Smith in the crease and he scored his 12th goal of the campaign from close range.
     The Cats got to their second power play and gave up a shorthanded goal with 5:26 left in the first. Aaron Ekblad lost the puck to Elias Lindholm at the Canes blue line and he skated up the right wing. He stopped at the top right circle, fed a pass across to Aho who was racing through the slot and he softly put in a snap shot from the low slot.   
     Both clubs scored in the first two minutes of the second period. Florida took their third lead of the contest at 1:14. Keith Yandle received a pass from Demers on the left wing. His centering pass went off a Carolina defender and into the cage.
     The Hurricanes matched it and tied the game 3-3 just 27 seconds later. Lee Stempniak skated through the slot and placed a shot on net. Jeff Skinner followed up and scored on the rebound with a backhand shot for his 27th tally of the season.
     Skinner would get his second goal of the game with 3:55 remaining in the third period. Derek Ryan brought the puck down the left side and to the low left circle. He backhanded a pass in front and Skinner put it in on a one-time shot.

Miami Ratings February 2017

     Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM was the highest rated sports format radio station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region for the seventh consecutive month. Their margin of victory was the smallest since September.
     WQAM dropped in the ratings from a 1.2 to a 0.9 in February for their worst month since last August. The Florida Panthers put together their longest winning streak of the season with five straight victories on the road. Not having the Miami Dolphins games on certainly had an effect following their best season since 2008.
     790 The Ticket WAXY-AM went from a 0.9 to a 0.8 during the period. The Miami Heat went on a tear as they completed a run of 13 straight wins for the second longest winning streak in franchise history. Ethan J. Skolnick also returned to the afternoon show following a one-month absence from the station near the end of the period on February 21.
     Miami Sports 940 WINZ-AM remained flat for the fifth consecutive period with a 0.2 in the month of February. They have stayed in a holding pattern throughout the entire Miami Marlins off-season.

Monday, March 20, 2017

CBS Sports Radio Moves Damon Amendolara

     Former South Florida sports radio host Damon Amendolara will have his show moved from evenings to late mornings on CBS Sports Radio Network. He will begin in his new time slot on April 17.
     Amendolara was a late night host on Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM from early 2008 until August 2009, where he was known as DA. He also hosted a weekend show on that station. Amendolara, a 2001 Syracuse University grad, left to become an evening host on WBZ-FM in Boston from August 2009 to December 2012. He joined CBS Sports Radio Network when it launched in January 2013 as the overnight host.
     He began his broadcasting career at Sports Radio 770 WWCN-AM in Fort Myers as an afternoon host. Amendolara then moved to Kansas City in 2003 and hosted an evening show. He later was promoted to become the morning host there in 2004.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Trail Blazers Top Heat

     The Miami Heat were defeated by the Portland Trail Blazers 115-104 at American Airlines Arena on Sunday night. The Heat, who entered the contest in a playoff spot, have lost two of their last four games. They still have won six of their last eight games and 23 of their last 29 games.
     Both clubs played a close game throughout the contest. Miami(34-36) had a 29-28 edge after one quarter and were barely behind 52-51 at halftime. Portland(32-37) moved out to a 85-79 lead after three quarters and outscored the Heat by five points during the fourth quarter.
     Damian Lillard had a game-high 49 points for the Trail Blazers. James Johnson compiled a team-high 24 points for Miami while Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside contributed 17.

Penguins Blank Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were shut out by the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0 at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday. It ended a three-game road trip for the Panthers who have lost 10 of their last 13 games.  
     Sidney Crosby finished with a natural hat trick against the Cats. Jaromir Jagr played in his 1,700th NHL game which in fourth all-time.
     Florida(31-29-11) gave up the opening goal with 3:46 left in the first period. Phil Kessel flipped the puck from behind the Panthers cage into the crease area and Patric Hornqvist batted it in.
     Pittsburgh(45-17-9) got two goals by Crosby in the second period at 14:15 and 16:07. Conor Sheary and Nick Guentzel got the assists on both tallies.
     Crosby nailed his third goal of the game and 40th of the season at the 5:00 mark. Guentzel and Sheary both compiled their third assists of the contest.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Panthers Stop Rangers

     The Florida Panthers were able to get by the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shootout at Madison Square Garden on Friday night. The Panthers have won two of their last three games and next face the Stanley Cup champion Penguins in Pittsburgh to finish a three-game road trip.
     New York(44-24-3) raced out to a 2-0 lead after one period. Mats Zuccarello quickly scored at 2:34 then J.T. Miller made it a two-goal gap at 4:11.
     Florida(31-28-11) got back into the contest with two goals during the second period. Jonathan Huberdeau put in a tally at 1:25 and Jussi Jokinen scored on a power play at 6:41.
     In the third period, Aleksander Barkov gave the Cats their first lead of the game at 7:23. Zuccarello scored his second goal of the contest at 11:45 to even it up 3-3.
      The Panthers got the only goal during the shootout for the victory. Barkov put in the puck during the second attempt for Florida.

Heat Outlast Timberwolves

     The Miami Heat held on to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 123-105 on Friday night at American Airlines Arena. The Heat have been victorious in six of the last seven and 23 of their last 28 games.
     Miami(34-35) jumped out to a 27-23 lead after one quarter and extended their margin to 64-49 at halftime. Minnesota(28-40) cut into the deficit and were behind 90-81 after three quarters. The Heat outscored the Timberwolves 33-24 in the final quarter. Tyler Johnson led Miami with 25 points.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Blue Jackets Halt Panthers

     The Florida Panthers began a three-game road swing with a 2-1 defeat to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Thursday night. The Panthers have one victory in the last seven games and dropped nine of their last 11 games.
     Florida(30-28-11) broke the scoreless tie at 18:15 of the first period. Jonathan Marchessault connected with his 23rd goal of the season past Sergei Bobrovsky with assists from Thomas Vanek and Alex Petrovic. 
     The second period belonged to Columbus(45-18-6) they scored two goals late in the frame. Zach Werenski released a high wrist shot from the left wing which went by James Reimer at 15:51.
     The Blue Jackets took their first lead of the contest with 39 seconds left in the period. Jack Johnson fired a slap shot from the top of the zone and it was redirected in the low slot by Josh Anderson.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Heat Slip By Pelicans

     The Miami Heat got by the New Orleans Pelicans 120-112 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena. The momentum continued for the Heat as they have won five of their last six contests and 22 of their last 27 games.
     Miami(33-35) moved out to a 28-21 lead after one quarter until New Orleans(27-41) bounced back and trailed 54-52 at halftime. The contest was tied 105-105 with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter then the Heat went on a 15-7 run.
     Goran Dragic had a game-high 33 points for Miami while Hassan Whiteside compiled a double-double with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 27 points and DeMarcus Cousins contributed 19 points.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Panthers Smash Maple Leafs

     The Florida Panthers faced the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at BB&T Center and won 7-2. It completed a stretch where the Panthers played eight of their last ten games at home.
     The Cats snapped a five-game losing streak with the victory. Florida now has a record of 2-7-1 in their last ten games and pulled to six points behind the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
     It did not take long for Florida(30-27-11) to get on the scoreboard as they scored 18 seconds into the contest. Aleksander Barkov won a face-off in the right circle. Jonathan Huberdeau had the puck in the right corner and centered it where Barkov put in a shot from the doorstep for his 18th goal of the season.
     Toronto(31-23-14) did not have a shot on goal for almost the first eight minutes of the game. The Panthers then scored a shorthanded goal on the Maple Leafs first power-play opportunity at 10:37. Derek MacKenzie flipped the puck out of the Panthers zone. Colton Sceviour picked up the puck in the neutral zone, skated in on a breakaway and put a forehand shot past Frederick Andersen for the Cats seventh shorthanded tally of the season.
     The Maple Leafs had better fortune during their second power play and converted at 13:36. Mark Pysyk had a clearing pass deflected back into his own zone. William Nylander placed a cross-ice pass from the left circle to the right circle where Leo Komarov scored on a one-time slap shot by former Toronto goalie James Reimer.
     Florida responded and regained a two-goal lead less than one minute later at the 14:21 mark. Thomas Vanek made a drop pass at the top of the Leafs zone and Jonathan Marchessault threw a wrist shot from the blue line which went in.
     The Panthers had three goals on their first six shots of the contest and eight shots during the first period. It led the Maple Leafs to replace Andersen in net before the second period with Curtis McElhinney.
     In the second period, the Cats continued their momentum to go up 4-1 at 4:38. Vanek faked a shot from the left circle and passed to Barkov in the high slot. He slowly fed Marchessault in the low slot and he found the open net for his second game of the contest.
     Florida added another tally with 3:38 left in the frame to make it 5-1. Keith Yandle made a lead pass from his own zone to Reilly Smith at the Maple Leafs blue line. He skated through the left circle, snapped a shot on goal, get his own rebound and scored his 11th goal of the year.
     Toronto cut the deficit to 5-2 with 1:41 remaining in the second as Nikita Soshnikov swept in and scored on a rebound from the crease area. Matt Martin and Brian Boyle were credited with assists on the play.
     The Panthers ended the period with a power-play goal with 26.2 seconds to go for a four-goal gap. Vanek was in the slot and connected a pass to his left and Jussi Jokinen scored on a wrist shot.
     The third period saw Florida extend their lead to 7-2 at the 2:27 mark. Vanek sent a cross-ice pass from the right circle to the left circle and Yandle fired a slap shot on net.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Local Sports Shows On Talkers List

     Several local sports radio shows appeared on Talkers annual list of the top 100 programs in the United States. It was the fifth year that organization had this list.
     790 The Ticket WAXY-AM had one show. The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz appeared in the number 6 spot. The program was also credited as the top show on ESPN Radio.
     Miami Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM had two of their programs show up on the national list. The Joe Rose Show was listed as number 57 while their afternoon show with Marc Hochman, Channing Crowder and Zach Krantz finished at number 60.
     Former South Florida on-air talent also were mentioned. Dan Sileo was at number 31 and Scott Kaplan was at number 65. Both of them work at the same radio station XEPRS-AM in San Diego.

640 Sports Drops Raineri And Zemach

     640 Fox Sports South Florida WMEN-AM has eliminated their local morning show hosted by Joe Raineri and Steve Zemach. They have hosted the program since January 2016 and their final show was last week. Alpha Media became the new owner of the radio station in February and plans to use the entire national lineup of Fox Sports Radio.
     Raineri began at WMEN as an afternoon host in November 2014 and was shifted to the midday slot in May 2015. He returned to the afternoon shift in August 2015 and held in for four more months until he joined Zemach for morning drive. Raineri, who also hosted a Sunday late morning NFL show last year, previously worked three years as a morning co-host at WRMF-FM in West Palm Beach prior to joining 640 Sports.
     Zemach joined WMEN in the middle of 2013 as an associate morning producer of the Sid Rosenberg Show. He was later elevated to morning producer of that program. Zemach was promoted to morning co-host at 640 Sports in January 2016. He previously was employed at Sports Radio 560 WQAM-AM as an associate producer for the afternoon show with Rosenberg and Miami Marlins reporter.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pacers Race By Heat

     The Miami Heat fell to the Indiana Pacers 102-98 at Conseco Field House on Sunday night. The Heat ended a four-game winning streak and had a chance to get into a playoff spot with a victory.
     Indiana(34-32) roared out to a 32-22 margin after one quarter and were up 60-53 at halftime. Miami(32-35) stayed with them during the second half and trailed 83-75 after three quarters. The Heat made a run during the fourth and were ahead 96-95 with three minutes to go. The Pacers scored seven straight points in the final two minutes of play to put the contest away.
     Hassan Whiteside led the Heat as he compiled a double-double of 26 points and 21 rebounds while Dion Waiters added 20 points. Paul George had a game-high 28 points for Indiana.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Lightning Get By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers were barely beaten by the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 at Amalie Arena on Saturday night. The Cats have lost five consecutive games and eight of their last nine.
     Florida(29-27-11) compiled two goals during the first period. Jaromir Jagr scored in his second straight game at 16:32. It was his 16th goal this season and 763rd NHL goal. Mark Pysyk also put in a tally in his second consecutive game with 47 seconds left in the first.
     Tampa Bay(32-26-9) battled back with two goals in the second period to tie it up. Nikita Kucherov nailed his 31st goal of the season at 3:43 and Yanni Gorde put in an unassisted goal at 10:11.
     In the third period, the Bolts took the eventual lead with 2:23 remaining. Ondrej Palat scored the go-ahead goal to give the victory to the Lightning.

Heat Drop Raptors

     The Miami Heat held off the Toronto Raptors 104-89 at American Airlines Arena on Saturday night. The Heat have won 21 of their last 25 games.
     Miami(32-34) was able to get out to a 32-26 lead after one quarter and were up 59-41 at halftime. Toronto(38-27) could not climb out of the hold and trailed 85-63 after three quarters. Dion Waiters had a team-high 20 points for the Heat.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Wild Overcome Panthers

     The Florida Panthers finished a three-game homestand with a 7-4 defeat to the Minnesota Wild on Friday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers have lost seven of their last eight games overall and seven of their last eight contests in Sunrise.
     Minnesota(43-17-6), who entered the game with the best record in the Western Conference, waited until 7:50 into the first period to take the lead 1-0. Jonas Brodin fired a slapshot from the top of the zone and it was redirected in by Jason Zucker from the slot area past James Reimer.
     Florida(29-26-11) would get a tally during their first power play and tie it 1-1 at the 14:22 mark. Keith Yandle put a pass from the blue line to Jonathan Marchessault at the top left circle. He released a shot which was saved by Darcy Kuemper, however Marchessault raced forward and poked in the rebound from the top of the crease for his 20th goal of the season.
     The Panthers took their first lead with 1:49 left in the frame. Vincent Trocheck backhanded a pass from the right point to the middle. Mark Pysyk skated toward the high slot and scored on a high wrist shot for his third goal of the campaign.
     In the second period, the Wild climbed back to make it 2-2 at 8:07. Eric Staal poke-checked the puck down the right-wing wall to Nino Niederreiter. He returned it back to Staal who snapped in a shot for his 20th tally of the year.
     Minnesota put up a series of three close-range shots from the edge of the crease on Reimer. The first two by Zach Parise and Martin Hanzal were stopped, but the third one was lifted in by Jason Pominville at 10:08.
      The Cats responded quickly and tied it 3-3 just 61 seconds later. Trocheck moved the puck to Jaromir Jagr in the low left circle. He carried it around the Wild cage and shot it from the low right circle. It was the 15th tally for Jagr and his 762nd NHL goal.
     Devan Dubnyk replaced Kuemper in goal for the Wild to begin the third period. He had a tough time when he was unable to handle the puck behind the net after a dump in by Pysyk. It bounced out to Aleksander Barkov in the low slot and he put it into the open net at 2:57.
     Minnesota came back at the 5:24 mark to make it 4-4. Marco Scandella backhanded a shot from the right circle which was saved and Staal scored on the rebound from the crease for his second tally of the contest.
     The Wild would go ahead 5-4 with 5:07 remaining in the third. Jared Spurgeon made a cross-ice pass from the right point to Brodin on the left point. His shot went through traffic and landed in the blue paint. Parise stepped up and scored on a short shot. Granlund added an empty-net goal with 1:10 to go and Charlie Coyle scored one with 2.5 seconds left to make it a three-goal margin.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dolphins Acquire Julius Thomas

     Tbe Miami Dolphins acquired tight end Julius Thomas from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a 2017 seventh-round pick. Thomas played the last two seasons with the Jaguars. He had 30 receptions for 281 yards and four touchdowns in nine games last season.
     Thomas was with the Denver Broncos from 2011 until 2014 and helped that club become AFC Champions in 2013. He had his best NFL season in 2013 when he got 65 catches for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Reshad Jones Signs Extension

     Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones has signed a contract extension with the club. It is a five-year deal worth $60 million and $35 million of it is guaranteed.
     Jones played just six games last season and missed most of the campaign due to a torn rotator cuff. He had his best season with the Fins in 2015 when he had five interceptions and 106 tackles. Jones joined the Dolphins in 2010 and played 94 games in his seven-year NFL career.

Anthony Fasano Returns To The Dolphins

     Tight end Anthony Fasano has signed with the Miami Dolphins. It will be his second tenure with the franchise.
     Fasano played with the Dolphins from 2008 until 2012 and helped the club win the AFC East Division in 2008. He had 177 receptions for 2,104 yards and 23 touchdowns in five seasons.
     He entered the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 2006 and played there for two seasons. After his in Miami, Fasano was with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013 to 2014 and the Tennessee Titans from 2015 until 2016.

Andre Branch Stays With Dolphins

     Defensive end Andre Branch has signed a multi-year contract to remain with the Miami Dolphins. He joined the club in 2016, played in 16 games and was second on the team behind Cameron Wake with 5.5 sacks last season.
     Branch entered the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012. He played four seasons with the Jaguars until he signed with the Fins as a free agent.

Dolphins Sign Kenny Stills

     The Miami Dolphins have resigned wide receiver Kenny Stills to a four-year, 32 million dollar contract in which 20 million of it is guaranteed. He was eligible to be a free agent this year.
     Stills started in 16 games last season for the Dolphins and had 42 catches for 726 yards along with nine touchdowns. He joined the NFL in 2013 with the New Orleans and later was traded to the Fins in March 2015.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Heat Escape Hornets

     The Heat returned to Miami and got by the Charlotte Hornets 108-101 at American Airlines Arena on Wednesday night. The Heat extended their winning streak to three games and are half-a-game behind the Chicago Bulls for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
     Miami have won 20 of their last 24 games. They have been victorious in 12 of their last 13 games at home.
     Charlotte(28-35) raced out to a 22-18 lead after one quarter. Miami(31-34) roared back and tied it 54-54 at halftime. The contest remained close during the third quarter with the Hornets up 86-81 at the end of the frame. The Heat responded with a 15-3 run to began the fourth quarter and pulled away.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Olli Jokinen Retires

     Olli Jokinen retired as a Florida Panther on Tuesday prior the Panthers game against the New York Rangers. Jokinen had not played in a National Hockey League game since the 2014-15 season.
     Jokinen played eight seasons with Florida from 2000-01 until 2007-08. He finished as the Panthers all-time leader with 181 goals and 419 points in 567 games with the Cats. Jokinen was acquired by Florida along with Roberto Luongo for Mark Parrish and Oleg Kvasha in June 2000.
     He never appeared in the playoffs during his time with the club. Jokinen was named the fifth captain in team history and held that spot for several seasons.

Rangers Blitz Panthers

     The Florida Panthers played the second game of a three-game homestand and lost to the New York Rangers 5-2 at BB&T Center on Tuesday night. The Panthers lost their third straight game while the Rangers increased their road winning streak to five games.
     New York(43-22-2) moved out to a 1-0 lead midway through the first period at 9:25. Mats Zuccarello had the puck in the right corner and passed it on top to former Panther Steven Kampfer. He fired a slapshot from the right point which was redirected in by Chris Kreider in the right circle. It was the 25th goal of the campaign for Kreider.
     The Blueshirts extended their margin to 2-0 with 7:00 left in the frame. J.T. Miller skated around the Panthers net and connected a pass to Oscar Lindberg in the top left circle. His backhand shot was stopped by James Reimer, but Tanner Glass burned his former team as he got his first tally of the year.
     In the second period, the Rangers continued their momentum at the 4:06 mark. Brady Skjei sent a lead pass from his own zone to Kevin Hayes at the Panthers blue line. He skated in on a breakaway and put in a backhand shot.
     Florida(29-25-11) got on the scoreboard when Thomas Vanek scored his first goal with his new team at 11:20 of the second. Vincent Trocheck centered the puck from the low left circle which went off Reilly Smith and Vanek scored on a wrist shot from the slot area.  
     The Rangers regained a three-goal lead with 6:46 remaining in the period. Lindberg stopped at the right-wing wall and dropped the puck to Nick Holden. He skated from the right point and blasted a slapshot through a Glass screen in the crease. Reto Berra replaced Reimer following the goal for his first appearance with the Panthers this season.
     The Panthers were able to score on the power play at 16:34 of the third period to make it 4-2. Trocheck was on the left point and placed a pass ahead to Aaron Ekblad on the left wing. He skated through the left circle and snapped a shot by Henrik Lundqvist.
     New York scored an empty-net goal with 1:45 to go and put the game away. Rick Nash found an open Pavel Buchnevich at center ice and he shot the puck from the blue line.
      Lundqvist passed Grant Fuhr for 10th place all-time with 404 career wins. He also went by Martin Brodeur for most wins by a goaltender in his first 12 seasons.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Heat Surpirse Cavs Again

     The Miami Heat shocked the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in three days with a 106-98 win at the Quicken Loans Arena on Monday night. It was the second game of a home-and-home sets between both clubs. This time LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were on the court for the Cavs.
     Miami(30-34) moved out to a 29-22 lead after one quarter and extended it to 62-52 by halftime. Cleveland(42-20) were unable to gain ground and were down 89-71 after three quarters. The Cavs did outscore the Heat by 10 points in the fourth.
     Dion Waiters led the Heat with 29 points and Goran Dragic added 21 points. James compiled a double-double for the Cavaliers with 30 points and 17 rebounds while Irving got a game-high 32 points.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Heat Shock LeBronless Cavs

     The Miami Heat surprised the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers with a 120-92 victory on Saturday night at American Airlines Arena. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving did not play in the game even though they were eligible.
     This is part of a home-and-home series with the Heat visiting Cleveland on Monday night. The Cavs entered the contest with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
     Both clubs came out strong as they were tied 35-35 after one quarter. Miami(29-34) kept up the pace during the second quarter with 32 points and were ahead 67-51 at halftime. Cleveland(42-19) fell behind even more and trailed 101-75 after three quarters.
     Goran Dragic led the Heat with 23 points while Hassan Whiteside contributed a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Channing Frye had a team-high 21 points for Cleveland.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Stars Squeeze By Panthers

     The Florida Panthers returned to Sunrise following a short one-game trip to Philadelphia and fell to the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Saturday night at BB&T Center. The Panthers have lost five of their last six games.
     Dallas(26-29-10) got out to a 1-0 lead at 11:01 of the first period. Jason Spezza make a cross-ice pass from the left wing to Tyler Seguin in the low right circle. He found Jamie Benn all alone in the blue paint and he converted his 24th goal of the season.
     Florida(29-24-11) tied the contest up on their third power-play opportunity with 3:40 left in the first. Jonathan Marchessault made a backhand cross-ice pass from the left circle to Jonathan Huberdeau. He scored on a wrist shot from the right circle past Keri Lehtonen.
     The Stars put in the go-ahead goal with just 1:07 remaining in the third period. Benn moved the puck ahead to Seguin on the left wing. He centered it and John Klingberg fired a slapshot from above the right circle by James Reimer.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Magic Strikes Heat

     The Miami Heat fell to the Orlando Magic 110-99 on Friday night at Amway Center. The Heat have lost two of their last three games and are 1 1/2 games behind for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
     Orlando(23-39) drove out to a 33-25 lead after one quarter and were still up 60-53 at halftime. Miami(28-34) was unable to chip at the margin and were behind 85-73. Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside both had 15 points while James Johnson added 19 points.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Flyers Slip By Panthers

     Thomas Vanek made his Panthers debut as Florida was edged by the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in a shootout at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. It was the only road game in an eight-game stretch for the club.
     Florida(29-23-11) had to wait until midway through the second period to get a goal and they did it shorthanded at the 11:34 mark. Claude Giroux made a left-outlet pass out of his zone to the neutral zone which was intercepted by Aaron Ekblad. He skated into the Flyers zone, avoided a Giroux check and scored on a slapshot from the top right circle by Steve Mason.
     Philadelphia(30-26-7) evened it up 1-1 at 10:38 of the third period as Valtteri Filppula scored his first goal in his first game with his new team. Jakub Voracek dropped a pass to Brayden Schenn and he dashed into the left circle. He centered a pass and Filppula tipped it in from the crease area past James Reimer.
     The contest would go into a shootout. Jordan Weal scored on the Flyers first attempt with a snap shot. Aleksander Barkov matched it during the Panthers second attempt as he waited and slipped in a backhand shot. Vorachek got the game-winning tally as he scored with a wrist shot on the Flyers third attempt.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Heat Wipe Out 76ers

     The Miami Heat had an easy time on Wednesday night as they knocked off the Philadelphia 76ers 125-98 at American Airlines Arena. The Heat continued to roll as they have been victorious in 18 of their last 21 games. It was their largest margin of victory this season.
     Miami(28-33) ripped out to a quick lead and were ahead 37-27 after one quarter. The Heat again outscored the Sixers by 10 points in the second quarter and led 64-44 at halftime. Philadelphia(22-38) cut the margin slightly to 88-74 after three quarters. Miami began the fourth quarter on a 13-4 run to pull away with the contest. Tyler Johnson led the Heat with a game-high 24 points.

Ashley Cascio Astros Spring Training Voice

     Ashley Cascio began as the new game operations stadium host for Houston Astros spring training games at The Ballpark of Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach on Tuesday. The Astros had their spring training home in Kissimmee from 1985 until 2016 and moved into the new facility along with the Washington Nationals this year.
     Cascio, a Boca Raton native and Suffolk University grad, was a digital reporter and hosted midday minute game previews on Fox Sports Florida from January 2016 until January 2017. She was at one time an intern with New England Sports Network(NESN) in Boston.

Panthers Acquire Thomas Vanek

     The Florida Panthers made a move before the NHL trade deadline on Wednesday as they acquired forward Thomas Vanek from the Detroit Red Wings for defenseman Dylan McIlrath a conditional 2017 third-round draft pick. It the Panthers make the playoffs this season then Detroit would get the higher third-round pick that the Cats have from the Arizona Coyotes.
     Vanek has 15 goals and 23 points in 48 games this season for the Red Wings. Prior to that, he played for the Minnesota Wild for two seasons and compiled 39 goals in 154 games. Vanek was with the Buffalo Sabres for nine seasons to begin his NHL career.