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Mitch's Sports Report: Fourth Stanley Cup For Penguins, First Finals MVP For Crosby

The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, their fourth in franchise history, beating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 at the Shark Tank last night. The title is the second for Sidney Crosby, who was named the series MVP, and the first for Sid the Kid since 2009. 

A series of concussions in the intervening years and early playoff exits kept Crosby from raising the Cup a second time until last night. The Penguins opened the scoring on a power play goal by Brian Dumoulin, but the game really turned after the Sharks tied things up on a wrister by Logan Couture, a goal that sent the Shark Tank into a short-lived frenzy, because just over a minute later the Penguins took the lead back and for good on a brilliant goal by Kris Letang. The Penguins defenseman swerved his way through the San Jose defense, circling around and behind the net and keeping the puck in the Sharks zone before beating goalie Martin Jones short-side. Patric Hornqvist dashed all Sharks hopes with an empty-netter and the Pens take series four games to two. Even if you're not a fan of Sidney Crosby, former Boston Bruins coach Mike Sullivan may be a guy you can be happy for. Sullivan took over the coaching job for Pittsburgh midway through the season when the Pens were under-achieving and in danger of not even making the playoffs, but Sullivan gradually turned things around and by the time Pittsburgh hit the post-season, they were a juggernaut that couldn't be stopped.

Tonight is game five of the NBA finals and with a win the Golden State Warriors can secure back to back titles, but they'll have to do it without forward Draymond Green, who's been suspended for the game after a game four incident in which he kicked Lebron James in what we'll call a sensitive anatomical area. The suspension was not a judgment call. It was Green's third flagrant foul of the series and like a red card in soccer, three such fouls bring on an automatic suspension. But even without Green, the Warriors appear to be in complete control of this series, and playing at home tonight, it's likely that Lebron will be walking away with a third consecutive loss in the NBA finals.

The Boston Red Sox came close but failed to complete a sweep of the Twins in Minnesota yesterday, losing 7-4 in extra innings. Eddie Rodriguez got the start for Boston and was staked to a 4-0 which included a three-run homer by Jackie Bradley Jr., but E-Rod couldn't handle the good fortune, and gave up a three-run homer before being pulled as the game went to the bullpens. Errors by both teams made it a see-saw game that was tied at four after nine innings, and in the tenth the Twins won it on rookie Max Kepler's first career home run off reliever Matt Barnes. The Sox get a day off today before opening a series at Fenway Park Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles.

It was old timer's day at Yankee Stadium yesterday with retired greats Whitey Ford, Rickey Henderson, and Bernie Williams featured in pre-game ceremonies but it was Detroit Tigers rookie pitcher Michael Fulmer who stole the show, giving up just two hits over six innings in the Tigers' 4-1 win. Fulmer has now won his last five starts and hasn't given up a run in that stretch of 28 and a third innings.

In Milwaukee, the Brewers have  apretty good rookie ptcher of their own in Zach Davies, who struck out seven and retired 17 MY Mets in a row at one point, guiding the Brewers to a 5-3 win. The Mets didn't do themselves any favors on defense, committing three errors in the game.

Yesterday the Upper Valley Nighthawks topped the VT Mountaineers 6-4 in NECBL action.

The U.S. mens' soccer team got out of the group stage by defeating Paraguay 1-0 Saturday in the Copa mAmerica tournament and will next take on Colombia in the quarterfinals as the tournament moves to Seattle for the next stage.

Today a high school softball championship will be decided in division one when undefeated Essex takes on defending champion Mount Anthony.

Bobby Hackel and Vince Quenneville Jr. took respective first place finishes at Devil's Bowl races in West Haven yesterday, once the rains stopped long enough to make the track usable.

And at the NCAA track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon, Vermont native Elle Purrier took third in the 3,000 meter steeple chase.

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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