Weekday Morning Sports Report – Monday 1/21/19

NFL – National Football League – Conference Championship Sunday
Los Angeles Rams 26, New Orleans Saints 23 – OT
New England Patriots 37, Kansas City Chiefs 31 – OT

Rams 26, Saints 23 – OT – Zuerlein’s 57-yard field goal sends Rams to Super Bowl
Greg Zuerlein kicked a 57-yard field goal in overtime to send the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl with a 26-23 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship game Sunday.  The stunning finish came after New Orleans got the ball first in the extra period. Under pressure, Drew Brees fluttered up a pass that was picked off by John Johnson III, who was able to hang on to the interception while falling onto his back. The Rams weren’t able to do much offensively, but it didn’t matter. Zuerlein, who had already delivered a tying 48-yard kick with 15 seconds left in regulation, booted through the winning field goal with plenty of room to spare. The Superdome, which had been in uproar all afternoon, suddenly turned eerily silent. It was the first home playoff loss for the Saints with Brees and coach Sean Payton.

Patriots 37, Chiefs 31 – OT – Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 OT
The New England Patriots are headed to their third straight Super Bowl, once more thanks to Tom Brady’s brilliance. The five-time NFL champion guided the Patriots 75 yards after winning the overtime coin toss, and backup Rex Burkhead’s 2-yard TD lifted New England past Kansas City 37-31 for the AFC championship Sunday night. The drive against an exhausted defense was reminiscent of when the Patriots beat Atlanta in the only Super Bowl to go to OT two years ago.  New England (13-5) benefited from two critical replay reviews and made its ninth Super Bowl with Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as coach.  Brady was intercepted twice while completing 30 of 46 passes for 348 yards and one touchdown. Sony Michel scored the game’s first TD and finished with 113 yards on 29 carries. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs heated up after netting just 32 yards on the opening half. The NFL MVP candidate finished 16 of 31 for 295 yards and three touchdowns.

Sunday, February 3
Super Bowl LIII – Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Atlanta, GA
New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams, 6:30 p.m.       106.1 & 1400 WSJM Sports 2:30

NFL – Super Bowl: Patriots vs Rams square off in meeting of Past vs Future
It’s never been so clear: This year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Patriots and Rams is a showdown between the NFL’s past and its future.  Led by 24-year-old quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams and their 21st-century offense will take on 41-year-old Tom Brady and the Patriots, who are in search of a record-tying sixth Super Bowl title. At 32, Sean McVay of the Rams (15-3) will be the youngest Super Bowl coach. He’ll be going against 66-year-old Bill Belichick, who is taking the Patriots (13-5) to their third straight title game, fourth in the last five years and ninth since 2002. That streak started against who else? The Rams.  Back then, though, they were in St. Louis. New England came in as a two-touchdown underdog and won 20-17.  The Rams open as a 1-point pick in this one, set for Feb. 3 in Atlanta.

NBA – National Basketball Association
Last Night
Indiana Pacers 120, Charlotte Hornets 95

Pacers 120, Hornets 95 – Pacers keep rolling with 120-95 victory over Hornets
Victor Oladipo scored 21 points and Darren Collison added 19 points and nine assists Sunday, leading the Indiana Pacers past Charlotte 120-95. Indiana has won four of five and improved to 16 games over .500 for the first time since the end of 2013-14. Kemba Walker had 23 points to lead the Hornets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Malik Monk finished with 11 points off the bench for Charlotte, which never led after Collison’s 3-pointer midway through the first.

Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers, 1:00 p.m.
Detroit Pistons at Washington Wizards, 2:00 p.m.

NHL – National Hockey League
Last Night
Chicago Blackhawks 8, Washington Capitals 5
Vancouver Canucks 3, Detroit Red Wings 2

Blackhawks 8, Capitals 5 – Toews gets hat trick as Blackhawks beat slumping Caps 8-5
Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists, Patrick Kane added two goals and three assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks handed the Washington Capitals their season-high fifth consecutive loss with an 8-5 victory on Sunday. Brandon Saad and Alex DeBrincat also scored and Dylan Strome added an empty-netter as last-place Chicago stopped its own five-game slide. Collin Delia made 34 saves, including impressive stops on John Carlson and Tom Wilson in the second. Washington’s defensemen accounted for each of its five goals while star forwards Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov were kept off the scoresheet. Carlson scored twice, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Niskanen each had a goal and an assist, and Brooks Orpik got his second of the season.

Canucks 3, Red Wings 2 – Pettersson scores in return from injury; Canucks beat Wings
Elias Pettersson had a goal and an assist in his return from a knee injury, and the Vancouver Canucks beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Sunday. The 20-year-old rookie, who ran his point total this season to 44, missed five games after suffering an MCL sprain against Montreal on Jan. 3. Antoine Roussel and Bo Horvat also scored for Vancouver, and Brock Boeser had two assists.     Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek scored for Detroit. Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 shots for the Canucks, and Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier had 22 saves.

NCAAMBB – Men’s College Basketball
(19) Maryland at (6) Michigan State, 6:30 p.m.                  Superhits 103.7 Cosy-FM 5:30

NCAAWBB – Women’s College Basketball
(1) Notre Dame 92, Boston College 63
(20) Rutgers 76, (17) Michigan State 62
Michigan 62, Ohio State 58

AHL – American Hockey League
Milwaukee Admirals 4, Chicago Wolves 0

ECHL – ECHL Hockey
Toledo Walleye 3, Fort Wayne Komets 2

2019 ECHL All Star Game, Huntington Center, Toledo, OH – 7:00 p.m.

MHSAA – High School Sports
Boys Basketball
Buchanan at St. Joseph, 7:15 p.m.         106.1 & 1400 WSJM Sports
Gobles at Lawton, 7:00 p.m.

Boys Basketball
St. Joseph at Berrien Springs, 7:00 p.m.
Buchanan at Bronson, 7:00 p.m.
Kalamazoo Christian at Galesburg-Augusta, 7:00 p.m.