TAMPA BAY SPORTS WEEK IN REVIEW – SEPTEMBER 27
By Leo Haggerty

SEPTEMBER 21 TO 27

Huge week on the Tampa Bay sports scene.  The Lightning are playing for the Stanley Cup.  The Rays are in position to claim the #1 seed in the American League playoff picture.  The Bucs have a chance to remain at the top to the South Division of the National Football Conference.

Below is a recap of the week that was in Tampa Bay sports.  Enjoy.

LIGHTNING

MONDAY W 3-2
Bolts even the series at a game each.  Lightning jump out to a 3-0 first period lead on two power-play goals by Fs Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat along with an even-strength marker by D Kevin Shattenkirk.  G Andrei Vasilevskiy made that lead stand up.
ONE BIG THING – Tampa Bay F Nikita Kucherov.  Two more assists that brings the total to 22 in the playoffs.

WEDNESDAY W 5-2
Lightning score two quick goals in the initial 20 minutes then light the lamp three times in middle period.  Five different Bolts find the back of the net as Tampa Bay goes up 2-1.
ONE BIG THING – TB F Steven Stamkos.  Making his first appearance since February in what most people thought was ceremonial, the Captain scored the 2nd Lightning goal.

FRIDAY W 5-4 OT
Tampa Bay took a 3-1 series lead.  Shattenkirk buried a power-play bullet at 6:34 of extra time to put the Lightning one game away from taking home the Stanley Cup.
ONE BIG THING – Point.  #21 scores consecutive goals late in the first and early in the second to erase a 2-0 Dallas lead.

SATURDAY L3-2 2OT
Stars stay alive and cut the Bolts series lead to 3-2.  Dallas F Corey Perry scores the first Stars goal and then the game winner in extra time.
ONE BIG THING – Stars G Anton Khudobin.  Dallas netminder stops 39 of 41 shots to keep Dallas on life support.

NEXT GAME – MONDAY AT DALLAS STARS

RAYS

MONDAY W 2-1
Rays take the opener from the Mets in New York.  Six Tampa Bay pitchers hold NY to four hits and a single run.
ONE BIG THING – Mets SP Jacob deGrom. In 7 innings, the back-to-back NL Cy Young winner surrenders two runs on four hits and 14 K’s but gets no support from the NY hitters in taking the loss.

TUESDAY L 5-2
Mets even the series at a game each.  Rays score first in the 2nd but New York adds singletons in their half of the 2nd along with the 4th and 6th off TB SP Blake Snell.
ONE BIG THING – NY 1B Pete Alonzo.  Tampa Bay native drives in 3 with a homer and a 2-out single.

WEDNESDAY W 8-5
Rays bats come to life to win the series and the AL East.  TB plays long ball four times with OF Randy Arozarena going yard twice.
ONE BIG THING – Tampa Bay SP Tyler Glasnow.  Improves to 5-1 giving up two runs on three hits with 8 strikeouts.

FRIDAY W 6-4
Tampa Bay comes up with two in the 8th to take the opener at The Trop from the Phillies.  TB OF Brett Phillips goes deep to give the Rays the lead late for good.
ONE BIG THING – Tampa Bay RP John Curtiss.  Strikes out the side in the 9th to earn his second save of the campaign.

SATURDAY W 4-3
Tampa Bay takes the second game of the series.  Phils took the lead in the 1st but the Rays get one in the 4th and three in the 5th and then hold on for the win.
ONE BIG THING – TB RP Aaron Slegers.  Scatters 4 hits and no runs over the last three innings for his second save.

SUNDAY W 5-0
TB gets the sweep with a shutout of Philly on the last day of the regular season.  Rays finish with the best record in the AL at 40-20 and that locks up a #1 seed in the playoffs.
ONE BIG THING – Tampa Bay SP Josh Fleming.  Moves to 5-0 hurling six innings allowing no runs on four hits and fanning five.

NEXT GAME – TUESDAY AGAINST TORONTO BLUE JAYS

BUCCANEERS

SUNDAY W 28-10
Tampa Bay moves to 2-1 on the season with a victory over the Broncos in Denver.  DL Patrick O’Connor blocks punt on the Ponies first series and returns it to the Denver 10-yard line leading to the Pewter Pirates short-field score and setting the tone for the rest of the contest.
ONE BIG THING – Buccaneers defense.  Led by LB Shaquil Barrett, who recorded two sacks and three tackles for loss, Tampa Bay pitches a shutout in the second half.

NEXT GAME – SUNDAY AGAINST LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 

ROWDIES

SATURDAY W 1-0
Tampa Bay came away with a very important road victory over Miami in South Florida. That kept the Rowdies in 5th places in the USL with 16-8-10 mark for 58 points.

ONE BIG THING – AF Sebastian Guenzatti.  The native of Uruguay scored the only goal to give the Rowdies a hard-earned three points.

NEXT GAME – SATURDAY VS CHARLESTON BATTERY

TORNADOES

NO GAMES SCHEDULED

NEXT GAME – NOT UNTIL APRIL

BULLS

SATURDAY – AT FLORIDA ATLANTIC POSTPONED 

NEXT GAME – SATURDAY AT CINCINNATI BEARCATS