Around The Bases – Your trip around the world in sports for April 12, 2019

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The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.

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First Base - Local drivers racing in Vegas

Mike Lucas, Matt Dohm and Dave Kowalski from Fort St. John are in Las Vegas this weekend for the Lucas Oil NHRA Pacific Division drag race. Testing was yesterda, and time trials go today to determine the bracket for tomorrow's race. Lucas has raced three times so far this year, all leading up to the start of the NHRA Division 6 season in May in Boise, Idaho. Lucas will be looking to regain his championship after an off-season a year ago. 

Second Base - Raptors begin series against Magic tomorrow

The NBA Playoffs get going tomorrow, April 13. The Toronto Raptors, the two-seed in the East, will play the seven-seed Orlando Magic. Game 1 goes Saturday in Toronto at 2 p.m. The Raptors have a favourable draw in the playoffs, as they avoid the Detroit Pistons, who had Toronto's number this year, and the upstart Brooklyn Nets. If the Raptors advance to the second round, they will play either the Philadelphia 76ers or Nets, whom the Raptors do match up well against all things considering. The Magic might steal a game, or even two, but with everyone now healthy for Toronto I don't see this being a struggle at all. It will be nice to see former Raptor Terrence Ross get some time in the spotlight, however. 

Third Base - Canadian Corey Conners has strong start to Masters

The 2019 Masters began yesterday, with the second round starting earlier this morning. Near the top of the leaderboard, currently tied for 11th at -2, is Canadian Corey Connors. If you're not familiar with his name, that's because he was the last person to qualify for the major, and had to win back to back tournaments to do so. However, he's playing good golf, no doubt about that, and it will be exciting to see if he can keep it up. The leaderboard currently sees Bryson DeChambeau in first at -7, with Phil Mickelson second at -6 and Brooks Koepka third at -5. Half of the field has yet to tee off today. 

Home Base - Leafs surprise Bruins, Flames and Caps take care of business

The Toronto Maple Leafs played one of their best games of the season last night, in their 4-1 Game 1 victory over the Boston Bruins. The Leafs looked structured and calm, and played a great defensive game. They did allow 38 shots, and Freddy Anderson was terrific in net, but few of the shots were especially dangerous and the Bruins didn't look like themselves. Mitchell Marner had two goals to lead the team. The Washington Capitals took an early 3-0 lead in the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes, but let the Canes back in it, much like the Tampa Bay Lightning did against Columbus. However, with the score at 3-2 late in the third, the Caps withstood the Canes' surge and a couple powerplays, and got a late empty net goal to secure the 4-2 win. The Calgary Flames looked the best on the night, beating the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 despite not scoring for the first 37 minutes. Mike Smith had 26 saves in the shutout and looked great. 

Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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