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POSTED April 22, 2012 9:41 p.m.

HOCKEY

ALASKA ENDS STOCKTON THUNDER’S PLAYOFF RUN: STOCKTON . – Gerald Coleman made 30 saves and the Alaska Aces used a pair of first period goals to eliminate the Stockton Thunder, 4-1 in game five of the Western Conference Semifinal at Stockton Arena on Saturday. The Thunder, who advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the third time in four seasons, had their season come to an end at the hands of a pair of goals by Dan Kissel. Jesse Fratkin potted the lone Thunder goal in the second period and the Thunder outshot Alaska, 31-26. Alaska, in quest to defend their Kelly Cup title by moving onto the Conference Finals for the third time in four years, will await the winner of the Las Vegas/Idaho second round series. They responded on Fratkin’s goal with back to back tallies late in the period to put the game out of reach.

GOLF

CURTIS GETS FIRST TOUR WIN SINCE '06 AT TEXAS OPEN: SAN ANTONTIO (AP) — Six years later, Ben Curtis is a PGA Tour champion again.

His victory Sunday in the Texas Open didn't come easy. Neither did his words describing the redemption of nearly a decade spent falling from British Open champion to, this year, waiting by the phone simply for a chance to play.

His voice quivered, and his eyes welled up.

"It's been a tough couple years just fighting through it," Curtis said.

Holding off Matt Every and John Huh in a tense back-nine finish, Curtis finished with flourish by holing a 12-footer for birdie on the par-5 18th, sealing a two-stroke victory and his fourth PGA Tour title. His even-par 72 put him at 9 under and triggered a wave of emotions that Curtis said he didn't know were in him.

Curtis won $1,116,000 and a two-year tour exemption — a more meaningful reward after being relegated to a status so low that this victory came in just the fourth PGA Tour event he managed to get into this year.

TENNIS

NADAL BEATS DJOKOVIC TO WIN MONTE CARLO FINAL: MONACO (AP) — Rafael Nadal finally managed to beat Novak Djokovic in a final, thrashing the top-ranked Serb 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the eighth consecutive year and end a run of seven straight defeats to his rival in title matches.

Nadal was hardly troubled by Djokovic in this one and broke the Serb's serve five times in a one-sided affair on clay to win his 42nd straight match at Monte Carlo. It was his first title since last year's French Open and the 47th of his career.

RACING

HAMLIN HOLDS OFF TRUEX TO WIN AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY: KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The sun shined brightly on Denny Hamlin at Kansas Speedway.

At the most opportune of times, too.

Hamlin's car hooked up after the final pit stop Sunday, just as the sun finally broke through on an overcast afternoon, and he powered by Martin Truex Jr. for the lead. Hamlin then managed to hold off a late charge by Truex to win for the second time this season.

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