2017-2018 Minor League Hockey Champions

MinorLeagueHockey2018The Toronto Marlies officially ended the 2017-2018 hockey season with their Game 7 win over the Texas Stars last night.  All of the cups have been won and here are the leagues and teams that have claimed their titles:

American Hockey League (AHL):  Toronto Marlies

  • Andreas Johnson and Mason Marchment each scored twice while netminder Garret Sparks made 29 saves at the Marlies defeated the Texas Stars 6-1 in Game 7 to win their first Calder Cup and the first men’s professional hockey title for the city of Toronot since 1967.

ECHL:  Colorado Eagles

  • Colorado defeated the Florida Everblades in seven games to repeat as Kelly Cup champions in their final season before moving to the AHL next season.  The Eagles rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the third period as Gabriel Verpaelst netted the game winner with 2:29 left.

Federal Hockey League (FHL):  Watertown Wolves

  • The Wolves defeated the Port Huron Prowlers 3 games to 1 to win the Commissioner’s Cup.  This was their second FHL title having won it previously in 2015.  Gavin Yates led the Wolves with six goals in the playoffs and was awarded the league’s MVP.

Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL):  Huntsville Havoc

  • The Havoc became the first fourth-seeded team to win the SPHL President’s Cup beating the Peoria Rivermen 2 games to 1.  Sy Nutkevtich, who scored a goal in each playoff game against Peoria, had 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in the postseason and was named the MVP.  This was the Havoc’s second league title.  They last won it in 2010.

National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL):  Metropolitan Riveters

  • The Riveters knocked off the defending Isobel Cup champs with a 1-0 win over the Buffalo Beauts.  Katie Fitzgerald was the game’s MVP as she held Buffalo scoreless.  Alexa Gruschow got the game’s only goal in the first period for the Riveters.   This was their first Isobel Cup title.

North American Hockey League (NAHL):  Shreveport Mudbugs

  • The Mudbugs came from behind to beat the Minot Minotauros 2-1 to win the Robertson Cup.  Cole Quisenberry tipped home the game winner early in the third period for the Mudbugs.  This was the Mudbugs’ first title in the NAHL.  The franchise had previously won titles in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2011 in the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) and Central Hockey League (CHL).

United States Hockey League (USHL):  Fargo Force

  • The Force won their first title in team history winning the Clark Cup over the Youngstown Phantoms.  The Force got a late goal from Ty Farmer and an empty net goal from Mark Senden wo win 4-2 in Game 4 and clinch the series 3 games to 1.  It took 10 years, 667 games and 63 playoff games for their first title.

Western Hockey League (WHL):  Swift Current Broncos

  • The Broncos captured the Memorial Cup for the first time in 25 years.  Beck Malenstyn put in an empty net goal to shut the door on the Everett Silvertips for a 3-0 win in Game 6.  It wasn’t an easy path for the Broncos as it took them seven games to eliminate the Regina Pats in the first round and another seven games to advance past Moose Jaw in the second round.  In the Eastern Conference final, they defeated Lethbridge 4 games to 2.

 

Obscure Sports Page

The Obscure Sports Page is a weekly report of sports leagues in the United States that are unique or get little coverage from the sports media.

American 7s Football League (A7FL) – The league will get national exposure on ELEVEN Sports Network on Sunday, July 9th for the A7FL Championship Game.  The league’s third championship game will be played at Palisades Credit Union Park.   NJ Paterson U, NJ Savage, PA Immortalz, NJ BIC, NJ Chiefs, Baltimore Kings, Baltimore Gators and PA Dynasty will begin the playoffs this weekend.

American Flag Football League (AFFL) – The league’s inaugural “test” game will be played on Tuesday, June 27th at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California.  The game will feature Michael Vick, Chad Ochocinco and Justin Forsett.   The league has advertised to be a modern version of flag football and will feature several technical innovations to the game.

American Hockey League (AHL) – Martin Frk scored the winning goal with 7:19 left in regulation to give the Grand Rapids Griffins a 4-3 win in Game 6 of the Calder Cup finals to defeat the Syracuse Crunch.  This is the Griffins’ second Calder Cup title in five years.

American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The league’s “Cross Coast Challenge” concluded last weekend with a high scoring game in Toronto.  The Rush overcame an early three goal deficit for a 33-27 win over San Francisco.  After trailing 16-15 at halftime, the Rush went on a 5-1 run to start the second half and never looked back.  The current division leaders are:  South-Raleigh (10-1), East-Toronto (8-3), Midwest-Minnesota (8-1) and West-San Francisco (7-3)

Arena Football League (AFL) – Philadelphia Soul running back, Mykel Benson, became the fifth player to rush for 100 touchdowns in league history.  He joined the elite group on his second touchdown in the win over Tampa Bay.   The Soul remain undefeated and on top of the league at 9-0 followed by Tampa Bay (7-2), Cleveland (3-7), Baltimore (2-6) and Washington (1-7).

roughriders

Richmond Roughriders win the APF title over the Florida Tarpons

 

Arena Pro Football (APF) –  The Richmond Roughriders won the championship over the Florida Tarpons 74-61.  On the game’s final play, Tarpons’ quarterback Chris Wallace rolled to his left looking for a receiver.  Two Roughrider defenders closed in on Wallace as he hurried the pass which was intercepted by linebacker Malique Johnson who returned it for a touchdown to end the game and give the Roughriders the title. Richmond (8-0) completed an undefeated season.  Although the Roughriders claimed the first title in the APF, it will be their last in the league as it is set to merge with the CAN-AM Indoor Football League to form the American Arena League but Roughriders’ owner isn’t sure about following the rest of the league into the merger.  Owner Gregg Fornario is considering other options including the National Arena League (NAL) and Indoor Football League (IFL).

Big 3 Basketball League (BIG3) – The inaugural season of the 3-on-3 basketball league tips off this weekend in Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center.   The league was created by Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz.  The league will feature eight teams with former NBA players.

Champions Indoor Football League (CIF) –  The Omaha Beef will face the Texas Revolution on Friday for the CIF title.  Omaha defeated the Sioux City Bandits 55-45 and Texas got past the Amarillo Venom 77-71 in the semifinals.

Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) –  Here are the current Top 10 rankings in the GDFL:

  1. Oklahoma Thunder
  2. Alabama Sabers
  3. Chattanooga Eagles
  4. Missouri Cyclones
  5. Huntsville Rockets
  6. North Mississippi Road Warriors
  7. Starkville Steeldogs
  8. River City Pythons
  9. Tri-City Outlaws
  10. Georgia Crush

Indoor Football League (IFL) – Nebraska Danger quarterback Drew Powell was named the league’s offensive player of the week after leading his team to a 59-44 win over the Wichita Falls Nighthawks.  Powell completed 17 of 23 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown.  He also rushed for 71 yards.  Sioux Falls Storm defensive back Rashard Smith was the defensive player of the week as he helped his team end the Iowa Barnstormers’ 11-game winning streak returning an interception 49 yards for a touchdown to give the Storm a 21-point lead with less than five minutes left.

Major League Futsal (MLF) –  Diablos Ensenda MX leads the Men’s Pro Division with 18 points.  The Women’s Pro Division is led by Alianza F.C. with 3 points.  Futsal is the official version indoor soccer which played without dasher boards.

Major League Lacrosse (MLL) –  Davey Emala and Will Manny combined for eight goals in Boston’s 16-9 win over the Outlaws in Denver on Saturday night. The win avenged Boston’s loss to Denver two weeks ago.  Boston goalie Tyler Fiorito earned the Coca-Cola Player of the Game after stopping 20 of the 29 shots against him. He made eight saves and did not allow a goal in the fourth quarter.  The teams were within a goal of each other at the end of the first quarter and within two goals after the second quarter, but Boston pulled away by outscoring Denver by a 7-2 margin in the second half.   The loss drops Denver into a first place tie with the Ohio Machine (5-2).

Major League Quidditch (MLQ) –  Boston (3-0), Rochester (3-0), Austin (3-0) and Los Angeles (3-0) continue to lead their respective divisions early in the season.  Austin’s Monroe Augustine leads the Individual Quaffle Stats with 12 goals and nine assists.    This weekend’s matches will feature Boston hosting Ottawa and Phoenix at San Francisco.

National Arena League (NAL) – The playoffs are set for this weekend’s league semifinal games.  The Columbus Lions (9-3) will travel to play the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (9-1) while the Jacksonville Sharks (11-1) will host the Monterrey Steel (7-4).   The Steel upset the Sharks in the final regular season game last weekend 44-37.

National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) – Here are the current standings for the league:

  1. USSSA Pride (8-2)
  2. Scrap Yard Dawgs (7-5)
  3. Chicago Bandits (9-7)
  4. Texas Charge (7-6)
  5. Akron Racers (5-7)
  6. Beijing Eagles (0-9)

North American Soccer League (NASL) –  Week 14 of the NASL Spring Season comes with another stern test of Miami FC’s title-winning credentials. Miami faces the New York Cosmos, who sit seven points behind along with the San Francisco Deltas in the table, on Saturday night. A win at Riccardo Silva Stadium would move Miami closer to gaining the Spring Championship. A loss, of course, would bring the rest of the pack a little closer.  The Deltas head north to take on FC Edmonton and the club has yet to lose on the road in league play. The other Saturday night kickoff gets underway in Cary as North Carolina FC squares off with Indy Eleven.  On Sunday, Jacksonville Armada FC hosts Puerto Rico FC as both sides look to rebound from conceding four goals apiece a weekend ago.

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – The North Carolina Charge are still on top of the league with 21 points.  The Charge will play Boston this weekend.  Boston is in 9th place in the standings.

Supreme Indoor Football (SIF) – The Cape Fear Heroes had little trouble with the Cap City Bulls in the first round of the league playoffs.  The Heroes ran away with the game 63-14.  Unfortunately, there appears to be no information about the next round this weekend.

United Soccer League (USL) – Trevin Caesar had a hat trick and a highlight-reel assist to lead Sacramento Republic FC to a 6-2 victory against Rio Grande Valley FC in the USL Game of the Week on ESPN3 in front of a sellout crowd of 11,569 at Papa Murphy’s Park on Wednesday night.

Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) –  In the second round of the playoffs:

  • St. Louis Slam 69, Madison Blaze 8
  • Orlando Anarchy 57, Cincinnati Sizzle 6
  • Arkansas Wildcats 36, Austin Outlaws 6
  • Southern Oregon Lady Renegades 46, Rocky Mountain Thunderkatz 6
  • Toledo Reign 22, Maine Mayhem 7
  • Boston Renegades 27, DC Divas 24
  • Chicago Force 45, Pittsburgh Passion 0
  • Dallas Elite 53, Minnesota Vixen 0
  • Montreal Blitz 49, New York Sharks 27
  • Tampa Bay Inferno 35, Carolina Phoenix 26
  • San Diego Surge 35, Central California War Angels 34
  • Mile High Blaze 28, Sin City Trojans 14

This week’s schedule for the third round:

  • Chicago at Boston
  • San Diego at Dallas
  • Tampa Bay at Montreal
  • Mile High at St. Louis
  • Orlando at Toledo
  • Arkansas at S. Oregon

Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) –  Glory Johnson recorded her fourth 20-point game of the season to help the Wings get their second consecutive win over the Stars, 81-78. Johnson ended the day recording her sixth double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Throughout the game, the Wings found themselves down by as much as 14, then were lifted back up when Skylar Diggins-Smith drove it up the lane late in the fourth quarter sinking a layup and a chance to make the 3-point play, when a foul was also called on San Antonio’s Erica deSouza. At the line, Diggins-Smith completed the play to give the Wings a one point lead over the Stars 79-78. The team sealed the win, when Karima Christmas-Kelly was sent to the foul line and sunk one to put the Wings up 81-78.  Three Wings players recorded double figures for the day. Diggins-Smith and Christmas-Kelly scored 16 points, with Diggins-Smith leading the team in assists dishing out six.

2016-2017 Hockey Champions

hockey champs 2

It is the middle of June and the ice has finally melted on the 2016-2017 hockey season.  Here is a recap on the champions of each league:

National Hockey League (NHL):  Pittsburgh Penguins

  • The Penguins are the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998.  The Penguins defeated Columbus (4-1), Washington (4-3), Ottawa (4-3) and Nashville (4-2) to win their 5th cup in franchise history.  Sidney Crosby was named the MVP.

American Hockey League (AHL):  Grand Rapids Griffins

  • The Griffins defeated the Syracuse Crunch in six games to win their second Calder Cup.  They defeated Milwaukee (3-0), Chicago (4-1) and San Jose (4-1) on their way to the Cup final.    Griffins’ forward Tyler Bertuzzi was named the finals MVP.  The Griffins are the top farm team for the Detroit Red Wings.

ECHL:  Colorado Eagles

  • The Eagles won their first Kelly Cup championship in team history.  Defenseman Matt Register was named the MVP to become the first defenseman in the ECHL’s 29-year history to receive the award.   The Eagles defeated Idaho (4-1), Allen (4-2), Toledo (4-1) and South Carolina (4-0) to win the Cup.  The Eagles are affiliated with the Colorado Avalanche.

Federal Hockey League (FHL):  Danville Dashers

  •  The Dashers completed the best season in Danville history by winning the Commissioner’s Cup after setting a new league record with 129 points in the regular season.  The Dashers defeated Watertown (2-1) and Berlin (3-2) to win their first championship.  Danville forward Gehrett Sargis was named the MVP of the Commissioner Cup playoffs with four goals and four assists.

Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL):  Macon Mayhem

  • The Mayhem won their first President’s Cup title in just their second season.  They defeated Columbus (2-1), Pensacola (2-0) and Peoria (2-0).  Goalie Jordan Ruby was named the MVP.

North American Hockey League (NAHL):  Lone Star Brahmas

  • The Brahmas were crowned Robertson Cup National Champions.  Drake Glover was named the tournament MVP to lead the Brahmas their first title.   Lone Star defeated Wichita Falls (3-0), Corpus Christi (3-2), Janesville (2-0) and Aston (1-0) on their way to the Robertson Cup.

United States Hockey League (USHL):  Chicago Steel

  • The Steel won the Clark Cup Championship beating the Sioux City Musketeers 3 games to 2 for their first title.  Eduards Tralmaks was the MVP with 10 goals and two assists in the playoffs.    His 10 goals are tied for the most in USHL playoff history.  Chicago defeated Youngstown (3-2) and Dubuque (3-1) in the playoffs.

Western Hockey League (WHL):  Seattle Thunderbirds

  • The Thunderbirds captured the Ed Chynoweth Cup for the first time in the team’s 40-year history.  Mathew Barzal was named the MVP.   Seattle defeated Tri-City (4-0), Everett (4-0), Kelowna (4-2) and Regina (4-2).    The Thunderbirds won a dramatic Game 6 at Regina in overtime to win the cup.

National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL):  Buffalo Beauts

  • The Beauts stunned heavily favored Boston Pride to win the Isobel Cup.  Despite a third place finish in the regular season, Buffalo defeated the Pride 3-2 to win the title.  Buffalo goalie Brianne McLaughlin was named MVP with 60 saves in the game.  The Beauts defeated New York (4-2) and Boston (3-2) in the playoffs.

Minor League Hockey Playoff Update

macon

Macon Mayhem claims the SPHL title.

 

Two minor leagues have crowned their champions.  Two others are still in the thick of their playoffs.  Junior leagues are also playing their playoffs as well but I will list those later when the leagues have their champions.

Here are the current playoff results in each league:

American Hockey League (AHL) – First Round (Best-of-five)

  • Providence Bruins 3, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2
  • Hershey Bears 3, Lehigh Valley Phantoms 2
  • Syracuse Crunch 3, St. John’s IceCaps 1
  • Toronto Marlies 3, Albany Devils 1
  • Chicago Wolves 3, Charlotte Checkers 2
  • Grand Rapids Griffins 3, Milwaukee Admirals 0
  • San Jose Barracuda 2, Stockton Heat 2
  • San Diego Gulls 2, Ontario Reign 1

ECHL – Second Round (Best-of-seven)

  • Manchester Royals 1, Brampton Beast 1
  • Florida Everblades 1, South Carolina Stingrays 1
  • Toledo Walleye 2, Ft. Wayne Komets 0
  • Colorado Eagles 2, Allen Americans 0

Federal Hockey League (FHL) – Final

  • Danville Dashers 3, Berlin River Drivers 2

Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) – Final

  • Macon Mayhem 2, Peoria Rivermen 0

 

 

Minor League Hockey Playoffs

hockey

It’s playoff time and here are the latest playoff results in the minor leagues:

ECHL (First Round – Best of 7)

  • Manchester Monarchs 2, Adirondack Thunder 0
  • Brampton Beast 1, Reading Royals 1.
  • Orlando Solar Bears 2, Florida Everblades 0
  • Greenville Swamp Rabbits 2, South Carolina Stingrays 1
  • Toledo Walleye 2, Kalamazoo Wings 0
  • Ft. Wayne Komets 2, Quad City Mallards 0
  • Allen Americans 1, Utah Grizzlies 1
  • Colorado Eagles 1, Idaho Steelheads 1

American Hockey League  (First Round – Best of 5)

  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Providence Bruins
  • Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs. Hershey Bears
  • Syracuse Crunch vs. St. John’s IceCaps
  • Toronto Marlies vs. Albany Devils
  • Chicago Wolves vs. Charlotte Checkers
  • Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Milwaukee Admirals
  • San Jose Barracuda vs. Stockton Heat
  • San Diego Gulls vs. Ontario Reign

Federal Hockey League (Finals – Best of 5)

  • Danville Dashers 2, Berlin River Drivers 2

Southern Professional Hockey League (Semifinals – Best of 3)

  • Macon Mayhem vs. Pensacola Ice Flyers
  • Peoria Rivermen vs. Huntsville Havoc

Junior Hockey Leagues

North American Hockey League (First Round – Best of 5)

  • Aberdeen Wings 2, Minot Minotauros 0
  • Minnesota Wilderness 1, Brookings Blizzard 1
  • Aston Rebels 2, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 0
  • New Jersey Titans 2, Johnston Tomahawks 0
  • Janesville Jets 2, Coulee Region Chill 0
  • Fairbanks Ice Dogs 2, Minnesota Magicians 0
  • Lone Star Brahmas 2, Wichita Falls Wildcats 0
  • Corpus Christi Ice Rays 2, Shreveport Mudbugs 0

United States Hockey League (Conference Semifinals – Best of 5)

  • Chicago Steel 2, Youngstown Phantoms 0
  • Dubuque Fighting Saints 2, Muskegon Lumberjacks 0
  • Sioux City Musketeers 2, Des Moines Buccaneers 0
  • Waterloo Black Hawks 2, Fargo Force 0

Western Hockey League (Round 2 – Best of 7)

  • Kelowna Rocekts defeated Portland Winterhawks 4-1
  • Seattle Thunderbirds defeated Everett Silvertips, 4-0
  • Regina Pats defeated Swift Current Broncos, 4-3
  • Medicine Hat Tigers 3, Lethbridge Hurricanes 3