Obscure Sports Report (4/23/18)


PCL champ

Armenia Eagles Celebrate PRO Chess League Championship

PRO Chess League:  After two draws that kept extending a playoff, Zaven Adriasyan won in game three of his sudden-death blitz match with Wang Yue to give the Armenia Eagles the championship in the PRO Chess League.   The Eagles finished the regular season winning the Eastern Division with a record of 6.5-2.5.  They were the only #1 seed to advance to California, meaning they were both the Eastern Division champions in the regular season, and won the divisional bracket in the postseason. The opening round of the playoffs saw them cruise over the Estonia Horses 10.5-5.5, while in the quarterfinals they used their top-seeded draw odds to get by the Mumbai Movers after an 8-8 score.

AMERICAN ULTIMATE DISC LEAGUE (AUDL):  The Raleigh Flyers (3-1) continued img_2254their dominance over the Nashville Nightwatch (0-2) as they took advantage of crucial turnovers by the Nightwatch in the third quarter to get some separation for a 31-26 win in Nashville.  Jacob Fairfax went up for an incredible goal in between Nashville defenders as time expired before halftime to give the Flyers some momentum.  This was Raleigh’s 10th straight win over Nashville.  In the earlier women’s game, the Raleigh Radiance won in sudden death overtime over the Nashville Nightshade 15-14.

PBA BOWLING LEAGUE:  The Silver Lake Atom Splitters dominated their semifinal and final matches Sunday to win the Professional Bowlers Association’s Elias Cup for the third time in five years at Bayside Bowl in Portland.  The team of Jesper Svensson, Dick Allen, A.J. Johnson, Tom Daugherty and Chris Barnes won all eight games during the two-day tournament, capped by four straight victories in the finals against the Philadelphia Hitmen.

SOUTHERN PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE (SPHL):  Splitting the first two games in the SPHL semifinals, the Huntsville Havoc and Macon Mayhem needed overtime in game three to determine which team’s season would come to an end and which would move on to the championship series.  Both clubs were evenly matched, but the Havoc scored late in the third to send it to the extra frame and Peter Sikalis notched his first goal of the playoffs in overtime to send Huntsville on the SPHL finals.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE (AFL):  The Philadelphia Soul (2-0) unveiled their ArenaBowl championship banner in their home opener and defeated the Baltimore Brigade (1-1) in their home opener 54-49.  With only seconds left in the game, Dan Raudabaugh found Darius Reynolds in the end zone for the win.

AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE (AHL):  Matthew Highmore, Chris DiDomenico and Lance Bouma contributed three unanswered tallies to break a 2-2 deadlock in the second period and guide the Rockford IceHogs to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves in front of a crowd of 5,418 at the BMO Harris Bank Center Sunday night. With their win, the IceHogs now hold a 2-0 lead in their first-round Calder Cup playoff series against the Wolves, and are just one win shy of advancing to the second round.  In other series, Lehigh Valley 1, Providence 1; Charlotte 2, Wilkes Barre/Scranton 0; Toronto 2, Utica 0; Syracuse 2, Rochester 0; Grand Rapids 1, Manitoba 1; Tucson 1, San Jose 1; Texas 2, Ontario 1.

ECHL:  The Ft. Wayne Komets defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-2 at Cincinnati Sunday in game 5 of the Central division semifinals and eliminated Cincinnati 4 games to 1 in the best-of-seven first-round series to advance to round 2 against the Toledo Walleye.  The Komets rallied from a 2-1 deficit with three unanswered goals late in the third period from Jason Binkley, Phelix Martineau and Cold Sol in a span of 6:11 to take the win and advance to the second round series for the fifth straight season. Fort Wayne Goaltender Michael Houser earned the win making 16 saves on 18 shots.

FEDERAL HOCKEY LEAGUE (FHL): The battle for the Commissioners Cup got interesting on Saturday night as the Watertown Wolves pulled of a 3-2 win in Port Huron to even the best-of-five series at 1-1. Anton Lennartsson scored at 12:40 of the third period on a Wolves power play to break a 2-2 tie. The goal stood up as the game winner, disappointing 1,279 Prowlers fans in attendance at McMorran Place Arena.

NORTH AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE (NAHL):  For the sixth time in eight seasons, the Austin Bruins will appear in the Central Division Finals. After defeating the Minnesota Wilderness 5-3 on Saturday night at Northwoods Credit Union Arena in Cloquet, they took the Semifinal series, three games to one and will play either the Aberdeen Wings or Minot Minotauros next weekend for the right to represent the Central Division at the Robertson Cup Tournament.

UNITED STATES HOCKEY LEAGUE (USHL):  The Clark Cup is down to the final four teams as they square off in the conference semifinals.  In the Eastern Conference Semifinals:  Team USA and Chicago Steel are tied at 1-1.  Youngstown leads Dubuque 2-0.  In the West:  Waterloo and Lincoln are tied 1-1.  Omaha and Fargo are tied 1-1.

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE (WHL):  A night after a close Game One victory, the Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes got right back at it for Game Two and it was a close contest. Former Lethbridge Hurricane and now Swift Current Bronco forward Giorgio Estephan had a night to remember as he potted his second career WHL postseason hat trick in the most dramatic of ways, 4-3 in overtime.

AMERICAN ARENA LEAGUE (AAL):  Jacques Alston scored touchdowns the first four times he touched the ball to stake the Heroes to a four-touchdown lead and set the tone for an 89-20 American Arena League rout of the Upstate Dragons at the Crown Coliseum.  Darting and spinning his way through the Upstate defense, Alston had touchdown runs of 13, 28 and 16 yards in the opening quarter along with a 35-yard scoring reception. He added a fifth touchdown run from five yards out in the fourth quarter to cap a six carry, 68-yard rushing effort.

NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE (NAL):  The Carolina Cobras (2-1) opened their second home game of the season with a victory over the Massachusetts Pirates (2-1) 55-47. This win leaves the NAL with one undefeated team, which is the Columbus Lions (2-0).

INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE (IFL):  The Sioux Falls Storm faced the Cedar Rapids Titans on Saturday, April 21 at the Denny Sanford Premier Center during a week nine contest. The Storm came out on top 65-48 against rival Titans.

CHAMPIONS INDOOR FOOTBALL (CIF):  The Omaha Beef got back to their winning ways with an important win against the Kansas City Phantoms 47-41. Anthony Iannotti led the offense with six total touchdowns (3-running and 3-passing) and Chris Perry added two interceptions returning one for a touchdown for the defense.

NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE (NLL):  The Calgary Roughnecks swept the series with the Vancouver Stealth (4-0) with a 26-11 victory over the Stealth and tied a franchise record for most goals for in a single game.

COASTAL PLAIN LEAGUE (CPL):  The Lexington County (SC) Blowfish of the summer-collegiate CPL will be renamed the Lexington County Pancakes when the team plays the league’s newest team called the Macon (GA) Bacon during the 2018 season.



PRO Chess League Update


The wild and wooly world of PRO Chess just completed their three week of action on electronic chess boards all over the world.  After three weeks, here are the division leaders:

Atlantic Division

  • Philadelphia Inventors (3-0)
  • Montclair Sopranos (3-0)

Pacific Division

  • San Diego Surfers (3-0)

Central Division

  • Cannes Blockbusters (3-0)

Eastern Division

  • Budapest Gambit (3-0)
  • Gorky Stormbringers (3-0)

The Cannes Blockbusters won against the Marseille Migraines last week and surged a half-point ahead after a competitive match with the Dublin Desperados.  The Desperados added former World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov to their lineup to replace Sebastian Maze, who is currently playing in the Gibraltar Chess Festival.  Although Cannes won the match, Ponomariov won the most dramatic game of the day as he found a nasty move against Flavio Perez in the last round.

The PRO Chess league plays each Wednesday.  Games can be seen on Chess.com/tv.


PRO Chess League Season Checkmates Today


Are you ready for some….chess?

I know.  I can’t contain my excitement either.  Although there won’t be crazed fans packing sports arenas for this league, this is a serious sport as the PRO Chess League begins their matches today for the start of the 2017 season.

The Professional Rapid Online Chess League evolved from what was the United States Chess League (USCL) which was an online chess league for the past 10 years.  PRO Chess will have faster time controls, provide more flexibility in forming and managing teams and allow “free agent” acquisitions from all over the world.

The league features 48 teams from five continents and top players such as Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.  Names that will make you forget Tom Brady and Ezekiel Elliott.

Okay, maybe not but these are some big names in this league.   The league is aligned into Blue, Red, Green and Orange Divisions:






Blue Division (Eastern North America and South America)

  • Atlanta Kings
  • Buenos Aires Krakens
  • Carolina Cobras
  • Columbus Cardinals
  • Miami Champions
  • Montreal ChessBrahs
  • New Jersey Knockouts
  • New York Knights
  • Patagonia Penguins
  • Philadelphia Inventors
  • Toronto Dragons
  • Montclair Sopranos

Red Division (Western North America)

  • Dallas Destiny
  • Minnesota Blizzard
  • Portland Rain
  • Rio Grande Ospreys
  • San Diego Surfers
  • San Francisco Mechanics
  • San Jose Hackers
  • Seattle Sluggers
  • St. Louis Arch Bishops
  • Webster Windmills
  • Las Vegas Desert Rats
  • Pittsburgh Pawngrabbers

Green Division (Western Europe and Africa)

  • Abuja Rockstars
  • Amsterdam Mosquitoes
  • Apeldoorn Apes
  • Cannes Blockbusters
  • Dublin Desperados
  • Hamburg Swashbucklers
  • London Towers
  • Stockholm Snowballs
  • Reykjavik Puffins
  • London Lions
  • Lagos Leatherbacks
  • Marseille Migraines

Orange Division (Eastern Europe and Asia)

  • Belgrade Sparrows
  • Budapest Gambit
  • Delhi Dynamite
  • Gorky Stormbringers
  • Johannesburg Koeksisters
  • Ljubljana Direwolves
  • Mumbai Movers
  • Odisha Express
  • Riga Magicians
  • Shymkent Nomads
  • Norway Gnomes
  • Amaravati Yodhas

Teams will play for six weeks starting today through February 15th.  At the conclusion of the sixth week, the pairings for week seven will be made to ensure that teams fighting for playoff spots will face off against each other in order to provide the most balanced matches for playoff positions.

All matches will be covered live on http://www.chess.com/TV beginning at 11 a.m. EST.