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.
The Obscure Sports Report is a weekly report of obscure sports leagues in the United States. An obscure sport/league is one that gets little or no attention from the media. Here is this week’s report:
American 7s Football League (A7FL) – The 2017 Championship Bracket is set. The Round 1 matchups will be: New Jersey Paterson U vs. New Jersey Savage, Pennsylvania Immortalz vs. New Jersey BIC, New Jersey Chiefs vs. Baltimore Kings and Baltimore Gators vs. Pennsylvania Dynasty. The games will be played on June 25th.
American Hockey League (AHL) – After an ugly 5-1 loss in Game Five, the Grand Rapids Griffins will attempt to clinch the Calder Cup at home in Game Six. Griffins goalie Jared Coreau gave up five goals in the first period. The third-year veteran will try to regroup this week against the Syracuse Crunch.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – Scores from last weekend:
Jacksonville 27, Atlanta 23
Raleigh 32, Nashville 20
San Diego 21, Seattle 20
Los Angeles 25, Seattle 20
San Francisco 27, San Jose 19
Madison 23, Minnesota 22
Montreal 16, Ottawa 13
Toronto 35, Philadelphia 28
DC 25, Toronto 17
Arena Football League (AFL) – Philadelphia Soul Quarterback Dan Raudabaugh became the youngest in AFL history to pass for 30,00o yards in his career. Raudabaugh now has 667 touchdowns and has a career record of 85-31. The Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators, 59-49, to stay undefeated on the season at 8-0.
CAN-AM Indoor Football League (CAN AM) – The Vermont Bucks defeated the Rochester Kings, 61-41, to win the title. Quarterback Steffen Colon threw for three touchdowns and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Cabrinni Goncalves ran for over 100 yards and scored two touchdowns. The Bucks’ defense picked off the Kings several times in the rout and returned one for a touchdown.
Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) – In the final weekend of the regular season, the Amarillo Venom demolished the Duke City Gladiators 70-41 and the Sioux City Bandits took care of the Bismarck Bucks 82-43. In other games: Omaha 43, Bloomington 30; Texas 63, Dodge city 59.
Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) – The Missouri Cyclones (4-0) remained unbeaten as they edged the Missouri Valley Pitbulls (2-2), 19-17. Impact East Division leaders, Tri-City Outlaws (2-1) had no trouble with the Gateway Spartans (0-4), 54-0. The Chattanooga Eagles (4-0) rolled past the Georgia Knights (0-3), 64-6. The Huntsville Rockets (3-0) blasted the Nashville Storm (0-2), 63-6.
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Arizona Rattlers (11-4) knocked off the Cedar Rapids Titans (1-14) by a score of 56-24 in their final home game of the regular season in front of 13,251 fans. With the win, the Rattlers extended their winning streak to seven games. Arizona’s offense was led by RB Ketrich Harmon who ran for 73 yards on 12 attempts and scored three touchdowns. Quarterback Cody Sokol went five-for-nine with 43 yards and two touchdowns.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Chesapeake Bayhawks attackman Josh Byrne was named the Cascade Rookie of the Week for Week 8. The Bayhawks fell to the Rattlers in overtime on Saturday night, 17-16. Byrne, 23, scored seven goals for the Bayhawks in his first game as a professional, the most goals in a pro debut since at least 2010. The Hofstra product sparked a comeback for the Bayhawks after a 21-minute scoreless drought by scoring his first goal on the man advantage. Byrne also had a highlight-reel goal as he successfully scored a one-handed shot while falling to the turf off of an illegal check. Chesapeake selected Byrne with the No. 19 pick in the 2017 MLL Collegiate Draft.
Major League Quidditch (MLQ) – Yes, believe it or not there is a major league for this sport and I found the information on the season. Scores from last weekend: Boston Night Raiders defeated New York Titans 130-40, 190-70 and 201-90. Austin Outlaws over Kansas City Stampede 190-20, 200-20, 220-60. Los Angeles Guardians topped Phoenix Sol 180-80, 170-90, 150-50.
Major League Soccer (MLS) – Aaron Kovar scored in the third minute and Zach Mathers added a second-half penalty kick, leading the Seattle Sounders to a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday. Seattle jumped on top off a finish from Kovar that was set up by a pinpoint cross from left back Nouhou. Portland’s Augustine Williams would equalize with a headed finish in the 38th, but Mathers’ PK after a handball in the box in the 54th would prove to be the dagger, sending the Sounders through to the Open Cup quarterfinals.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (9-1) rallied in the second half to finish off the regular season with a win against the Georgia Firebirds Saturday night. The team hit the road and found a way to win as they defeated the Georgia Firebirds (2-7), 51-26. The Steelhawks sit in second place behind the undefeated Jacksonville Sharks (11-0).
National Lacrosse League (NLL) – Lyle Thompson’s pass to brother Miles gave the Georgia Swarm a 15-14 win in overtime against the Saskatchewan Rush to clinch the National Lacrosse League Champion’s Cup at Sasktel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The win gives the Swarm their first title.
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) – Nine different players scored for USSSA on Monday night as the Pride dominated the Chicago Bandits (6-3) by a score of 11-1 in game two of the series at JoAnne Graf Field. The Pride won their fourth game in a row and improved to 4-1 on the year. Chicago used a trio of singles in the first inning, including an RBI base hit up the middle by Sahvanna Jaquish, to jump out to an early 1-0 lead.
North American Soccer League (NASL) – Zach Steinberger of the Jacksonville Armada currently leads the league with six goals. The Armada has 19 points and in second place in the Spring Season standings.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – The league is currently on an international break but will resume the season on June 17.
Supreme Indoor Football (SIF) – This weekend the Cap City Bulls (1-5) from Austin, Texas will face the Cape Fear Heroes (4-2) in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The winner will play the Triangle Torch (6-0) for the league title on June 24th.
United Soccer League (USL) – The league hopes to have a team in Baltimore approved by the end of the year. USL president Jake Edwards told The Baltimore Sun that the second-tier professional league hopes to have the city’s prospective ownership group finalized by August and the construction plan for a new venue in place by 2018, with the team’s launch targeted for the 2020 season.
Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – The Rocky Mountain Thunderkatz will be in the playoffs for the first time in the team’s 7-year history. The team finished 5-1 in the Mountain West Division. They will face the South Oregon Lady Gades in the first round of the Division III playoffs. Here some of the other matchups for the first round:
Maine Mayhem at New York Knockout
New England Nightmare at Connecticut Hawks
Atlanta Phoenix at Pittsburgh Passion
Cleveland Fusion at D.C. Divas
Kansas City Titans at Minnesota Vixens
San Diego Surge at Los Angeles Warriors
New York Sharks at Philadelphia Phantoms
Miami Fury at Tampa Bay Inferno
Everett Reign at Sin City Trojans
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) –Chelsea Gray scored 24 points, Nneka Ogwumike added 21 and the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Dallas Wings 97-87 on Tuesday night.Gray and Ogwumike combined to make 10 of 11 shots in the first half for 24 points. They finished 15 of 18 from the field as the Sparks shot 57 percent. Candace Parker had 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Los Angeles (6-3), which avenged a 96-90 loss at Dallas last Friday. Los Angeles raced out to a 23-6 lead as Dallas went scoreless for nearly five minutes in the first quarter. The Wings were just 4-of-17 shooting in the quarter. Dallas rookie Allisha Gray hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter to pull to 36-28 and Kayla Thornton made the Wings’ fifth 3 of the second to get within five points, but Seattle closed on an 8-0 run. Skylar Diggins-Smith scored 28 points for Dallas (4-7), which has lost five of six.
American Hockey League (AHL) – The Calder Cup Finals are set and will start on Friday night when Grand Rapids hosts Syracuse in Game One. both teams are in the finals for the second time in five years. Grand Rapids defeated Syracuse in six games to win the title in 2013.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The current division leaders are: Raleigh (South), Toronto (East), Minnesota (Midwest) and San Jose (West). In games played last weekend, San Diego edged Los Angeles 24-23, Jacksonville topped Atlanta 23-20, Madison beat Chicago 21-20, Pittsburgh defeated Detroit 23-21, DC over New York 28-25 and Toronto blasted Philadelphia 31-18. Dallas will face Madison this weekend on AUDL TV.
Arena Football League (AFL) – The Tampa Bay Storm has acquired former AFL Rookie of the Year, Greg Reid. Reid played college football at Florida State and high school football with Lowndes in Valdosta, Georgia. The Storm hopes he will make an immediate impact this weekend when they host the Baltimore Brigade.
CAN-AM Indoor Football League (CAN AM) – Vermont Bucks kicker Carol Ojala has signed to play with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. According to the Bucks’ website, they are scheduled to play the Penn Chargers this weekend in a game that is billed as “Win or Go Home” for the two teams.
Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) – The Sioux City Bandits (9-2) have wrapped up home field advantage for the playoffs after their 61-55 win over the Omaha Beef this past weekend. Dodge City held onto their lead in the South Division by edging the Texas Revolution 49-46.
ECHL – Shawn St-Amant’s fifth goal of the playoffs led the Colorado Eagles to a 3-2 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays in the Kelly Cup finals. The Eagles now lead the series 2-0. Game three will be played on Sunday in Charleston, South Carolina.
Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) – The defending league champs won a tough game on the road as the Oklahoma Thunder got past the Mississippi Road Warriors 14-8. Ethan Sharpe tossed a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jaylind Brothers in the first quarter then Jerry Mathis had a fumble recovery for a touchdown late in the fourth for the Thunder. Current division leaders: Missouri Cyclones (Impact North), Oklahoma Thunder (Impact West), Tri-City Outlaws (Impact East), Starkville Steeldogs (Impact South), Nashville Storm (Xtreme North), Chattanooga Eagles (Xtreme West), River City Pythons (Xtreme East), Georgia Crush (Xtreme South).
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Iowa Barnstomers (11-2) pushed their winning streak to nine straight wins after a 64-12 blowout win over the Green Bay Blizzard (2-12). The Barnstormers will host the Spokane Empire on June 9th. The Barnstormers will try to keep pace with the Sioux Falls Storm at the top of the United Conference. The Arizona Rattlers (9-4) lead the Intense Conference after defeated the Nebraska Danger 43-33.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Rochester Rattlers attackman Jeremy Boltus was named the Warrior Offensive Player of the Week. Boltus scored the game-tying goal with just over two minutes left in regulation then got the game winner with 43 seconds left to defeat the Denver Outlaws 16-15. Boltus finished the game with four goals. It was the Outlaws’ first loss of the season.
Major League Soccer (MLS) – Toronto FC (29 points) and Sporting Kansas City (22 points) continue to lead their conferences. Toronto blasted Columbus 5-0 in their last match. Sporting Kansas City lost a 1-0 game to Colorado.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Jacksonville Sharks had no problems on the road at Corpus Christi with a 71-6 win over the Rage. The Sharks won their ninth straight under a new coach, Siaha Burley, after Mark Stoute was dismissed last week. The Shark’s pass rush was too much for the Rage as quarterback Jake Joblonski was under constant pressure the entire game. The Shark’s defense recorded two safeties as they built a 51-6 lead at halftime.
National Lacrosse League (NLL) – Game One of the Champions Cup will be played this weekend as the Georgia Swarm will host the Saskatchewan Rush. The Swarm are attempting to win their first title and dethrone the defending champions.
North American Soccer League (NASL) – Jacksonville Armada FC overtook North Carolina FC for second place in the Spring standings. Jacksonville defeated North Carolina 2-1 and gained some ground on Miami FC which played to a draw with Puerto Rico FC 1-1.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Here are the current standings: North Carolina (15 points), Chicago (13), New Jersey (13), Seattle (12), Portland (12), Kansas City (11), Boston (8), Orlando (6), Houston (6), Washington (4).
Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – The Central California War Angels (6-0) remained undefeated after beating the San Diego Surge, 34-12, two weeks ago. After having a bye week, they will close out the regular season at the Los Angeles Warriors (5-2). The Dallas Elite (5-0) blasted the Austin Outlaws (3-4) to remain unbeaten and will host the Arlington Impact (6-1) this weekend. Also in Division 1, the Boston Renegades (6-0) kept their record perfect after edging the Chicago Force (6-1) 25-24. The Renegades will host the Philadelphia Phantoms (4-3) this weekend.
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – Jewell Loyd (Seattle), Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles) and Elena Delle Donne (Washington) are all averaging 21 point per game to lead the league. The Minnesota Lynx are the lone undefeated team at 6-0. The Lynx dominated the San Antonio Stars 80-66 for their sixth win.
United Soccer League (USL) – Omaha, Nebraska could be getting a USL team as Omaha Storm Chasers owner Gary Green has tentatively agreed to lead an ownership group to bring a team to Omaha in 2019.
American Flag Football League (AFFL) – This is a new start-up league which plans to hold a pilot game next month in San Jose to feature its new 7-on-7 style of flag football. The league is looking for eight league-owned teams to start playing in 2018. Former NFL Quarterback Michael Vick is expected to play in the pilot game. The league will be unique in the ways it attempts to use technology during the game.
American Hockey League (AHL) – Both the Eastern and Western Conference finals are tied at 1-1. In the East, the Providence Bruins evened the series with the Syracuse Crunch with a 2-1 win in overtime. The San Jose Barracuda tied up their series on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Grand Rapids.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The leading goal scorers after Week 8 are:
Jay Froude (Dallas) 33
Caleb Denecour (Austin) 32
Jeremy Langdon (Jacksonville) 31
Jackson Stearns (San Jose) 30
Anthony Davis (Detroit) 28
Arena Football League (AFL) – The Tampa Bay Storm defeated the Washington Valor 53-47 on Saturday in Tampa. Storm WR Joe Hills led the team with 123 yards and three touchdowns including the game winning score with three seconds remaining. With the win, the Storm (5-1) keeps pace with the undefeated Philadelphia Soul (6-0). The Soul defeated the Cleveland Gladiators 64-46 as WR Darius Reynolds had seven catches for 85 yards and three touchdowns.
CAN-AM Indoor Football League (CAN AM) – The East Division championship which was originally scheduled to be played between the Vermont Bucks and Boston Blaze has been changed to the Bucks playing the Central Penn Chargers. The change is reported to be due to the merger with the American Arena League.
Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) – Tucker Milliken was successful on a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give the Omaha Beef at 42-39 won over the West Michigan Ironmen. The Beef trailed 39-32 late in the fourth quarter when Skyler Scott scored on a 5-yard touchdown run. On the next possession, Omaha defensive back Paul Robinson picked off a pass and returned it to the Ironman 6-yard line to set up Milliken’s game winning field goal. The Beef will host the Sioux City Bandits this weekend.
ECHL – The Colorado Eagles and Manchester-South Carolina winner will meet in the Kelly Cup final. Manchester forced a seventh game with a decisive 5-1 win over South Carolina on Monday.
Gridiron Developmental Football League (GDFL) – The nation’s largest semi-pro football league kicked off the 2017 season as the defending champion Oklahoma Thunder defeated the Mississippi Road Warriors 14-8. In a shocker, the Chattanooga Eagles used a ball control offense along with stingy defense to upset the Georgia Crush 8-6.
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Iowa Barnstormers (10-2) extended its winning streak to eight straight after a 50-47 win over the Wichita Falls Nighthawks (9-3). Kicker Kenton Chun connected on an 18-yard field goal to give the Barnstormers the lead. The Nighthawks missed a chance to tie the game on their possession as they missed a field goal try when time expired.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Chazz Woodson scored the game-winning goal five minutes into the overtime period as he led the Florida Launch to a 9-8 win over the Rochester Rattlers on Saturday. The Launch got their second win of the season while the Rattlers dropped to 2-3. The Denver Outlaws remain atop of the MLL with a 4-0 record.
Major League Soccer (MLS) – The Chicago Fire was named the MLS Team-of-the-week after three straight wins including shutouts against the Colorado Rapids (3-0) and D.C. United (1-0). The Fire has climbed within five points of Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference. Sporting Kansas City continues to lead the Western Conference by three points.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Columbus Lions attacked and destroyed the Dayton/Atlanta Wolfpack 77-0 before a record crowd of 6,425 on Military Appreciation Night. The onslaught started in the 2nd quarter, as the Lions offense got on track, and the vaunted “Black Shirt” defense systematically attacked the Pack offense series after series, creating turnovers, sacks, and locking down any attempts to advance the football passed midfield. The offense got on track as well with 4 TD passes by Darren Daniel, two to standout Tristan Purifoy, and two more to Greg Hollinger, who suited up in place of Durron Neal who is attending a CFL tryout. Joe Marshall added a 1 yd. TD plunge to make the score 39-0 at halftime.
North American Soccer League (NASL) – Miami FC defeated Indy Eleven 3-2 to maintain the top spot in the standings while the Jacksonville Armada FC lost a key game to North Carolina FC 3-1. The league plays a spring and fall season.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Barcelona has approved a developmental plan to add a team to the league. It will be the first European club to have a team in an American league.
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – The Minnesota Lynx (3-0) and Los Angeles Sparks (2-0) are the only undefeated teams in the league. Sylvia Fowles led the Lynx with 27 points and Maya Moore added 21 in an 89-87 win over the Dallas Wings. Elena Delle Donne scored 27 points to lead the Sparks to a 99-89 win over the Washington Mystics.
United Soccer League (USL) – The Tampa Bay Rowdies cruised into the next round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 win over the Jacksonville Armada U23s at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Florida. The U.S. Open Cup is a tournament featuring teams from all levels of the American soccer system regardless of league. The Rowdies will play either Miami FC or the South Florida Surf in the next round on May 31st.
United States Hockey League (USHL) – Chicago Steel defeated the Sioux City in overtime to capture their first Clark Cup championship in team history. Tyler Gratton scored the game winner 11:30 into overtime.
American Hockey League – The San Jose Barracuda and Grand Rapids Griffins are the first two teams to advance to the Calder Cup semifinals. San Jose eliminated San Diego four games to one and Grand Rapids made it by defeated Chicago by the same margin. On the other side of the bracket, the Hershey Bears lead the Providence Bruins three games to two and a chance to wrap it up at home tonight. The Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies are tied at three games apiece with the deciding game to be played tomorrow night in Syracuse.
ECHL – The South Carolina Stingrays kept the Manchester Monarchs from taking a 3-0 lead in the series with a 5-3 win on home ice to cut Manchester’s lead to 2-1 in the semifinals. The Toledo Walleye dropped their first home game of the playoffs on Saturday, losing to the Colorado Eagles 4-3. Their semifinal series is now tied at 1-1.
Federal Hockey League – Season completed. Danville Dashers are the champions.
Southern Professional Hockey League – Season completed. Macon Mayhem are the champions.
North American Hockey League – The Lone Star Brahmas won the Robertson Cup National Championship Game with a 3-0 win over the Aston Rebels. Max Prawdzik stopped all 17 shots that came his way and Drake Glover brought home Tournament MVP honors as the NAHL South Division’s Lone Star Brahmas won their first-ever NAHL Robertson Cup National Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Sports Center.
United States Hockey League – The Sioux City Musketeers and Chicago Steel are tied 1-1 in the Clark Cup Final. Following Sioux City’s 5-4 overtime victory in Game 1 and Chicago’s 5-1 triumph in Game 2, the Steel will host the Musketeers in Game 3 of the 2017 Clark Cup Final at Fox Valley Ice Arena on Friday night.
Western Hockey League – For the first time in 40 years, the Seattle Thunderbirds are the league champions. History was made Sunday evening at the Brandt Centre in Regina as forward Alexander True lifted the Seattle Thunderbirds to an overtime win in Game 6 of the 2017 WHL Championship Series. The Danish forward scored 12:36 into the first overtime period, completing an electrifying comeback by the visitors. Co-captain Mathew Barzal was named WHL Playoffs MVP after registering 25 points (7G-18A) in 16 games.
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)