Minnesota’s Lee Stecklein scored 49 seconds into overtime to give the Whitecaps a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Beauts in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) championship final. The Isobel Cup win comes in Minnesota’s first season in the NWHL.
The game was a defensive battle with both teams scoring goals in the first period. The Beauts got the first one on a power play goal by Emily Pfalzer. Minnesota tied it up just 1:22 later when Amy Menke scored on a breakaway. The goaltenders shut down opposing offenses the rest of regulation. Amanda Leveille made 22 saves for the Whitecaps while Nicole Hensley made 28 saves playing for the injured Shannon Szabados. This was the first time since the NWHL switched to a single-elimination playoff system that the final has gone into overtime to be decided.
The Isobel Cup Final was played at TRIA Rink in Minnesota which was the tenth consecutive sellout for the Whitecaps.
Minnesota finished first in the regular season with a 12-4-0 record then defeated the Metropolitan Riveters 5-1 in the semifinals. Buffalo finished the NWHL season in second place with an 11-4-1 record and shut out the Boston Pride 4-0 in the semifinals. This was Buffalo’s fourth straight appearance in the final. They won the cup in 2017.
The Isobel Cup is the championship trophy awarded to the NWHL champions. It is named after Lady Isobel Gathorne-Hardy who was one of the first known women to play the game and daughter of Lord Stanley. The National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup is named after Lord Stanley.
Alliance of American Football (AAF) – Announced that they will place a team in Salt Lake City, Utah when they begin play next spring. Salt Lake City joins Orlando, Atlanta and Memphis and will play at Rice Eccles Stadium, which is the home field for the University of Utah. The Memphis team has announced that former Chicago Bears’ great Mike Singletary will be their head coach.
AmericanArena League (AAL) – The Georgia Doom upset the Richmond Roughriders 56-44 in Macon, Georgia after the Doom replaced head coach Derek Stingley with Defensive Coordinator Gerald Dockery.
American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) – The Toronto Rush (4-0) held on to defeat the Montreal Royal 21-18 to stay undefeated and atop the East Division standings. Montreal drops to 2-3. In other divisions, the surprising Atlanta Hustle are tied with the Dallas Roughnecks at 4-1 in the South. Madison is 5-0 in the Midwest but Indianapolis (6-1) is right on their heels. The West seems to be wide open as 2.5 games separate the first and last place teams. The Los Angeles Aviators and San Diego Growlers are tied for first with 4-2 records.
Arena Football League (AFL) – The Albany Empire (2-2) defeated the Washington Valor (0-4) 53-42 on Friday night at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. in front of a crowd of 9,036. Empire quarterback Tommy Grady threw for 257 yards and seven touchdowns earning himself the game MVP award. Empire receiver Malachi Jones had six receptions for 120 yards and three receiving touchdowns, while chipping one rushing touchdown and earning himself Offensive Player of the Game. Terence Moore was named Defensive Player of the Game with six total tackles and a fumble recovery.
Champions Indoor Football (CIF) -The Omaha Beef made just enough plays to edge out the Bismarck Bucks in an offensive explosion 79-78. After a tough game last week against Sioux City, John Gibbs showed what he can potentially be for Omaha. A week ago, Gibbs had one touchdown in the air and two on the ground, but it was the three interceptions that hurt the Beef the most. Saturday night, Gibbs had eight total touchdowns (7-passing/1-rushing) and most importantly, no interceptions. Gibbs found receivers Daniel Mckinney, Brandlynn Clark and Jerimiah Eaton open all game. Mckinney lead the receivers in receptions (6) and total touchdowns (5), Clark added two touchdowns, and so did Eaton, with one of his touchdown catches coming with under 10-seconds left in the game.
Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL) – The online, fan-involved indoor football league has delayed their start date to the summer of 2019.
Indoor Football League (IFL) – The six-time world champion league leading Arizona Rattlers (9-1) defeated the Green Bay Blizzard (1-8) by a score of 62-26 at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Rattlers have extended their current win streak to eight.
Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – The Denver Outlaws fell 24-22 in a back-and-forth, high-scoring game to the Chesapeake Bayhawks on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Despite scoring a season-high 22 goals and rallying from a five-score fourth-quarter deficit, Denver was never able to overcome a Chesapeake 13-point third quarter and four two-goal tallies. Midfielder Drew Snider led all scorers with a career-high six goals-representing only the 20th six-goal game in Outlaws history.
Major League Rugby (MLR) – The Glendale Raptors were named the Major League Rugby Team of the Week the league announced today. The Raptors have jumped out to a perfect 4-0 start after a 31-27 win against the San Diego Legion. Facing a 21-10 deficit in the second half, Glendale used strong defensive pressure paired with timely stops to swing the momentum of the match. Down three with under 10 minutes to play, Raptors’ flanker Zach Fenoglio finished off a sequence of phase play with a try and the ensuing conversion proved to be enough for Glendale.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Columbus Lions stunned the Carolina Cobras 55-54 when Columbus quarterback Mason Espinosa found Durron Neal for a 19-yard touchdown pass as time expired then kicker Lindsey Wolfe made the extra point for the win.
National Lacrosse League (NLL) – The Rochester Knighthawks edged the Georgia Swarm 9-8 in the Eastern Division final while the Saskatchewan Rush knocked off the Calgary Roughnecks in the West final. Rochester and Saskatchewan will faceoff for the NLL title with Game 1 at Saskatchewan on May 26th.
National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) – Added the Minnesota Whitecaps to the league as their fifth team joining Boston, Buffalo, Connecticut and Metropolitan in 2018-2019. The Whitecaps were already an independent team which started in 2004 and played in the short-lived Western Women’s Hockey League in 2010-2011.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – The Orlando Pride (3-2-3, 12 points) earned a 2-1 win over Portland Thorns FC on Saturday afternoon, defeating the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) champions in front of over 17,000 fans at Providence Park. The match not only marked the Pride’s first win over Portland in Club history, but extended the team’s unbeaten streak to five straight games. Forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Christine Nairn got on the score sheet for the Pride, both putting in their first goals of the 2018 season.
Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – The Los Angeles Sparks and defending champion Minnesota Lynx will tip-off the league’s 21st season on May 20th. The league will again have 12 teams with the only relocation being the Las Vegas Aces which moved from San Antonio.