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.

 

 

Obscure Sports Report

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Silver Lake’s Jesper Svensson scores overtime win over Brooklyn’s Parker Bohn III in PBA League Quarterfinals.

 

Here’s the latest on the sports leagues that you might not know about:

AMERICAN ULTIMATE DISC LEAGUE (AUDL) – The New York Empire (2-1), Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (2-0), San Jose Spiders (4-1) and Dallas Roughnecks (5-0) lead their divisions.  The Spiders won back-to-back games over the weekend beating Seattle 27-26 on a last second buzzer beater from Chuck Cao to Alec Surmani then topped Vancouver 28-22 the next day.  After demolishing the Nashville Nightwatch 27-8 on Saturday, the Dallas Roughnecks edged out the Atlanta Hustle 29-24.

NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE (NLL) – The Georgia Swarm lost their final game of the regular season to the Rochester Knighthawks 9-8 but still clinched the top spot in the playoffs with a 13-5 record.  The Swarm have a bye in the first round.  The Swarm also set a new NLL record for most goals scored by a team in a season with 266…..The playoff matchups for the first round:  New England vs. Toronto…Colorado vs. Vancouver.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE (AFL) – Philadelphia Soul fullback Mykel Benson moved into fifth place in AFL history with 92 touchdowns.  He scored three touchdowns in the Soul’s 69-34 win over the Baltimore Brigade.  Benson played high school football at Palm Bay (FL) Bayside and then Florida A&M in college.  He is a six-year veteran of the AFL having played in Milwaukee, Georgia, Orlando, San Antonio, Arizona and Philadelphia.

INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE (IFL) – The Wichita Falls Knighthawks handed the Sioux Falls Storm their first loss of the season with a 44-36 win.  Knighthawks QB Charles McCullum was 23 of 34 for 174 yards and two touchdowns.  The defense was also big for the Knighthawks holding Sioux Falls out of the end zone on seven of its 11 possessions.   It doesn’t get any easier for the Storm as they will host the Spokane Empire (7-2).  The Empire is atop the Intense Conference.

CHAMPIONS INDOOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE (CIFL) –  The Amarillo Venom lost their first game of the season, losing a thriller to the Texas Revolution 96-95.  After QB Nate Davis scored on a four-yard run with 41 seconds left, Amarillo kicker Jacob Felton was unable to make the extra-point.  The Revolution had enough time to move down the field as Revolution QB Chris Dixon hit Tavarres Williams on an 11-yard pass with 16 seconds left.  Adam Preden made the PAT as the Revolution held on for the upset win over the Venom.

NATIONAL ARENA LEAGUE (NAL) – The Jacksonville Sharks, a refugee from the Arena Football League, is off to the best start in franchise history after a crowd of 7,103 watched the Sharks beat the Columbus Lions, 37-28, to improve to 6-0.  This week the Sharks will host the Corpus Christi Rage.

ARENA PRO FOOTBALL (APF) – I had to look twice when I saw the scores this past weekend.  The Richmond Rough Riders blasted the South Carolina Cowboys 92-0 while the Birmingham Outlawz edged the Cape Fear Heros 6-0.

NBA D-LEAGUE (NBADL) – Raptors 905 defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 122-96 to capture the NBA D-League title 2 games to 1.  Raptors 905 coach Jerry Stackhouse was named the league’s Coach of the Year.  In his first season as a head coach, he led the Raptors 905 to a 39-11 record and top overall seed in the playoffs.  They also set an NBA D-League record with 21 road wins.

CENTRAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (CBA) – Bowling Green (4-2) avenged an earlier loss to Middle Tennessee (1-6) as they rallied from 17 points down with five minutes left when Fred Sturdivant scored with 1.8 seconds left to give the Hornets at 108-107 win.  Current standings:

  • Fort Wayne Flite (5-2)
  • Indianapolis Blaze (5-2)
  • Bowling Green Hornets (4-2)
  • Illinois Coal Miners (3-3)
  • Mississippi Eagles (3-4)
  • Baltimore Shuckers (3-5)
  • Middle Tennessee Storm (1-6)

WOMEN’S FOOTBALL ALLIANCE (WFA) – Here are the top five national rankings in each division:

Division 1

  1. Boston Renegades
  2. Pittsburgh Passion
  3. Chicago Force
  4. Cleveland Fusion
  5. Central California War Angels

Division 2

  1. Montreal Blitz
  2. Carolina Phoenix
  3. Columbus Comets
  4. St. Louis Slam
  5. New York Sharks

Division 3

  1. Toledo Reign
  2. Orlando Anarchy
  3. Richmond Black Widows
  4. Flint City Riveters
  5. Maine Mayhem

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (WNBA) – The WNBA will open their 20th season with the WNBA Tip-Off presented by Verizon on May 13 headlined by the Seattle Storm and Los Angeles Sparks matchup on ESPN.   The Sparks won the WNBA title last season.

PROFESSIONAL BOWLERS ASSOCIATION LEAGUE (PBA League) – Next Sunday’s semifinal round will feature the Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen against the defending Elias Cup champion Shipyard Dallas Strikers followed by the Live + Work in Maine Silver Lake Atom Splitters vs the L.L.Bean Portland Lumberjacks in the second “best-of-two-game” Baker format match. The winners will meet in the Elias Cup championship on Sunday, May 14. The Elias Cup finals will include singles, doubles and trios matches worth one point each, and a five-player Baker format team finale worth three points. In case of a tie, the Elias Cup will be decided in a one-ball sudden-death roll-off.

The Obscure Sports Report

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Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – The Denver Outlaws opened the league’s 16th season with a 13-12 win over the Charlotte Hounds in the first week of action.  Mike Bocklet led the defending league champions with four goals and one assist in the win.  Bocklet scored the game winner off of a rebound with 3:57 left.  Other scores from the weekend:  Boston 18, Florida 17 (ot); New York 15, Chesapeake 14 (ot); Ohio 10, Atlanta 9.

Arena Football League (AFL) – The Philadelphia Soul remained undefeated and alone atop the league standings with a 49-31 win over the Washington Valor.  Soul WR Shaun Kauleinamoku led the team with 12 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.  Kauleinamouku broke open the game in the third quarter with a 13 yard reception from QB Dan Raudabaugh for a 35-31 lead.  In other games:  Tampa Bay 62, Cleveland 61

PRO Rugby (PRO) – There is little hope that the league will return for a second season.  There has been a dispute between the league and USA Rugby in sanctioning the league.  There has been no schedule or any signs of the league’s return after a reasonable first season in 2016.  The league had five teams last year with the Denver Stampede winning the title last July.

National Lacrosse League (NLL) –  With two games left in the regular season, Georgia, Saskatchewan, Colorado and Vancouver have clinched playoff berths.  Georgia currently has the league’s best record at 12-4.  All of the other teams are still in playoff contention except for Buffalo and Calgary.

Indoor Football League (IFL) – The Iowa Barnstormers won their fourth straight game with a 31-25 win over the Cedar Rapids Titans in the “Iowa Bowl” last weekend.  The Titans pulled within 24-19 early in the fourth quarter when QB Brion Carnes found Franklyn Williamson for a two-yard TD pass but the Barnstormers came back and answered with a 7-yard run to extend their lead to 31-19.

National Arena League (NAL) – The Columbus (GA) Lions defeated the High Country Grizzlies 57-44 last Saturday to go above .500 on the season at 3-2.  The Lions have struggled after going undefeated last season and winning the league title in another league.  Against the Grizzlies, the Lions receivers dominated the game as Michael Reeve had 104 yards on 10 receptions and two touchdowns and Jarmon Fortson had six receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown.

Arena Pro Football (APF) – The six-team league has announced that it will merge with the Can-Am Indoor Football League in 2018 to form the American Arena League (AAL).  It will initially be split into North and South Divisions.  Here are the current standings in the APF:  Florida Tarpons (3-0), Richmond Rough Riders (2-0), River City Raiders (1-1), Savannah Coastal Outlaws (0-1), Birmingham Outlawz (0-3)

Champions Indoor Football League (CIFL) –  The Sioux City Bandits (6-1) and Amarillo Venom (6-0) lead their respective divisions going into this week’s games.  The Bandits will host the Western Michigan Ironmen (3-4) while the Venom will be on the road to play the Texas Revolution (4-2).

Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) – The Boston Renegades (2-0) remained on top of Division 1 after a thrilling overtime 26-22 win over the DC Divas (2-1).  The Montreal Blitz (2-0) defeated the Maine Mayhem 49-14 to stay on top of Division 2 and the Maine Mayhem (1-1) continues to be the top team in Division 3 after its loss to Montreal.

Central Basketball Association (CBA) – The Illinois Coal Miners ended Ft. Wayne’s 14-game winning streak with a 100-74 win in Danville last weekend.  Tyron Criswell lead the Miners with 30 points for the win.

NBA D-League (NBDL) – The Raptors 905 have forced a third and decisive game in the NBA D-League finals against the Rio Grand Valley Vipers.  Pascal Siakam scored 32 points to help the Raptors to a 95-85 win.   Game three will be Thursday night on ESPNU.

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) – Jess Fishlock was named the league’s Player of the Week after her performance in a win for the Seattle Reign’s 5-1 win over the Houston Dash.  Fishlock scored the first goal in the 18th minute and then assisted on a Megan Rapinoe’s volley to make it 2-0.  A rebound from another shot led to Beverly Yanez’s goal later to make it 4-0.  Seattle is currently two points behind the North Carolina Courage in the league standings for first place.

Professional Bowler’s Association League (PBA League) – The L.L. Bean PBA League will be playing their tournament over the next few weekends on ESPN.  The teams participating are the Dallas Strikers, New York Kingpins, Philadelphia Hitmen, L.A. X, Motown Muscle, Brooklyn Styles, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, and Portland Lumberjacks