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.
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)
Here is this week’s sports news about sports you won’t see reported on your local news:
Playoffs are set in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) with the two-game divisional championships to kick off today. Here are the matchups:
Baltimore Blast vs. Harrisburg Heat
Kansas City Comets vs. Milwaukee Wave
Atletico Baja vs. Soles de Sonora
San Diego Sockers vs. Ontario Fury
Games can be seen on MASL.TV
EJ Tackett is the top bowler on the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) tour with winning so far in 2017 at $93,070. His most recent win was a 208-203 score over Tommy Jones in the finals of the FireLake PBA Tournament of Champions in Shawnee, Oklahoma. The next stop on the PBA tour is the Xtra Frame Reality Check Classic in Tamarac, Florida on March 18-19.
In the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL), four teams have clinched playoff spots. Macon, Huntsville, Peoria and Fayetteville have qualified. The top eight teams will participate in the postseason. The regular season will end on April 1st. Owners of the Columbus Cottonmouths, have announced they are selling the team. If they are unable to find new owners, the team will fold at the end of the season. The Cottonmouths have been in existence since 1996 winning three titles.
The Raptors 905 lead the NBA Developmental League with a 31-9 record. Other division leaders are the Main Red Claws (Atlantic), Los Angeles D-fenders (Pacific) and Oklahoma City Blue (Southwest). Manny Harris of the Texas Legends leads the league in scoring with 26.4 points per game. Harris is in his fourth season and played college basketball at Michigan.
Here at the current standings in the National Lacrosse League (NLL):
East Division: Georgia (7-2), Toronto (5-4), New England (4-6), Buffalo (4-6), Rochester (4-7)
West Division: Saskatchewan (6-3), Colorado (6-4), Vancouver (4-6), Calgary (4-6)
Saskatchewan leads the league in attendance with an average of 14,897 per game. Buffalo is a close second with 14,111 per game. Georgia and Vancouver are at the bottom of the attendance rankings averaging less than 4,000 per game.