2016-2017 Hockey Champions

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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.

Obscure Sports Report

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:

  1. Jay Froude (Dallas) 33
  2. Caleb Denecour (Austin) 32
  3. Jeremy Langdon (Jacksonville) 31
  4. Jackson Stearns (San Jose) 30
  5. 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.

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Minor League Hockey Playoff Update

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.

JUNIOR LEAGUES:

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.

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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.

 

Minor League Hockey Playoffs

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It’s playoff time and here are the latest playoff results in the minor leagues:

ECHL (First Round – Best of 7)

  • Manchester Monarchs 2, Adirondack Thunder 0
  • Brampton Beast 1, Reading Royals 1.
  • Orlando Solar Bears 2, Florida Everblades 0
  • Greenville Swamp Rabbits 2, South Carolina Stingrays 1
  • Toledo Walleye 2, Kalamazoo Wings 0
  • Ft. Wayne Komets 2, Quad City Mallards 0
  • Allen Americans 1, Utah Grizzlies 1
  • Colorado Eagles 1, Idaho Steelheads 1

American Hockey League  (First Round – Best of 5)

  • Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. Providence Bruins
  • Lehigh Valley Phantoms vs. Hershey Bears
  • Syracuse Crunch vs. St. John’s IceCaps
  • Toronto Marlies vs. Albany Devils
  • Chicago Wolves vs. Charlotte Checkers
  • Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Milwaukee Admirals
  • San Jose Barracuda vs. Stockton Heat
  • San Diego Gulls vs. Ontario Reign

Federal Hockey League (Finals – Best of 5)

  • Danville Dashers 2, Berlin River Drivers 2

Southern Professional Hockey League (Semifinals – Best of 3)

  • Macon Mayhem vs. Pensacola Ice Flyers
  • Peoria Rivermen vs. Huntsville Havoc

Junior Hockey Leagues

North American Hockey League (First Round – Best of 5)

  • Aberdeen Wings 2, Minot Minotauros 0
  • Minnesota Wilderness 1, Brookings Blizzard 1
  • Aston Rebels 2, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 0
  • New Jersey Titans 2, Johnston Tomahawks 0
  • Janesville Jets 2, Coulee Region Chill 0
  • Fairbanks Ice Dogs 2, Minnesota Magicians 0
  • Lone Star Brahmas 2, Wichita Falls Wildcats 0
  • Corpus Christi Ice Rays 2, Shreveport Mudbugs 0

United States Hockey League (Conference Semifinals – Best of 5)

  • Chicago Steel 2, Youngstown Phantoms 0
  • Dubuque Fighting Saints 2, Muskegon Lumberjacks 0
  • Sioux City Musketeers 2, Des Moines Buccaneers 0
  • Waterloo Black Hawks 2, Fargo Force 0

Western Hockey League (Round 2 – Best of 7)

  • Kelowna Rocekts defeated Portland Winterhawks 4-1
  • Seattle Thunderbirds defeated Everett Silvertips, 4-0
  • Regina Pats defeated Swift Current Broncos, 4-3
  • Medicine Hat Tigers 3, Lethbridge Hurricanes 3