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Last Week around the Leagues

by Fran Stuchbury
April 16, 2019 - American Hockey League (AHL)

Last week the Rio Grande Valley Vipers won their third NBA G League Championship, the Las Vegas Aces selected Notre Dame guard Jackie Young with the first pick in the WNBA Draft and Major League Rugby announced it will expand from nine to twelve teams next season. Highlights from this week are from the Arena Football League, NBA G League, WNBA, Major League Soccer, National Women's Soccer League, American Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, Pacific Coast League, Texas League, Southern League and Major League Rugby.

FOOTBALL

Alliance of American Football

So far 49 Alliance of American Football players have signed with NFL teams. Check out some more AAF numbers.

Canadian Football League

The Canadian Football League (CFL) announced that the rule changes proposed by its Rules Committee in March - which focused on protecting quarterback safety, increasing penalties for spearing and awarding coaches with a second challenge if their first is successful - have been approved today by its Board of Governors.

With the first pick in the first ever Canadian Football League (CFL) European Draft, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats selected France's Valentin Gnahoua. The one-round draft followed a year that saw agreements signed between the CFL and several European federations, and the participation of 18 European players at the CFL Combine presented by New Era in March.

Arena Football League

New uniforms unveiled for the six Arena Football teams this season:

The Albany Empire announce that the 2018 Arena Football League Wide Receiver of the Year, Malachi Jones, has been assigned to the team. Jones spent his debut season with the Empire and also won Rookie of the Year and was named First Team All-Arena. Jones was a member of the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football League. Playing in all eight games for the Legends, Jones complied 312 yards and two touchdowns on 22 catches.

BASKETBALL

NBA G League

The New Orleans Pelicans will be the seventh NBA franchise to call the Erie BayHawks its G League affiliate.

The Houston Rockets affiliate team Rio Grande Valley Vipers defeated the Brooklyn Nets affiliate team Long Island Nets, 129-112 in Game 3 of the NBA G League Finals, to secure their 3rd NBA G League championship in franchise history.

National Basketball League of Canada

The National Basketball League of Canada is pleased to announce that Braylon Rayson of the Sudbury Five has been named Most Valuable Player for the 2018-19 season. Rayson had a banner year leading the NBLC in four statistical categories (24.6 ppg, 1010 total points scored, 154 3-pointers made, 336 field goals made).

Women's National Basketball Association

All-America Third Team selection Jackie Young of Notre Dame was selected by the Las Vegas Aces with the first overall pick of WNBA Draft 2019 presented by State Farm, which was held at the Nike New York Headquarters.

Las Vegas Aces selection Jackie Young of Notre Dame on television:

SOCCER

Major League Soccer

Week 7 got wild and we saw 10 goals scored within a span of 10 minutes:

National Women's Soccer League

Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scores the first goal of the NWSL season against the North Carolina Courage.

HOCKEY

American Hockey League

The Cleveland Monsters sign 12-year-old Northeast Ohio resident Ryan Kutchta to a one-day NHL/AHL contract, fulfilling Kutchta's wish through the A Special Wish Foundation. on November 14, 2018, Ryan was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins T cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Because of the aggressive nature of Ryan's cancer, treatment also needed to be aggressive and to be implemented immediately. Over the past several months, Ryan has spent more time in the hospital than he has at home.

The American Hockey League has announced the 2018-19 AHL All-Rookie Team, as voted by coaches, players and media in each of the league's 31 member cities.

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

Goaltender Francis Leclerc gave all he had for the Moncton Wildcats with a 42-save performance against the Halifax Mooseheads that included this beauty:

Ontario Hockey League

Triple OT heroics by Tye Felhaber. The Dallas Stars prospect scores at 110:15 officially ending the fifth longest game in OHL history as the Ottawa 67's complete a second round sweep over the Sudbury Wolves.

ECHL

The Cincinnati Cyclones, in conjunction with the ECHL, have announced that Cyclones goaltender Michael Houser has been named Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Year. He is the first Cyclone to earn this award.

The Cincinnati Cyclones, in conjunction with the ECHL, have announced that Cyclones forward Jesse Schultz has been named the 2018-19 CCM ECHL Most Valuable Player. He joins former Cyclone David Desharnais (2008) as the only Cyclones to earn League MVP.

BASEBALL

Pacific Coast League

Finn the Las Vegas Aviators bat dog is just trying to do his job.

Inside-the-park homers = Straight hustle. Watch San Antonio Missions shortstop Tyler Saladino fly.

Texas League

With a name like the Amarillo Sod Poodles. You knew Amarillo's home debut would be fun.

Southern League

7th inning stretch? How about a 7th inning wave to the neighboring Children's Hospital of Alabama by the Bimingham Baron fans.

The Sioux City Explorers announce that Vice President/General Manager Shane Tritz will be stepping down from his position as of April 12, 2019.

OTHER SPORTS

Major League Rugby

Major League Rugby today announced a revamped, expanded format for its 2020 season, with three new big market teams, a two-conference system and 101 elite matches set to give North American sports fans unprecedented access to professional rugby in MLR Season 3. Bringing the total number of MLR teams to 12, the three new teams are the New England Free Jacks; Old Glory DC, in Washington D.C.; and Atlanta's Rugby ATL.

Pick 5 from NOLA Gold's Tristan Blewett against the Utah Warriors:

World TeamTennis

Beginning this summer, the six-time WTT champion Washington Kastles will play in a specially-constructed stadium on the roof of Union Market, the large gourmet food hall that has become one of the hottest and coolest spots in the city, located in the vibrant NoMa neighborhood and minutes from the heart of downtown.

Did we miss anything newsworthy or downright fun? Have a nomination for next week's column? Contact us today and let us know.


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American Hockey League Stories from April 16, 2019


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