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Last Week around the Leagues

by Fran Stuchbury
October 13, 2020 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)

This past week the Seattle Storm became the second WNBA team to win four championships; Rimouski Oceanic left wing Alexis Lafreniere was selected first overall in the 2020 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers; the National Arena League team in Albany was named the Albany Empire; and the Indoor Football League team in Prescott Valley announced it will be known as the Northern Arizona Wranglers. Highlights from this week are from Women's National Basketball Association, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Major League Soccer, National Women's Soccer League, United Soccer League Championship, United Soccer League One, Canadian Premier League, Canadian Football League, Premier Lacrosse League, and Major League Lacrosse,

BASKETBALL

Women's National Basketball Association

Winning its second title in three years, and its fourth overall, the Seattle Storm beat the Las Vegas Aces in Game 3, 92-59, and swept the No. 1 seed in a dominant playoff run. Finals MVP Breanna Stewart scored 26 points, Sue Bird dropped seven assists, and the Storm ran away with the game early in the second half.

Breanna Stewart led all scorers with 26 points to lead the Seattle Storm to their 4th WNBA Championship.

After averaging 28.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG and shooting 62.75 FG% Breanna Stewart was crowned the 2020 WNBA Finals MVP.

HOCKEY

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that forward Alexis Lafreniere of the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic has been selected first overall in the 2020 NHL Draft by the New York Rangers. Lafreniere is a back-to-back recipient of CHL Player of the Year honours following a 2019-20 season where he scored 112 points including 35 goals and 77 assists in 52 games. His point production gave him the league's highest point-per-game rate of 2.15 which is the best since Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters scored at a 2.50 pace in 2014-15.

Check out career highlights from Alexis Lafreniere with the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL.

The #1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, Alexis Lafreniere, shares his excitement on being selected by the New York Rangers and what to expect when playing in New York City.

Ontario Hockey League

The Canadian Hockey League today announced that 78 CHL players were selected in the seven rounds of the 2020 NHL Draft which was held virtually October 6-7 accounting for more than 35% of all 217 picks made by all 31 NHL clubs. The first round proved to be the most successful for CHL talent with 19 players selected on Tuesday night including six of the top-10 picks. Alexis Lafreniere of the Rimouski Oceanic led the way at number one to the New York Rangers followed by Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves at two to the Los Angeles Kings.

ECHL

The ECHL, in conjunction with the Professional Hockey Players' Association, announced that the 2020-21 Season will commence on December 11, 2020 under a split-season format. Under the split-season guidelines, the following 13 teams will begin a 72-game season on December 11th - Allen, Florida, Greenville, Indy, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Orlando, Rapid City, South Carolina, Tulsa, Utah, Wheeling and Wichita. Additionally, remaining ECHL teams will begin their Season on January 15, 2021, competing in a 62-game season upon jurisdictional approval. The Atlanta Gladiators have elected a Voluntary Suspension for the 2020-21 Season due to COVID-19 restrictions, returning to play in the 2021-22 Season.

Southern Professional Hockey League

The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) announced that the 2020-2021 season will be comprised of five teams and feature a 42-game regular season schedule. The SPHL is set to drop the puck for the 2020-2021 regular season on Saturday, December 26 with the Birmingham Bulls, Huntsville Havoc, Knoxville Ice Bears, Macon Mayhem and Pensacola Ice Flyers set to play the abbreviated schedule. Due to state and local restrictions related to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic that limit their ability to host spectators and the projected economic impacts to those teams, the Evansville Thunderbolts, Fayetteville Marksmen, Peoria Rivermen, Quad City Storm and Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs will sit out the upcoming season and prepare to return for the 2021-2022 campaign.

SOCCER

Major League Soccer

The New York Red Bulls have named Gerhard Struber head coach, the club announced. Struber comes to New York after a 13-year playing career, various roles in youth development, and head coaching roles at FC Liefering, Barnsley FC and Wolfsberger FC. As part of negotiations, the Red Bulls paid an undisclosed fee to Barnsley FC to release Struber from his existing contract. He will join the Red Bulls and assume head coaching duties pending receipt of his U.S. work visa.

The Top MLS Goals in September.

National Women's Soccer League

Kristie Mewis played a role in all four goals for the Houston Dash in their victory over North Carolina Courage with a goal and three assists to be named Budweiser Woman of the Week.

Portland Thorns FC Britt Eckerstom made a top-shelf save against OL Reign and earned the Verizon Save of the Week.

United Soccer League Championship

The USL Championship announced following an investigation that included interviews with 11 individuals, including players, coaches and match officials, that it has issued a six-game suspension and undisclosed fine to Phoenix Rising FC's Junior Flemmings for the use of foul and abusive language in the form of a homophobic slur during the club's match against San Diego Loyal SC on September 30. Per the player's contract, Flemmings could also be subject to additional discipline from Phoenix Rising FC and remains on administrative leave. Flemmings' suspension covers the entirety of the 2020 USL Championship Playoffs.

The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 15 of the 2020 regular season with Memphis 901 FC forward Cal Jennings named Player of the Week after recording his first professional hat trick at 901 FC ended its season with a 3-1 victory against Birmingham Legion FC.

USL Championship Save of the Week Winner - Week 15 - Austin Bold FC Diego Restrepo

United Soccer League One

USL League One Goal of the Week Winner- Week 12 - J.P. Scearce - Union Omaha

USL League One Save of the Week Winner - Week 12 - Austin Aviza - Orlando City B

Canadian Premier League

Top 10 goals of the 2020 CPL Season

FOOTBALL

National Arena League

Albany NAL are excited to announce that the team name has been selected. THE ALBANY EMPIRE RETURN. The Albany Empire will be part of the National Arena League (NAL), which currently consists of 9 teams. The season is set to being in April 2021, and season tickets are on sale now. The Albany Empire had a winning record of 22-7 from 2018-2019, most notably winning ArenaBowl XXXII in front of 12,000 fans and a nationally televised audience.

Indoor Football League

The new Prescott Valley IFL franchise revealed its official name, logo, and team colors. The team will be known as the Northern Arizona Wranglers. The indoor football team will play 8 home games of 16 total season games. The Findlay Toyota Center will seat up to 4,800 fans per home game. Seat options include loge, select suites and VIP sideline seats.

Champions Indoor Football

The Champions Indoor Football League board of directors is pleased to announce an expansion team located in Gillette, Wyoming for the upcoming 2021 season. With the addition of the new expansion team, it brings the total number of teams in the CIF to 8 for the upcoming season of played, with other teams based in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma & Texas. Wyoming Mustangs will call the Campbell County Arena home for the 11 game regular season schedule, with the inaugural game scheduled to kick off on March 27th.

Canadian Football League

Two guys who have been voted in on Best in the League before, and who continue to dominate year-in and year-out as pass rushers. It will be tough to dethrone one of these two dominant defensive linemen.

LACROSSE

Premier Lacrosse League

Whipsnakes attack Matt Rambo 2020 Highlight Reel.

Major League Lacrosse

Connecticut Hammerheads attack Will Sands carried on doing what he does best in 2020, getting points. Leading the league in assists with 11 (averaging 2.20 per game). He also finished in the top 10 for overall points, averaging 3 points per game.

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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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from October 13, 2020


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