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Last Week around the Leagues

by Fran Stuchbury
February 23, 2021 - ECHL (ECHL)


This past week the ECHL Brampton Beast ceased operations; the Indoor Football League moved back the start of its season due to COVID-19; the Lexington Legends joined the Atlantic League; and Presidential daughters Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager became investors in the National Women's Soccer League's Washington Spirit. Highlights from this week are from ECHL, American Hockey League, Western Hockey League, North American Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, NBA G League, Women's National Basketball Association, Indoor Football League, Fan Controlled Football, Major League Soccer, Major Arena Soccer League, Atlantic League, Appalachian League, Major League Rugby and Premier Lacrosse League.

HOCKEY

ECHL

The Brampton Beast have withdrawn their Membership in the ECHL, and will cease operations, effective at the conclusion of the 2020-21 Season. Any Player whose ECHL rights are owned by Brampton will become a free agent upon the completion of the 2020-21 Season.

News about the Brampton Beast, a conversation with the general manager of a team not playing this season and hearing from the leading scorer of a Western Conference team are among the segments in this edition of the program.

ECHL Plays of the Week

American Hockey League

Jack Quinn played in his first pro game last night and helped the Rocherster Americans to a win with this shootout goal. He was drafted by Buffalo, 8th overall, in the 2020 NHL Draft.

Damien Riat's first AHL goal proved to be the game-winner for Hershey.

Western Hockey League

General Manage of the Regina Pats, John Paddock gives us the details ahead of the WHL season kicking off in Regina on March 12th

2019-2020 Highlight Reel - Sakatoon Blades forward Blake Stevenson

North American Hockey League

NAHL Players of the Week

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

QMJHL Saves of the Month

BASKETBALL

NBA G League

Top Plays of the Week

Top Dunks of the Week

Women's National Basketball Association

New look Las Vegas Aces. Just a few names on the Aces roster. Riquna Williams, A'ja Wilson, Angel McCoughtry, Kelsey Plum, Liz Cambage, Chelsea Gray, and Dearica Hamby.

FOOTBALL

Indoor Football League

The Indoor Football League's Board of Directors, in an effort to provide each of its member teams the best possible opportunity for a successful 2021 season, announced that it has voted to push back the 2021 IFL Kickoff Weekend to the weekend of May 14, 2021. While most IFL teams will start their seasons during the IFL Kickoff Weekend, a few teams have elected to begin their seasons the weekend of April 23. The IFL was originally scheduled to open the 2021 season on Sunday, March 28, 2021.

Iowa Barnstormers head coach Ameer Ismail joins Fred Shaffer to discuss the upcoming Barnstormers season, the roster the team is building, and how the organization is preparing for the upcoming 2021 season.

Northern Arizona Wranglers head coach, Dominic Bramante, met with the IFL's Fred Schaffer for a sneak peak in to their 2021 season. Coach Bramante praised the caliber of coaching around the league stating, "When you're going against coaches of the year every week and coaches that have lifted championship trophies, you have to be ready from day one."

Fan Controlled Football

Johnny Manziel Fan Controlled Football Week 2 Highlights

There were some amazing moments from this week's games, but only four can make it to our Great Clips of the Week.

Canadian Football League

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American quarterback Luke Falk. Falk (6'4-215lbs) joins the Roughriders after spending two seasons in the NFL. Falk played three games, starting in two for the New York Jets in 2019, completing 47 passes for 416 yards. The 26-year-old was selected in the sixth round, 199th overall, by the Tennessee Titans in the 2018 NFL Draft, playing in four pre-season games. He also spent time with the Miami Dolphins.

SOCCER

Major League Soccer

Talent has never been the question for Alexandre Pato. This has the potential to be a huge signing for Orlando City SC...if the Brazilian can avoid the injuries that have hampered him throughout his career. Will this 1-year deal pay off? The Extratime guys debate.

National Women's Soccer League

North Carolina Courage part owner Naomi Osaka won her second Australian Open and fourth Grand Slam title defeating Jennifer Brady 6-4,6-3.

The Washington Spirit announced a new group of investors who are joining the Spirit Family to support the club's goals of winning championships, promoting the women's game in the US, and becoming the premier women's sports property in the world. This new investor group brings to the club a remarkable range of resources, networks, and skillsets to help drive the club's growth. The Spirit has brought together influential figures, including Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush Hager, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Estee Portnoy, Briana Scurry, Dominique Dawes, Assia Grazioli-Venier, Razmig Hovaghimian, Matt Hong, Tom Daschle, Claire Shipman, Mary Mochary, Suzanne Niedland, and Devin Talbott, lead investor in the new group.

Kansas City NWSL announced that Amber Cox has been named Chief Operating Officer for the team. She will be responsible for the club's day-to-day business operations and brings not only years of leadership experience in professional sports, but a lifelong connection to the region.

With the 2021 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) preseason in full swing, the Orlando Pride and six-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Marta have agreed to terms on a new contract, a one-year deal with an option for an additional season. The deal, which runs through the 2022 NWSL season, was signed using Allocation Money. In addition, the Brazilian international has also obtained a Green Card and will no longer require an international spot on the Pride's roster.

Major Arena Soccer League

Kansas City Comets vs. Dallas Sidekicks highlights. The Comets picked up a 10-6 win with a hat trick from Rian Marques.

BASEBALL

Triple-A East League

Major League Baseball announced the 2021 Minor League Baseball (MiLB) schedule in full today, which begins with 20 Triple-A Clubs currently planned to play MiLB Opening Day on Tuesday, April 6th, with another 10 Triple-A Clubs starting two days later on Thursday, April 8th. All 90 MiLB Clubs across Double-A and Single-A are scheduled to launch their 2021 campaigns on Tuesday, May 4th. The Triple-A regular season will total 142 games, while Double-A and Single-A leagues will include 120 regular season contests.

The Chicago Cubs announced that Marty Pevey will return for his eighth season as the manager of the Iowa Cubs. Pevey is the longest-tenured manager, and the winningest manager in Iowa history. This season will mark Pevey's 38th in baseball, 25th as a coach and 18th as a manager. He was slated to return to Iowa for the 2020 season but instead, spent the campaign at the Cubs' Alternate Training Site in South Bend.

UNDISPUTED - Skip and Shannon react to Tim Tebow retiring from Baseball!!

Double-A Northeast League

The Altoona Curve, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Pirates, announced the Double-A affiliate's field staff for the 2021 season. Perez will become the first former Altoona Curve player to serve as the team's manager. He appeared in 92 games for the Curve during the 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013 seasons. Perez hit .271 with four home runs and 36 RBI in his time with Altoona.

High-A East League

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Kieran Mattison will be the new manager for the 2021 Greensboro Grasshoppers. Kieran Mattison is in his fifth season as a manager in the Pirates organization. He spent the 2019 season with Bristol and led the club to a 34-33 record, with a postseason berth for the first time since 2002. He led the West Virginia Black Bears to a 32-44 record in 2018 and guided the DSL Pirates to a 36-34 mark in 2017.

Appalachain League

The Bluefield Baseball Club of Bluefield, West Virginia, announced the new name and rolled out the new logo for this summer's collegiate wood bat league team of the New Appalachian League. They will be called the Bluefield Ridge Runners. The league is comprised of ten teams sponsored by USA Baseball and powered by MLB. The players in the league will be the top 320 college, non-draft eligible college freshmen and sophomores.

Baseball will officially be back in Bluefield this summer, thanks to the Appalachian League teaming up with USA Baseball. The Bluefield Blue Jays unveiled their new name, the Bluefield Ridge Runners.

Atlantic League

The Lexington Legends announced that they have joined the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB). For the past 20 years the Lexington Legends have played in the South Atlantic League (SAL) as the Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros (2001-2012) and Kansas City Royals (2013-2020). The Legends drew over six million fans over during two decades in the SAL.

Questions from the press conference of the Lexington Legends joining the Atlantic League.

Gastonia Honey Hunters has named Mauro "Goose" Gozzo Team Manager to lead the team in its inaugural season in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB). As Team Manager, Gozzo will oversee all baseball operations, including player signings, and analyzing team performance and data. Prior to joining the Honey Hunters, Gozzo led the New Britain Bees, a former ALPB club, as the Field Manager and Pitching Coach. He has been a private instructor and has coached a nationally ranked elite competitive travel team in the Connecticut area for nine (9) years.

Frontier League

The Frontier League announced after 27 years as Commissioner, Bill Lee will be retiring and assuming the role of "Commissioner Emeritus" effective March 1st, 2021. Lee has served as Commissioner of the Frontier League since 1994 and will continue to serve as a consultant for the League and attend numerous League functions. The Frontier League will begin a search for a replacement immediately.

Mavericks Independent Baseball League

The Mavericks Independent Baseball League announced their managers for the upcoming season. Alan Embree, Daniel Robertson, Tony Torcato and Dave Wong will be at the helm. Embree will manage the Portland Mavericks, Robertson will guide the Campesinos de Salem-Keizer, Torcato will become 13th Manager of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and Wong will takeover the Salem Senators.

OTHER SPORTS

Major League Rugby

Major League Rugby: Give it a Try - Psalm Wooching San Diego Legion

LACROSSE

National Lacrosse League

The Philadelphia Wings have signed Head Coach and General Manager Paul Day to a three-year contract extension through the 2023-2024 season. The new contract will take effect when the National Lacrosse League returns to action in the fall of 2021. After leading the Wings to a record of 8-6 in the 2019-2020 season, a dramatic improvement over 2018-19 (4-14), Day was named General Manager of the Year and the recipient of the prestigious Les Bartley Award, which recognizes the NLL's Head Coach of the Year.

Premier Lacrosse League

Veteran NFL wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Hogan has signed with the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL).

"My roots are in lacrosse," said Hogan. "I'm excited to fight for a roster spot with the best in the world and hope to support the growth of a game that means a lot to me". Prior to his NFL career, Hogan played four years of college lacrosse at Penn State University. The 2009 first-team All-ECAC midfielder scored 57 goals and completed 14 assists during his time in Happy Valley.

Archers long stick midfield Scott Ratliff 2020 Highlights

Whipsnakes goalie Kyle Bernlohr 2020 Highlights

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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ECHL Stories from February 23, 2021


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s), and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.


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