Last Week around the Leagues
by Fran Stuchbury
August 30, 2022 - ECHL (ECHL)
This past week Las Vegas Aces Coach Becky Hammon was named Women's National Basketball Association Coach of the Year; the National Women's Soccer League announced its championship will be held in Washington, DC; several ECHL teams announced new NHL affiliates; and the New York Empire won its second American Ultimate Disc League Championship. Highlights from this week come from the Women's National Basketball Association, BIG3, National Women's Soccer League, United Soccer League Championship, ECHL, 3ICE, Canadian Football League, and Premier Lacrosse League.
Women's National Basketball Association
The WNBA announced today that Las Vegas Aces Head Coach Becky Hammon is the 2022 WNBA Coach of the Year. Hammon becomes the third former WNBA player to win the award, joining Sandy Brondello (2014) and Suzie McConnell-Serio (2004). She is the first former player to earn the honor in her debut season as a WNBA head coach and the only one to win the award while coaching the franchise for which she previously played. In her first season as a WNBA head coach, Hammon guided Las Vegas to a 26-10 record (.722)-the second highest winning percentage ever for a rookie head coach-and the No. 1 seed in the 2022 WNBA Playoffs.
Coach Becky Hammon On Sportscenter After Being Named 2022 WNBA Coach of the Year For Las Vegas Aces
Atlanta Dream guard Rhyne Howard has been named the 2022 Kia WNBA Rookie of the Year, the WNBA announced. She is the second player to win the award with the Dream, joining Angel McCoughtry (2009). Howard averaged 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.59 steals in 31.3 minutes in 34 games (all starts) this season. She led all WNBA rookies in points, assists, steals and minutes per game. Among all WNBA players, Howard ranked 11th in scoring average and tied for fifth in steals. She also finished third in the league in three-pointers made with 85, a single-season record by a WNBA rookie.
2022 WNBA Kia Rookie of the Year: Rhyne Howard
Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young has been named the 2022 Kia WNBA Most Improved Player. Young is the first player in Aces franchise history to win the award. Young, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft presented by State Farm, averaged career highs of 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals this season, up from 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 2021. Young improved her three-point shooting from 25 percent last season to 43.1 percent in 2022. She ranked 14th in the WNBA in assists (3.9 apg).
Seattle Storm Breanna Stewart with the one-legged fadeaway AND the foul
The BIG3 announced the ratings from their 2022 championship weekend in front of a sold-out crowd at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, GA. The inaugural 2022 All-Star Game and 2022 Championship Game marked the highest-rated BIG3 event since 2019, with the entire 2-hour telecast averaging 638,000 total viewers on CBS, up 56 percent from last year.. The 2022 Championship Game averaged 681,000 total viewers, up 32 percent from last season's Championship Game and peaking at 1,019,000 viewers. The Inaugural All-Star Game averaged 587,000 viewers, up 100 percent from last year's consolation game in the same time window.
Top 10 Plays of Championship Weekend
National Women's Soccer League
The National Women's Soccer League, Ally Financial and CBS Sports announced that the 2022 Ally Financial NWSL Championship, presented by Budweiser, will air on the CBS Television Network and stream on Paramount+ on Saturday, October 29 in its first-ever prime-time spot live from Audi Field, primary home of the defending NWSL Champion Washington Spirit and home of Major League Soccer Club, D.C. United. The game was moved from its originally scheduled time at Noon ET following a recent collaborative effort by Ally, CBS and the league. Match coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET on CBS, Paramount+ and internationally on Twitch, with pre-match coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET exclusively on Paramount+.
2022 NWSL Championship Headed to Washington, DC in Primetime
The Washington Spirit fired coach Kris Ward. From the Washington Post he got fired after head had an incident with players at the their training facility. Last season he led them to the NWSL Championship. This season he struggled with a 1-6-9 record.
San Diego Wave Fútbol Club has officially sold more tickets than the NWSL attendance record for a single game with over 27,000 tickets sold for its September 17 home opener. With less than a month until the historic home opener against Angel City FC, the club now sets its sights on shattering the record with a complete sell out of Snapdragon stadium.
USWNT forward Alex Morgan tells ESPN that San Diego Wave's opening Snapdragon Stadium game vs. Angel City FC in September will break the NWSL attendance record with more than 27,000 tickets sold.
Budweiser Player of the Week - Makenzy Doniak, San Diego Wave FC - Week 15
Verizon Save of the Week - Michelle Betos, NJ/NY Gotham FC - Week 15
United Soccer League Championship
The USL Championship announced the Team of the Week for Week 24 of the 2022 regular season with FC Tulsa goalkeeper Austin Wormell voted the Championship Player of the Week presented by Konami eFootball after posting a seven-save shutout that proved crucial in his side's 1-0 victory against Indy Eleven that moved the club's postseason chances forward.
The LA Kings announced a new two-year ECHL affiliation agreement with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. "On behalf of the entire LA Kings organization, we are excited to announce our new affiliation with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits of the ECHL," said Kings Director of Player Development, Glen Murray. "We are very happy to have this development route for our future Kings under the leadership of Spire Sports + Entertainment and direction of Head Coach & General Manager Andrew Lord. We know that our prospects will have a first-class experience in Greenville while developing as players and people." Lord has led the Swamp Rabbits to a combined record of 71-48-25 over the last two seasons in his current role.
In case you somehow didn't know... We have have some new friends out west!
The Ottawa Senators announced that in conjunction with the American Hockey League's Belleville Senators, the team has reached an affiliation agreement with ECHL's Allen Americans. The partnership has an initial duration of one season. "The Americans' franchise carries a rich tradition of success," said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. "We're looking forward to contributing to it in a positive manner when we begin placing prospects in Allen in 2022-23."
The Rapid City Rush are proud to announce that the organization has entered into a multi-year agreement to serve as the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Calgary Flames and the AHL's Calgary Wranglers. "I could not be more excited to partner with the Flames and Wranglers," Spire Holdings president Todd Mackin said. "When going through the process of finding an affiliate, Calgary stood out immediately as the type of franchise we wanted to join forces with. It's clear that this is going to be a true partnership, one that will be beneficial for all three organizations and that will help us continue to build a winner in Rapid City."
The Wichita Thunder, powered by Toyota, announced that the Thunder have entered into an affiliation agreement with the National Hockey League's San Jose Sharks and American Hockey League's San Jose Barracuda for the 2022-23 season. "We're very excited to partner with San Jose for this coming season," stated General Manager Joel T. Lomurno. "I want to thank Joe Will and John McCarthy for their willingness to work with us this year. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship for this and hopefully many seasons to come."
American Hockey League
Brock Sheahan has been named Head Coach of the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves, it was announced by the Carolina Hurricanes. Sheahan, 38, spent the previous four seasons -- including two-plus as head coach -- with the Chicago Steel of the USHL. During his tenure with the Steel, the organization won two Anderson Cups as the USHL's regular-season champions (2019-20, 2020-21) and also captured the Clark Cup as league champions in '21.
3ICE Championship television rating in Las Vegas on CBS was 282,000 viewers,
3ICE host Wilder Weir captures the excitement of the inaugural Patrick Cup Weekend in Vegas...all in just three minutes
Canadian Football League
CFL Plays of the Week
Indoor Football League
The Tucson Sugar Skulls are proud to officially announce Hurtis Chinn as their next Head Coach. Chinn was named the 2022 Assistant Coach of the Year by the Indoor Football League in his second season with the Sugar Skulls as the offensive coordinator. He guided the Skulls to the second-highest scoring offense in the regular season. Chinn spent the season prior to last in Arizona with the Rattlers as their Quarterbacks and Running Backs Coach.
National Arena League
Following the conclusion of the 2022 season, the National Arena League is excited to announce that they will bring back rebound nets to the sport of arena football, a bold move that will amplify the NAL game. Popularized by the Arena Football League, the Nets add a new dimension to the NAL game for special teams, defense, and even offense. Both nets & ironman football will debut only in the National Arena League and will be coming to a NAL team near you in 2023 season and raise the level of excitement of the game. The NAL is still keeping the "Deuce" on kickoffs; where the kicking team is awarded 2 points for any kickoff that goes through the uprights with exception of after a safety. The return team would get the ball on the 5 yard line after a successful deuce. "What an incredible day for the National Arena League." stated Commissioner Chris Siegfried. "We are now going to play the game the way it was intended to be played. Our players will become the next legends of the game."
Commissioner Siegfried met with city, arena, and front office members in Fayetteville, NC to announce the exciting news of the NAL expansion team coming to area in 2023 for their inaugural season. In addition members of the Fayetteville expansion team join the commissioner in revealing the official team name and colors. Officially today, the Fayetteville Mustangs will take the turf in 2023. They will play in the Crown Coliseum in downtown Fayetteville they join the Fayetteville Marksmen (hockey team), and Fayetteville Fury (indoor soccer).
United States Football League
The inaugural season of the USFL provided football fans with plenty of thrilling moments. It also provided a wealth of talent for the NFL. In fact, 51 players so far have joined NFL teams for training camp and preseason action. Some of them have already managed to make a huge impact, perhaps none more prominently than USFL MVP KaVontae Turpin, who sparked his Dallas Cowboys to a preseason victory over the Los Angeles Chargers by returning both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns.
Premier Lacrosse League
PLL TOP 10 PLAYS FROM SEATTLE
Behind The PLL Cash App Championship Trophy - Made by Tiffany & Co.
National Lacrosse League
The Buffalo Bandits announced the team has signed head coach John Tavares to a three-year contract. Tavares enters his seventh season as a member of the Bandits coaching staff and his fourth season as the team's head coach. In his tenure as head coach, Tavares has led the team to a 35-12 regular-season record. He joined the coaching staff on Sept. 25, 2015 following an illustrious playing career.
Year 17 for the Captain, #17! The San Diego Seals announced that the team has re-signed Captain and future Hall of Famer Brodie Merrill. "Brodie is our captain and is still considered one of the best defenders and leaders in the NLL," said General Manager and Head Coach Patrick Merrill. "He loves this team and the city and wanted to extend his career in San Diego." Brodie Merrill, a 16-year NLL veteran and younger brother of General Manager and Head Coach Patrick Merrill, has appeared in 45 games for San Diego, recording 36 points, 350 loose balls and 53 caused turnovers.
Minor League Baseball Plays of the Week
The Kenosha Kingfish have announced that they will be in search of a new coaching staff before the team's next season begins. Field manager Sean McSheffery and his staff will not return in 2023 and the search process for the new manager will begin immediately. McSheffery led the team to a 33-38 record in 2022 in his first season in Kenosha. He will move on from the Kingfish next summer as he looks forward to the next step in his baseball career.
American Ultimate Disc League
For the second time in three seasons, the New York Empire capture the American Ultimate Disc League Championship following an undefeated campaign. They were the most utterly dominant team the league has seen, taking home the league's championship trophy along with the $25,000 prize following 22-14 win over the Chicago Union. It was the largest margin of victory in the title game since 2014. Following their dominant Championship Weekend performance, the 2022 Empire will go down in the history books as the fourth undefeated champion in league history and have cemented themselves in the discussion for the best team all-time.
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 August 30, 2022
- Former NHL Draftees Kudla, Murphy Join Steelheads from Europe - Idaho Steelheads
- Oilers Bring Back Bramwell, Bring in Bean - Tulsa Oilers
- Single Game Tickets Go on Sale this Friday, September 2 - Toledo Walleye
- Fuel Announce Preseason Schedule - Indy Fuel
- Jake Wahlin Returns to Wichita - Wichita Thunder
- Cyclones Announce Preseason Schedule - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Mariners Reveal New Uniforms and Speciality Jerseys for 22-23 - Maine Mariners
- Icemen Agree to Terms with Rookie Forward Jake Witkowski - Jacksonville Icemen
- Mavericks Re-Sign Forward Ryan Harrison - Kansas City Mavericks
- Americans Sign First Goalie for 2022-2023 - Allen Americans
- Solar Bears Partner with Frank Gay Services - Orlando Solar Bears
- Everblades Agree to Terms with Forwards Durflinger and Chau - Florida Everblades
- Keaton Jameson Signs with Grizzlies for Upcoming Season - Utah Grizzlies
- Last Week around the Leagues - OSC Original by Fran Stuchbury
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.