Please visit our kind sponsor
When the American Hockey League returns to action in the fall, it will do so with 29 teams, up two from a year ago.
The Binghamton Senators and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will remain in the same division, with the same National Hockey League affiliates and division opponents.
Binghamton will again be the top farm team of the Stanley Cup finalist Ottawa Senators.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will continue to work with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Albany River Rats, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hershey Bears, Norfolk Admirals and Philadelphia Phantoms are in the East Division with the Senators and Penguins.
The East and Atlantic Divisions make up the Eastern Conference. The Atlantic Division is also unchanged with the Hartford Wolf Pack, Lowell Devils, Manchester Monarchs, Portland Pirates, Providence Bruins, Springfield Falcons and Worcester Sharks.
A major affiliation change takes place in Springfield where Edmonton will now place its players after splitting its top prospects over several teams during the last two seasons. Several Oilers prospects were prominent in keeping Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in contention for the overall standings lead until the final weekend of the regular season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning replaces the Chicago Black Hawks as the NHL team supplying Norfolk with players.
The West Division will be the only one in the league with eight teams. It will feature the Chicago Wolves, Houston Aeros, Iowa Stars, Milwaukee Admirals, Peoria Rivermen, Quad City Flames, Rockford IceHogs and San Antonio Rampage.
Division champion Omaha left the West, which adds two more Illinois teams, giving it four in the state. The franchise was replaced by the Quad City, based out of Moline and affiliated with Calgary. The Chicago Black Hawks are placing their players with the expansion Rockford franchise.
Both Quad City and Rockford had United Hockey League franchises last season with Rockford taking the UHL title.
The North Division consists of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Hamilton Bulldogs, Lake Erie Monsters, Manitoba Moose, Rochester Americans, Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies. The Monsters, based in Cleveland, are a new franchise, affiliated with Colorado.
Rochester will have the only dual affiliation, getting players from both the Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers. The other 28 AHL teams will all have one NHL parent club.
North and West Division teams compete in the Western Conference.
WEEK IN REVIEW
Montrose graduate Rich Thompson had a big week with the Tucson Sidewinders of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.
Thompson reached base in eight of nine plate appearances June 26 and 27 to briefly push his batting average over the .300 mark for the season.
The left fielder came off the bench and reached base all four times June 26 in Tacoma, going 2-for-2 while drawing a walk and being hit by a pitch. He scored one run.
Thompson had four straight hits the next night, finishing 4-for-5 with a double and two runs scored in a 12-7 win in Las Vegas. The four-hit effort gave him a four-game hitting streak.
Tucson pounded Las Vegas again the next night, 10-3. Although Thompson went 0-for-2, he did draw two walks and score two more runs.
As of Sunday, Thompson was hitting .291 for the season.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees designated hitter Shelley Duncan and relief pitcher Jim Brower have been selected to play on the International League team against the PCL in the 20th annual Triple-A All-Star Game July 11 at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque.
Duncan is in the top three in the league in home runs, runs batted in and slugging percentage. He has 19 homers, 58 RBI and a .302 average.
Brower is 4-0 with 14 saves and a 2.43 earned run average in the International League, including 3-0 with 13 saves and a 2.08 ERA since signing with the Yankees May 5.
The Eastern League All-Star Game will be played the same night in Norwich, Conn., but rosters for the game have not been announced. The Binghamton Mets are members of the Class AA Eastern League.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached online at RobbyTR@aol.com.
The Racing Reporter
Hamlin Holds Off Gordon At New Hampshire, Loudon, NH – Denny Hamlin’s two tires were better than Jeff Gordon’s four in Sunday’s Nextel Cup Lenox Industrial Tools 300, but just barely.
The next to last caution came out on lap 263 of the 300-lap race with Martin Truex, Jr. leading. Hamlin was running seventh when he entered his pit area for fresh tires. Mike Ford, crew chief on Hamlin’s No. 11 Fed-EX Chevrolet elected to change only two tires, while most of the other leading teams put on four.
Denny Hamlin celebrates his Sunday win at New Hampshire.
Photo courtesy of NASCAR
Hamlin was the first car back on the track and when racing resumed on lap 267, it was Hamlin, Truex, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jeff Green, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Truex, Jr. and Gordon battled each other for second, from laps 275 until lap 294. By the time Gordon got under Truex, Jr. and moved into second, there were only six laps remaining.
With four to go, Gordon had the No. 11 driven by Hamlin in his sights, but it took him until the white flag lap, signaling one to go, before he was really close enough to challenge.
As the two leaders exited turn-3, Gordon was close enough to give Hamlin’s car a tap on the rear bumper, causing it to wiggle, but Hamlin maintained control and took his first checkered flag of the year, one car-length ahead of Gordon.
“I was just trying not to make a mistake those last few laps,” said Hamlin. “Martin held him off just long enough for me to get this win.
“The two-tire call by Mike is definitely what got us the win. We were good all day, and probably a top-4 car, but I knew all we needed was clean air.”
Jeff Gordon tried, and tried hard, but he came up a few feet short.
“With this Car of Tomorrow, you can’t overdrive it,” said Gordon. “The harder I tried to drive, the slower I went. You know I fought so hard there with Martin (Truex, Jr.) and used up a lot of our stuff.
“It took me a couple laps once I got in front of him to get readjusted and get back in my rhythm. We were running Denny down, but he was doing a great job. At the end, he started watching his mirror, and I thought we had a shot, but it was a lot of fun.”
Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were without their regular crew chiefs, who have been suspended for six races because of violations at Infineon Raceway.
Martin Truex, Jr., who won his first Nextel Cup race at Dover, June 4, came in third.
“It was frustrating because I thought we had the car to beat,” said Truex, Jr. “Those last set of tires didn’t agree with me, and I’m not sure why. I think if I could have gotten out front, I could have held them off, but I just couldn’t get any closer.”
Truex, Jr.’s teammate, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wound up fourth.
“The car was awful early on, but it got to running better, and just came right in, but as the track cooled off we were just a little tight,” said Earnhardt, Jr.
Carl Edwards went from the leader of the race to a lap down after his car fell off the jack during a green flag pit stop. It took crewmembers nearly 50 seconds to change his tires.
“Was it Frustrating! I can’t tell you how frustrating it was,” said Edwards, who finished 13th.
This was the eighth race for NASCAR’s “Car of Tomorrow.” The next time it will be raced is August 12 at Watkins Glen.
Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Green, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-10.
Top-10 Chase Contenders: 1. Gordon-2613, 2. Hamlin-2457, 3. Kenseth-2248, 4. Johnson-2232, 5. J. Burton-2230, 6. Stewart-2185, 7. Edwards-2148, 8. Harvick-2106, 9. Kyle Busch-2040, 10. Truex Jr.-2033.
Top-10 Busch Series Leaders: 1. Edwards-2861, 2. Reutimann-2052, 3. Harvick-1993, 4. Ragan-1949, 5. Leffler-1895, 6. Blaney-1891, 7. Hamilton-1856, 8. Ambrose-1829, 9. Biffle-1793, 10. Leicht-1784.
Top-10 Craftsman Truck Series Leaders: 1. Skinner-2043, 2. Hornaday-1940, 3. Bodine-1815, 4. Kvapil-1780, 5. Crawford-1658, 6. Benson-1600, 7. Sprague-1505, 8. Fike-1487, 9. Crafton-1456, 10. Musgrave-1431.
Elliott Sadler Needs A Good Finish – Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 19 Ray Evernham Dodge needs a good finish.
Since leaving Robert Yates Racing during the 2005 season and jumping over to Evernham, his best finish has been a sixth.
“We’ve been making some gains with our Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge Avenger,” said Elliott. “Last week we were able to knock out a solid top-15 finish which was something this team really needed. We know what we’re capable of. We just need to get back in the habit of getting consistent finishes.”
Like many drivers in NASCAR, Sadler began racing go-karts at a young age. He racked up more than 200 go-kart victories since he first took to a track at age 7. From karts he became a championship late model driver, then moved to the Winston Racing Series at age 18, competing a full season in 1993.
By 1995 Sadler was making his Busch Series debut, finishing eighth at South Boston. Sadler ran a limited Busch schedule in '96, finishing fifth in the season finale.
He started his first full Busch Series season in '97 by winning the pole in the season-opener at Daytona. It was the first of four poles that year, the third of which at Nazareth resulted in his first career victory. Twice that season Sadler started a race first and finished the same. In all, he recorded three wins, six top-fives, 10 top-10s and finished fifth in the final point standings.
Sadler finished eighth in the Busch standings in 1998 and made his Cup debut that year as well.
In 1999 the Wood Brothers gave Sadler his first opportunity to race in the Cup Series full time. But he only had one top-10 that season and again the next year.
In March, 2001 Sadler won his first Cup race, at Bristol, setting a track record by winning from the 38th starting position, the deepest any driver had ever started at the half-mile track and gone on to win.
Sadler's victory gave the legendary Wood Brothers, who throughout the years fielded cars driven by David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and Dale Jarrett, a win for the fifth consecutive decade.
Still, it wasn't until 2004 that he had his breakout year. Driving for Robert Yates Racing and with championship crew chief Todd Parrott, Sadler set career highs with two wins, eight top-fives and 14 top-10s to make the inaugural Chase. He was one of only four drivers that season to stay in the top-10 in points the entire year and finished ninth in the final standings.
Sadler wasn’t happy at RYR and left the No. 38 team midway during the 2005 season, but after almost two years at Evernham, he is still winless.
“We have confidence we’re going to turn things around,” continued Sadler. “Josh (Browne, team director) and the guys have been bringing good cars to the track and we’re understanding the setups of the COT’s much better.”
Sadler is currently 22nd in points.
PETTY TURNS 70
Richard Petty, “The King” of NASCAR celebrated his 70th birthday in his hometown of Randleman, North Carolina Monday.
“I can’t remember the last time I’ve been home to celebrate my birthday,” stated Petty. “I’ve always been in Daytona. That was fine, too. We won a lot of races there, but it will be nice to be around the family. It’s just the way the date landed this year.
“I don’t know what anyone has planned,” continued Petty. “I leave that up to my wife. She will let me know and we’ll do that. Then it’s back to Daytona because that’s what we know.”
The Nextel Cup and Busch teams are at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, while the Craftsman Trucks have the weekend off.
Friday, July 6, Busch Series Winn-Dixie 250, race 19 of 35, 100 laps, 7:30 p.m. TV: ESPN2.
Saturday, July 7, Nextel Cup Pepsi 400, race 18 of 36, 160 laps, 8 p.m. TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: Who is Ryan Newman’s teammate at Penske Racing?
Last Week’s Question: Who was the legendary Indy-car driver that won the 1972 Daytona 500? Answer. It was A. J. Foyt. He won it in a Wood Bros. Mercury.
You may contact the Racing Reporter at email@example.com.
Young sporting clays shooters from across Pennsylvania earned state titles, with many qualifying to represent Pennsylvania at upcoming national championships, at the recent Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) Pennsylvania Sporting Clays State Championship.
The competition, held June 16 in Wellsville, featured some of Pennsylvania's top young shooters in varsity, junior varsity and intermediate divisions.
Pennsylvania teams participating in the state title shoot qualified for their sport's upcoming national championships. Skeet and sporting clays national titles will be decided July 13-15 in San Antonio. Trap national championships are slated for August 5-7 in Sparta, IL.
The best of these young shooters could be selected to attend an Olympic development camp in August in Colorado Springs, and some will go on to compete at the collegiate level.
Local winners included second place winners, Rock Mountain Sporting Clays (Paul Brojack of Lawton, John Butler of Hop Bottom, Thaddeus Koneski of Meshoppen) with a score of 226 in the Junior Varsity Division (Grades 9 to 12).
News | Living | Sports | Schools | Churches | Ads | Events
Military | Columns | Ed/Op | Obits | Archive | Subscribe