The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.
First Base - AAF impresses with inaugural weekend
The first ever week of the Alliance of American Football is in the books, with all eight teams playing last weekend. The league is partnering with the NFL and CBS, and had a great opportunity to showcase itself on the weekend after the Super Bowl, and it appears fans tuned in. On Saturday night, the American rating was higher for the AAF than it was for the nationally televised NBA game. The football game's wern't perfect. Only one, the Arizona Hotshots against the Salt Lake Stallions, was exciting, and even that one ended 38-22 for Arizona, the pre-season favourite to win it all. Still, it's a good starting point. yes, the quarterbacks are predictably bad, but the players are giving their all, the different rules are cool, and football is popular. I'm going to at least watch a quarter or two for the first couple weeks, at least until March Madness hits.
Second Base - Peewee, Bantam Predators have big weekend in Salmon Arm
It's the busy season for the Predators female hockey teams. The midget team was in Surrey two weeks ago for the B.C. Wickfest tournament, and the peewee and bantam teams were in Salmon Arm last weekend for a tournament, both competing in the bantam division. The peewees actually beat the bantam team, 5-1, on way to winning the silver medal. The bantam team played well, losing a close 5-3 game to Lacoka to finish in fourth. Both teams are in Red Deer this weekend for another tournament.
Third Base - Leafs win streak ends against New York
Heading into the NHL All-Star Game, the Toronto Maple Leafs were looking a little off and dropping in the standings. After All-Star Weekend, the Leafs signed Auston Matthews to an extension and the team went on a roll, winning four straight games, including an exciting 4-3 overtime win against Montreal on Saturday, Feb. 9, to keep pace with the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames for being the Canadian team with the most points. The streak ended yesterday, as the Leafs lost 4-1 to the New York Rangers despite outshooting them 56-29. The Leafs played great, but the Rangers' backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev played outstanding on his 23rd birthday, while Leafs backup Garret Sparks was just OK. Still, the Leafs have played very well for five consecutive games, in part because of the play of Mitch Marner and Jonathan Tavares. It's a sign, Toronto — sign Marner and give him all the money.
Home Base - Stephen Culling wins at Fort Worth Rodeo
Stephen Culling's career year continued last weekend at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. He won the second go with a time of 3.3 seconds. His four run time earned him $14,500 and puts him fourth in the World Rankings. Culling called the win the biggest of his career, after winning the Canadian title and a terrific performance at the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo.
Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.