Around The Bases – Your trip around the world in sports for March 14, 2019

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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.

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First Base - Leafs embarrassed for second straight game

Coming off a 6-2 to the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs were looking to turn it around against the Chicago Blackhawks at home last night. Instead, they were down 4-0 after the first period, and though they made it close in the third, they ended up losing 5-4. Freddy Anderson was pulled for Garret Sparks the second time this week, and Auston Matthews was very critical of his team in the media for the second time this week as well. While it's nice to see Matthews take some ownership and leadership, this is a new spot for him and the team and it remains to be seen how everyone will respond. All I know is there are just 12 games left in the regular season and it's extremely hard to picture this Toronto team beating the Boston Bruins in the playoffs, let alone the Lightning. 

Second Base - Huskies host Kings for Game 1 of Final tonight

After three days off, the Fort St. John Huskies and County of Grande Prairie Kings are back on the ice tonight for Game 1 of the NWJHL Final, which starts at 8 p.m. at the North Peace Arena. Both teams are coming off of Game 7 wins in the semifinal. It's the second series the Kings have won that has gone the distance this year, and they should be up for the challenge. However, the Huskies finished their series as strong as they possibly could and I expect to see a very animated and hard working team tonight. 

Third Base - NFL free agency recap

NFL free agency continued yesterday, with some lesser but stil impactful moves. The Jacksonville Jaguars released Blake Bortles, which isn't surprising, and the Kansas City Chiefs cut safety Eric Berry, which is surprising. The San Francisco 49ers signed runningback Tevin Coleman to a two-year, $10 million contract, an affordable deal for a good player, and the team will pair him with Jerick McKinnon in the backfield. Lastly, Adrian Peterson resigned with the Washington Redskins for two years. After looking washed up and lost in 2017, Peterson rebounded with a very solid season in 2018 and good for him for being able to extend his career. He will likely be a backup this season, however, and receive less carries than a year ago. 

Home Base - NPSS senior girls team sending up to seven girls to play college soccer

There is a flood of soccer talent leaving Fort St. John to play college soccer this year, with four girls alone from the NPSS senior girls team already committed. Emma Close, Teagan Clement, Kenzie Chilcott and Claire Turner have all signed, and three more girls are weighing offers and expected to choose a college shortly. This is a large amount of players from one team, and could be a sign of things to come, as future teams will continue to train hard through the winter in the Kids Fieldhouse Arena and do what they can do match the training conditions of teams from the south. 

Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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