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Arizona Digest: Coyotes sign draft pick Lamoureax to 3-year entry-level contract

Arizona Republic logo Arizona Republic 1 day ago Arizona Republic

The Coyotes announced on Wednesday they have signed defenseman Maveric Lamoureux to a three-year entry-level contract. Lamoureux was selected 29th overall in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft.

“We are very pleased to sign Maveric to an entry-level contract,” Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong said in a statement. “He is a big, strong, physical defenseman who is a very good skater and has a good shot. We look forward to watching his development this season.”

Lamoureux, 18, scored 4 goals and 20 assists with a team-leading 69 penalty minutes in 54 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) in 2021-22. Lamoureux, who is 6-foot-7, 195-pounds, ranked second among Drummondville defensemen in assists and points.

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A native of Hawkesbury, Ontario, Lamoureux has totaled 5-26-31 with 95 PIM in 78 games over two seasons with Drummondville.

Lamoureux was ranked 20th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting prior to the draft.

From worst to first, Northern Arizona Wranglers capture IFL championship

After finishing with the worst record in the Indoor Football League a year ago, Northern Arizona capped a remarkable season with a 47-45 win over the Quad City Steamwheelers for the Dollar Loan Center IFL national championship on Saturday night in Henderson, Nevada.

The Wranglers (15-4) went 1-13 last year in their first season in the IFL. Located in Prescott Valley, they have the smallest market in the IFL.

Wholesale changes came with a new coaching staff, led by former Arena Bowl championship coach Les Moss (head coach) and AFL championship coach Rob Keefe (defensive coordinator) and three-time Arena Bowl championship wide receiver Rod Windsor (offensive coordinator). Windsor won three Arena Football League titles in a row playing for the Rattlers.

Keefe recruited new players, including quarterback Kaleb Barker and 2022 IFL Defensive Player of the Year Jaquan Artis.

Artis was name the Most Valuable Player of the game with his two second-half sack that changed the game.

Barker threw three touchdown passes and ran for another.

Northern Arizona is the fifth different IFL champion in the past five years.

"They caught magic," Moss in the postgame TV interview on the field.

NAZ overcame a 14-point, second-half deficit to beat the 2017 IFL champion Rattlers 52-51 two weeks ago in the Western Conference championship game.

Rattlers coach Kevin Guy, who shared TV analyzing duties with Sioux Falls coach Kurtiss Riggs in the IFL championship game, said during the post-game ceremony, with confetti raining down, "It's lit a fire under me."

"I'm going to be very motivated going into the offseason," Guy said. "I'd rather be down on the field calling plays than sitting up here like we're at some Batman movie."

—Richard Obert

Scottsdale West Point cadet completes 57-mile swim around Manhattan

Erica Esterly, a 20-year-old philosophy major from Scottsdale and a third-year cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, completed a 57-mile swim on Thursday during the 40 Bridges Race around Manhattan. She began the swim at about 10 a.m. Wednesday and completed the two laps around the island in 19 hours, 49 minutes. Esterly's time represents the fastest female swim on record. Of the 16 people to complete the 40 Bridges Race, sponsored by sponsored by New York Open Water, Esterly is the youngest by 16 years.

Esterly, who formerly swam with Scottsdale Aquatic Club, was accompanied in support craft by her parents and brother.

In September, Esterly will swim the Catalina Channel from Catalina Island to Point Vicente, California, a race known for its mental toughness with its midnight start. Her goal is to be the youngest person to complete the Oceans Seven, a marathon swimming challenge consisting of seven open water channel swims. Devised in 2008 as the swimming equivalent of the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge, it includes the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokaʻi Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar.

—Staff report

Larry Fitzgerald, former Cardinals wide receiver and executive chairperson of the Arizona Super Bowl host committee, speaks during the official Super Bowl Host Committee hand off press conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Los Angeles. © Antranik Tavitian/The Republic Larry Fitzgerald, former Cardinals wide receiver and executive chairperson of the Arizona Super Bowl host committee, speaks during the official Super Bowl Host Committee hand off press conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez head Arizona Hall of Fame 2022 class

Former Cardinals great Larry Fitzgerald and late ESPN journalist Pedro Gomez headline the 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class, which will be enshrined Nov. 1 at Chateau Luxe. 

The rest of the class includes Seton Catholic Prep basketball coach Karen Self, former Mercury star Jennifer Gillom, former Gallagher & Kennedy partner and sports philanthropist and volunteer Michael K. Kennedy and Northern Arizona’s women’s basketball pioneer Peggy Kennedy.

“The 2022 class embodies the soul of Arizona Sports,” Arizona Sports and Entertainment Commission executive director Nikki Balich-Cammarata said in a statement. “Whether they are renowned locally, nationally or globally, each of these honorees has earned enshrinement for shaping Arizona’s sports history.”

Tickets for the event go on sale Sept. 1, 2022, at www.azsportshof.com.

Coyotes hire John Madden as an assistant coach

San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner (top right), talks to his team as assistant John Madden (left), looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. © The Associated Press San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner (top right), talks to his team as assistant John Madden (left), looks on during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.

The Coyotes have hired former San Jose Sharks assistant coach John Madden as an assistant coach to André Tourigny’s staff. 

“We are very pleased to add John to André Tourigny’s coaching staff,” Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong said in a statement. “John is an experienced coach and a three-time Stanley Cup champion. He’s a proven winner who had a very good NHL career as a defensive specialist. I’m confident that he will be able to help our penalty-killing unit and he will be a great addition to our staff.” 

Madden spent the last two seasons with the Sharks under then-head coach Bob Boughner. His NHL experience also includes different roles with the Florida Panthers as an assistant coach and as a pro scout. He also was with the Montreal Canadiens as a pro scout following his retirement in 2012 as a player. 

Madden joins assistant coaches Mario Duhamel and Cory Stillman. In May, the Coyotes and assistant coach Phil Housley agreed to part ways. 

“It’s exciting to have the privilege to work alongside a proven winner like John,” Coyotes head coach André Tourigny said in a statement. “His resume as a coach and as a player is extensive. Our staff, our players and I will take full advantage of his knowledge and experience.” 

—Jenna Ortiz

Coyotes announce signing of draft pick Conor Geekie

Jul 11, 2022; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Conor Geekie speaks to reporters during a press conference at Ice Den Scottsdale. © Alex Gould/The Republic Jul 11, 2022; Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes center Conor Geekie speaks to reporters during a press conference at Ice Den Scottsdale.

The Coyotes have signed forward Conor Geekie to a three-year entry-level contract. Geekie was selected by the Coyotes in the first round (11th overall) in the 2022 NHL Draft, the middle of three first-round picks.

Geekie, 18, scored 24 goals and 70 points with 49 penalty minutes in 63 regular-season games with the Winnipeg ICE (WHL) in 2021-22. He added three goals and eight assists in 15 post-season games.

“He is a big, skilled, two-way center with good vision and a strong hockey IQ,” Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong said in a statement. “We look forward to watching his development.”

New college golf championship event announced for 2023

Golfweek will host the inaugural National Golf Invitational in May 2023 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa.

The NCAA announced in May it would allow schools to play in one season-ending event, so think of the NGI like college basketball’s NIT. The NGI will feature a men’s and women’s competition, each with a maximum of 18 teams playing 54 holes of stroke play. Women will play first, May 11-14, with the men the following week, May 18-21.

The field will be invitation-only as decided by a committee using both the Golfweek/Sagarin and Golfstat rankings along with a committee decision on teams that have a strong regular season.

“Ak-Chin Southern Dunes is excited to carry on our proud tradition of hosting high level championship events as the host site for the men’s and women’s National Golf Invitational,” Southern Dunes General Manager Brady Wilson said. “Certainly, the popularity of golf in the Valley of Sun and the growing exposure of college golf make for perfect timing to have a second National Championship event so that more college programs and student athletes are able to play into the post-season.”

—Adam Woodard, Golfweek

Coyotes add Brooks to coaching staff

Nathaniel Brooks has been named the Coyotes' new skill development coach.

Brooks worked in that role for over 15 years with experience training players in pro and minor hockey. He spent last season as an associate coach for the Ryerson Rams, a university in Toronto with whom he's been affiliated since 2014.

Last September, Brooks participated in the inaugural Coyotes’ coaching internship program that provides young diverse hockey coaches with opportunities to learn and develop by working directly with the Arizona staff during development camp.

“We are very pleased to have Nathaniel join André Tourigny’s coaching staff,” Coyotes General Manager Bill Armstrong said in a news release. “Nathaniel has 15 years of experience as a skill development coach and he is a great communicator and teacher. Our players will benefit greatly from his knowledge and expertise, and we are looking forward to having him as part of our staff this season.”

Also, the Coyotes have signed forward Jean-Sebastien Dea to a two-year, two-way contract

The 5-foot-11, 174-pound Dea played last season with the AHL’s Laval Rocket, where he led the team with 26 goals, was second with 52 points and chipped in four goals and four assists in 15 AHL playoff games. 

Dea, a native of Laval, Quebec, has 33 games of NHL experience with three teams from 2016-21, and also played two years of junior hockey with the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies under current Coyotes coach André Tourigny.

ASU women's basketball to play in Bahamas in 2022 season

The ASU women's basketball team will be one of six teams participating in the 2022 Goombay Splash taking place Nov. 24-26 in the Bahamas (Bimini, Bahamas).

ASU's new head women's basketball coach, Natasha Adair speaks at her introductory press conference in the Carson Student Athletic Center on March 28, 2022, on ASU's campus in Tempe, AZ. © Megan Mendoza/The Republic ASU's new head women's basketball coach, Natasha Adair speaks at her introductory press conference in the Carson Student Athletic Center on March 28, 2022, on ASU's campus in Tempe, AZ.

The Sun Devils will play both American University and Notre Dame on Nov. 25-26 with the order of opposition to be determined.

ASU will announce additional information about its 2022 non-conference schedule later this summer.

The Sun Devils will be led by new head coach Natasha Adair in the upcoming season.

Arizona State hockey coach Greg Powers. © Arizona State University Arizona State hockey coach Greg Powers.

ASU hockey coach signs 5-year contract extension

Arizona State hockey head coach Greg Powers has agreed to a five-year contract extension. Powers will be signed through the 2026-27 season.

Powers has been at the helm of the program for 15 years, predating ASU becoming a Division I program. ASU became the fastest start-up program to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in NCAA Division I history during the 2018-19 season.

Under Powers, the Sun Devils have gone 90-18-119 over seven seasons in Division I.

ASU will begin its first season at the new Multi-Purpose Arena on October 14 against Cornell.

—Jenna Ortiz

Jeff Gordon to headline Phoenix Children’s charity event

Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will be the guest of honor at the NASCAR Championship Ignition Luncheon benefiting Phoenix Children’s. The event will take place on Aug. 30 at the Arizona Biltmore.

Proceeds from the luncheon go to Phoenix Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. 

“Few drivers have made an impact on NASCAR like Jeff Gordon, and he continues to be a driving force today,” Phoenix Raceway President Julie Giese said in a statement. “Even better, Jeff is a relentless champion for pediatric cancer research, and we’re happy to partner with him on a great event that will drive positive results for the impactful work being done at Phoenix Children’s.”

Gordon is a NASCAR Hall of Famer who won 93 Cup races and four titles in a career that spanned 25 years. He’s also a two-time winner at Phoenix Raceway.

Information: phoenixraceway.com/luncheon

Coyotes announce 6-game preseason schedule

The Coyotes released their preseason schedule for 2022 and, as expected, none of the games will be played in metro Phoenix as the team makes the transition to its new home at Arizona State.

There will be one game played in Arizona, however. The Coyotes will face off with Anaheim at TCC Arena in Tucson on Sept. 25. That's where their AHL affiliate Tucson Roadrunners play.

The complete schedule: Sept. 24, St. Louis (at Wichita, Kansas), 5 p.m.; Sept. 25, Anaheim (at Tucson), 2 p.m.; Sept. 27, Dallas (at Tulsa, Oklahoma), 5 p.m.; Sept. 28, at Anaheim, 7 p.m.; Oct. 4, at Vegas, 7 p.m.; Oct. 7, at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

The NHL regular-season schedule is due to be announced in July.

Championship doubleheader created at Phoenix Raceway

The season finale for the ARCA Menards Series West is being moved up one day to Friday, Nov. 4, at Phoenix Raceway. This will give the track a championship doubleheader on that Friday, with the ARCA race followed at 7 p.m. by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship race, the Lucas Oil 150.

Between those races, the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series will conduct practice sessions, placing four series on track that day.

“This creates an incredible value for race fans on Championship Friday,” raceway President Julie Giese said in a news release. “Being able to see four series in action provides a power-packed ticket that will keep our fans thrilled throughout the day.”

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series West will hold practice sessions on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 3. Admission to those practices is free.

—Staff report

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Digest: Coyotes sign draft pick Lamoureax to 3-year entry-level contract

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