Sports & Recreation
MODERN WOODMEN PARK TO HOST 2014 DAVENPORT LITTLE LEAGUE REGISTRATION FEB. 8 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 15:54
River Bandits will also offer exclusive deal on 2014 Kids Club memberships for youth 14 and under

 

DAVENPORT, Iowa (JAN. 30, 2014) - For the sixth consecutive year, the Quad Cities River Bandits will host Davenport Little League baseball and softball registration indoors at Modern Woodmen Park. On Saturday, Feb. 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Little Leaguers from throughout the Davenport area will visit the ballpark to register for their upcoming season.

By centralizing the registration at Modern Woodmen Park, this event incorporates all the Davenport Little Leagues, regardless of age or level, into one central location and has greatly assisted organizers in streamlining the registration process the last five years.

“We welcome these young athletes and their families to the Modern Woodmen Park experience, which is all about families creating memories that last a lifetime,” said River Bandits co-owner Dave Heller. “Kids and parents alike love incorporating Modern Woodmen Park and professional baseball into the Davenport Little Leagues, and we are thrilled to continue our support of the Little League programs and youth sports in the Quad Cities.”

All the local leagues – including the North, Northwest, East, Southeast, West Softball, Emeis, East Softball, Pony, Colt and Challenger Leagues – will hold registration on Feb. 8. Registration is required even if the child has previously played. At least one parent or legal guardian must be present with proof of residence and an original or state-certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, which will be returned at the registration. Also, the leagues require a completed registration form, medical release form, and the fee for registration.

For children ages 14 and under attending the Little League registration, the River Bandits will also offer an exclusive, one-day special on 2014 Kids Club memberships. Normally $30 per child 14 and under, a Kids Club membership will be $25 at Modern Woodmen Park on Saturday, Feb. 8, only. A Kids Club Membership includes a free bleacher ticket good for all River Bandits 2014 regular season home games, a membership card, a T-shirt, a 10 percent discount off purchases in the team store, an email newsletter with exclusive special offers and much more.

The River Bandits will also have select merchandise available for purchase, as well as information about ticket plans and group outings at the ballpark this season. Families and individuals may also purchase or renew their season ticket packages for the 2014 season.

“As a community-based venue, Modern Woodmen Park is ideal for kicking off the little league year,” said Genearal Manager Andrew Chesser. “As added fun, kids will register at a professional ballpark within the same week the pros are reporting for spring training!”

Questions about the Feb. 8 registration can be directed to Brittany Carter in the River Bandits front office at 563-324-3000.

UP NEXT: Call today to reserve a Valentine's Day dinner at Modern Woodmen Park for Friday, Feb. 14, or Saturday, Feb. 15. Couples can enjoy a gourmet four-course dinner in a private luxury suite or take in the spectacular views of the ballpark, Centennial Bridge, Mississippi River and downtown Davenport from a table in the glass-enclosed, climate-controlled Sky Deck. Reservations are due Thursday, Feb. 6, by calling 563-324-3000. To order ticket plans - with new lower prices - for next season, call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000 or visit www.riverbandits.com to download the season ticket order form. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.

ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 112 feet over the playing field, is opening this spring, along with a carousel, a new ride called a "Drop and Twist," an expanded zip line, and many other new games and attractions. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. The team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, just saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.

*****

 
FW: $1 DOG/$1 BEER NIGHT PRESENTED BY 97X RETURNS FRIDAY PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brian Lavelle   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 09:27
Meet Bud Light Mallards Ice Girls

MOLINE, Ill. (January 29, 2014) – The Quad City Mallards will return home for another $1 Dog/$1 Beer Night presented by 97X this Friday when the Mallards meet the Tulsa Oilers at 7:05 p.m.

$1 hot dogs and $1 beers are available at iWireless Center concession stands during each of the Mallards’ 11 Friday night home games this season.  First intermission entertainment will, courtesy of 97X, follow the hot dog-themed spirit of the evening.

This Friday will also see Bud Light Mallards Ice Girls meetings fans before the game at Kavanaugh's Hilltop Tavern beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Kavanaugh’s Hilltop is located at 1228 30th Street in Rock Island.  Fans will also have the chance to ride the MetroLINK to the game from Kavanaugh's with the Ice Girls!

The Mallards have partnered with Metro, which provides earlier service on the Route 59 between Augustana College and downtown Moline during Friday home games this season.  The Route 59 will make one trip from campus to downtown Moline prior to the game (arriving at 5th Avenue and 15th Street at 6:30 p.m.) and will resume service from downtown to campus every 30 minutes from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.  Regular Metro fares are just $1 one-way or $2 round-trip.  As part of Metro’s unlimited ride program, Augustana riders can use their Augustana ID as their fare.  Visit www.gogreenmetro.com or www.facebook.com/53and59 for more information.  

Tickets for Friday night’s game or any remaining Mallards regular season home game can be purchased at the iWireless Center ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets, through ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000.

 
RIMMER NAMED OAKLEY CHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brian Lavelle   
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 14:49
MOLINE, Ill. (January 28, 2014) – The Quad City Mallards' Ty Rimmer has been named Oakley Central Hockey League Goaltender of the Week, the Mallards announced today in conjunction with the CHL.

Rimmer, 21, last week went 2-0-1 with a 1.63 goals against average, a .954 save percentage and one shutout while helping the Mallards earn five of six available points from a three game series with the Beast in Brampton.

Rimmer made 34 saves last Thursday night as the Mallards kicked off their trip north of the border with a 4-1 victory.  The 6’ 1”, 170-pound Edmonton native nearly blanked the Beast in the series opener before finally allowing a goal with just two minutes and seven seconds left in that contest.  Rimmer would whitewash Brampton one night later, making 35 saves- including 22 in the third period alone- on the way to a 3-0 victory and his second shutout of the season.  Rimmer turned in another 35-save effort Sunday as the Mallards pocketed one point for a 4-3 overtime loss to the Beast.

Rimmer, who has gone 9-8-4 in 21 games this season, is tied for third in the CHL in shutouts and ranks eighth in goals against average (2.82) and save percentage (.910).  This season has also seen Rimmer collect his first American Hockey League win.  He went 1-0-1 and turned in a 2.65 goals against average and a .930 save percentage in three games with the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons after being called up last month.

This marks the second time in under a month Rimmer has earned league-wide recognition.  He was named CHL Rookie of the Month for December.  Mallard netminders have now claimed Goaltender of the Week honors twice this month. Thomas Heemskerk took home the hardware on January 7. 

Rimmer joined the Mallards this season after skating in the training camp of both the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers and the AHL’s Barons.  Rimmer got his first taste of professional hockey last spring when he played one game for the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs after completing his junior career with the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL.  Last season he led the WHL in minutes played (3,836) and total saves (2,106) while posting 3.19 goals against average, a .912 save percentage, a record of 24-30-10 and one shutout in 65 games with the Hurricanes.   

The 2011-12 campaign was especially successful for Rimmer, who earned WHL First Team All-Star honors after leading the league in goals against average (2.43) and save percentage (.922), finishing tied for first in shutouts (5) and finishing tied for eighth in wins while going 31-12-1 in 46 games for the Tri-City Americans.  His standout efforts helped propel the Americans to the United States Division title.

Over three-plus Western League seasons- during which he played for the Brandon Wheat Kings and Prince George Cougars in addition to the Americans and Hurricanes- Rimmer went 74-65-14 in 159 games and turned in a 3.01 goals against average, a .910 save percentage and ten shutouts.  Before becoming a WHL workhorse, Rimmer spent parts of two seasons in the Alberta Junior Hockey League with the St. Albert Steel and Bonnyville Pontiacs.

The Mallards next play at home Friday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers.  Friday is another $1 Dog/$1 Beer Night presented by 97X.  $1 hot dogs and beers will be available at iWireless Center concession stands during each of the Mallards’ 11 Friday night home games this season.

Tickets for Friday night’s game and all Mallards regular season home games can be purchased at the iWireless Center ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets, through ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.

 
Astros Farm System Ranked Tops In Baseball PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 16:17

ESPN.com Released 2014 Rankings This Morning

 

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros minor league system has been ranked as the best in baseball this morning by ESPN.com’s Keith Law.  The top three clubs in Law’s rankings are as follows:  

1. Houston Astros

2. Minnesota Twins

3. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Astros minor league clubs experienced a great deal of success in 2013, with all six domestic teams making the postseason, with two winning championships. Over the past two seasons (2012-13), the combined record of the Astros minor league clubs is tops in baseball. This represents a dramatic turnaround as the Astros minor league clubs had the worst combined record in baseball in both 2010 and 2011.

When General Manager Jeff Luhnow was hired by the Astros in December of 2011, one of the main objectives of the organization was to build a top farm system that would lead to sustained success on the Major League level in the future.

“We have been focused on developing the best young talent in baseball in the past few years,” Luhnow said.   “Our scouts, coaches, trainers and front office should be proud of the talent we have accumulated.  The next step is to turn that into wins for the Houston Astros.”

In addition to the success of the minor league clubs, the Astros top prospects have also been recognized nationally by several outlets. Seven prospects were included in MLB.com’s Top 100 list, released last week: Carlos Correa (#8), Mark Appel (#17), George Springer (#21) Jon Singleton (#50), Lance McCullers Jr. (#52), Mike Foltynewicz (#54) and Delino DeShields, Jr. (#66). 

Five prospects were included on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101 list, also released last week: Correa (#5),  Springer (#20), Appel (#21), Foltynewicz (#43) and Singleton (#57).

Last year, Law and other outlets ranked the St. Louis Cardinals as having the top minor league system. Prior to joining the Astros, Luhnow served as the vice president of scouting and player development for St. Louis for several seasons. Sixteen players on the 2013 NL Champion Cardinals playoff roster were drafted while Luhnow was VP of scouting and player development.

-Astros-

 
HEEMSKERK, RIOUX RETURN TO MALLARDS PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brian Lavelle   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014 14:28
MOLINE, Ill. (January 27, 2014) – Goaltender Thomas Heemskerk and defenseman Nicholas Rioux have returned to the Quad City Mallards from the American Hockey League and goaltender Nick Niedert has been waived, the Mallards announced today.

Heemskerk, 23, rejoins the Mallards from the AHL’s Worcester Sharks, with whom Heemskerk signed a professional tryout agreement on January 15.  The 6’ 0”, 210-pound Chilliwack, British Columbia native served as back-up in a half dozen games without seeing any action for the Sharks.  With the Mallards, Heemskerk has suffered just one regulation loss this season, going 9-1-4 in 15 games.  Heemskerk ranks second in the Central Hockey League in goals against average (2.45) and save percentage (.920).  He is unbeaten in regulation in his last five CHL games, a stretch during which he has posted a 4-0-1 record, a 1.57 goals against average, a .944 save percentage and two shutouts.

His tour with the Sharks was Heemskerk’s third AHL call-up this season.  The third year netminder joined the Iowa Wild for a pair of stints as a back-up earlier in the campaign.  Heemskerk is no stranger to Worcester, having seen action for the Sharks each of the last two seasons.  Over two games last year with the San Jose Sharks’ top affiliate, Heemskerk turned aside 27 of the 29 shots he faced in 67 minutes, turning in a 1.79 goals against average and a .931 save percentage.  In four games with Worcester in 2011-12, he went 0-1-0 with a 2.14 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.

Heemskerk spent the bulk of his first two seasons in the ECHL.  Last year he went 14-17-3 with a 3.10 goals against average and a .906 save percentage in 38 games with the San Francisco Bulls.  Heemskerk began his professional career in 2011-12 with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder, for whom he posted a record of 13-12-0 along with a 3.27 goals against average and a .893 save percentage in 25 games.

Rioux, 27, comes back to the Mallards after a second successive stint with Iowa.  The Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, product was first signed to a P.T.O. by the Wild on January 6, briefly returned to the Mallards last Monday and last Tuesday was called up to Iowa for a second time.  In all, he played six games for the Wild during which he went without a point and registered a plus/minus rating of +1.

Rioux has scored twice and totaled 12 points while posting a plus/minus of +11 in 28 games with the Mallards this season.

Rioux joined the Mallards after spending last year with the CHL’s Bloomington Blaze, for whom he scored seven goals and totaled 27 points while turning in a plus/minus rating of +3.  The 6’ 1”, 205-pound blue liner played in each of the Blaze’s 66 regular season games and, before moving up to Iowa, had missed just a single CHL game over his first three professional campaigns.

This season is Rioux’s second under Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski.  Rioux first skated for Ruskowski as a rookie with the CHL’s Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees in 2011-12.  Rioux scored five times, produced 21 points and posted a plus/minus rating of +5 in 65 games with the Killer Bees.

The 31-year old Niedert, who signed with the Mallards for the second time this season when Heemskerk departed for Worcester, made his debut for the club on January 17 in Wichita, making eight saves and giving up two goals after entering what proved to a 7-1 Mallard loss to the Thunder at the beginning of the third period.  Niedert has spent most of the season with the Danville Dashers of the Federal Hockey League while also tending goal in one ECHL game for the Utah Grizzlies this year.  The.  The 5’ 8”, 185-pound native of Hudson, Iowa, has gone 3-9-1 with a 5.05 goals against average and a .874 save percentage in 13 games with the Dashers.

Niedert played for five teams in four leagues last season- the Gwinnett Gladiators and Reading Royals of the ECHL, the Bloomington Blaze of the CHL, the August RiverHawks of the Southern Professional Hockey League and the Danbury Whalers of the FHL.  Over the course of his nine-year career, Niedert has played for 23 teams in nine different leagues after competing for five teams over three seasons of junior hockey.  He first wore the Mallards’ colors during the club’s 2011 training camp.

The Mallards next play at home Friday night at 7:05 p.m. against the Tulsa Oilers.  Friday is another $1 Dog/$1 Beer Night presented by 97X.  $1 hot dogs and beers will be available at iWireless Center concession stands during each of the Mallards’ 11 Friday night home games this season.

Tickets for Friday night’s game and all Mallards regular season home games can be purchased at the iWireless Center ticket office, Ticketmaster outlets, through ticketmaster.com or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.

 
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