Blackbirds advance to Great Lakes Division finals
ST. JOHN | With a pair of convincing wins over the Wooster (Ohio) Oilers on March 8 and 9 while playing host at the Midwest Training and Ice Center, the Illiana Blackbirds advanced to the Great Lakes Division finals of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League playoffs.
That Friday during the second round of the playoffs, the Blackbirds routed the Oilers by a score of 10-1. Nicholas Townes recorded his second hat-trick of the post-season to go with a pair of assists; Chad Miller had two goals and three assists; Nathan Aloisio had a goal and four assists; and Sean Gruenhagen, Damon Reeves, Austin Ahlers and Curtis Artuso each scored for Illiana; and Nicholas Palella, Brandon Niedziela, Vincent Hernandez, Tyler DeVooght, Cameron Montalvo and Jakob Smith were each credit with an assist.
The following Saturday, the Blackbirds capped the two-game sweep with a 4-1 victory. Townes had a pair of goals; Miller scored and had two assists; Gruenhagen had a goal; Aloisio had three assists; Montalvo had two assists; and Kyle Fahy was credited with an assist for Illiana.
During the series, Illiana goalie Calvin Burkhart stopped 56-of-58 shots.
The Blackbirds with play the Wisconsin Rampage this weekend at the Ice Plex in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. Game One is 7:45 p.m. Friday; Game Two is 7:15 p.m. Saturday; Game Three (if necessary) is 1:15 p.m. Sunday. Winner advances to the MJHL Championship.
Trek Bicycle Store holding 10-week training program
SCHERERVILLE | Trek Bicycle Store, 651 U.S. 30, is starting a new Joyriders 10-week training program for beginner or intermediate bike riders who are interested in getting reintroduced to their bikes and help improve health and lifestyle. An orientation sign-up meeting is at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the store. Cost is $85 for the program which begins March 27. For details, contact Paul Jellema at (219) 322-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diamond Queens 14U softball team seeks player
The Diamond Queens 14U softball team is still looking for one player. The team will offer a full season of travel at a reduced cost. For details, call (219) 577-7377 or visit diamondqueensfastpitch.com.
Sunday 16-inch softball league looking for teams
UNIVERSITY PARK | University Park Parks and Recreation is looking for teams to participate in its Men's 16-Inch Sunday Softball League. Games will be played on the Riegel Farm and Olmsted Parks Softball Diamonds. League fee is $575 per team. The regular season will be at least 10 games long followed by a double-elimination tournament.
The next league meeting is 6 p.m. March 23 at the Riegel Farm office, 580 Farmview Rod. For details, call Greg Murray at (708) 534-6456.
Crown Point Lacrosse to host St. Rita Wednesay
CROWN POINT | Crown Point Lacrosse, which has expanded to include a junior varsity team with its varsity team, will open the season at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday against St. Rita at the Crown Point Sportsplex, 1313 E. North St. Admission to the game is free; concessions will be available.
The inaugural season for C.P Lacrosse's youth program -- U13 and U15 -- begins April 14. For details, go to www.freeteams.net/cplax.
Indiana Chiefs holding 14U Memorial Baseball Tournament
HAMMOND | The Indiana Chiefs of Hammond are looking for teams to participate in the inaugural Tony Klaja Memorial 14U Baseball Tournament, to be held May 24-27 at Riverside Park. Each team will be guaranteed a minimum of four games.
Interested teams should contact Dave Sutkowski at (219) 852-9461, Todd Iwema at (219) 313-5996, or go to www.hammondchiefs.com.
Bunny Hop gymnastics camp at All-American
DYER | Patti's All-American Gymnastics, 1530 Joliet St., will be hosting a Kids Night Out-Bunny Hop-Candy Hunt gymnastics camp for ages 4-12 from 5 to 9 p.m. March 23. For details, call (219) 865-2274 or go to www.pattisallamerican.com.
Babe Ruth umpire clinic at Hammond Civic Center
HAMMOND | A National Babe Ruth Baseball umpire/coaches clinc will be held at the Hammond Civic Center from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23. Registration will be at 8 a.m. All youth league umpires and coaches, and anyone interested in becoming an umpire with national certification, are encouraged to attend. An open-book National Certification test will be given to first-time umpires. Returning umpires may become recertified, but do not have to take the test. Cost of the clinic is $25, which includes lunch, plus $40 to take the certification test or to recertify.
To RSVP or for more details, call Randy Walker at (219) 865-2437 or John Pearson at (219) 661-9923.
Chicago Blackhawk players to appear at Bridges'
GRIFFITH | Bridges' Scoreboard Restaurant and Sports Bar, 121 N. Griffith Blvd., will host several upcoming appearances from current Chicago Blackhawk players.
From 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 27, Blackhawk defensemen Nick Leddy will appear; and from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 11, Blackhawk winger Brandon Saad will appear.
Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door for Stalberg, $25 in advance and $30 at the door for Leddy, and $20 in advance and $30 at the door for Saad. Including with admission to all events are two autographs of any two items and one photo opportunity.
For details, call (219) 924-2206.
Diamond Kings holding hitting and pitching camps
ST. JOHN | Diamond Kings Baseball and Softball Training Complex in St. John will be holding its four-week Spring Training Hitting and Pitching Camps on Sundays running from Sunday through April 7. Pitching and hitting sessions will be held back-to-back, and are available for grades K-2, 3-4 and 5-9. Camps are for beginner and advanced players. Players can sign up for either camp or both. To register, call (219) 558-2273 or go to www.TrainDK.com.
Hobart Storm 10U baseball team seeks player
The Hobart Storm 10U part-time travel baseball team is looking for one player to complete its 2013 roster. The team's schedule allows players to play travel and Little League/Cal Ripken at the same time. Those interested in scheduling a tryout, or other teams looking to schedule games, call Luke Donsbach at (219) 313-2920.
Playmakers 14U baseball team seeks players
The Indiana Playmakers 14U baseball team, coaches by former major leaguer Brad Voyles, is looking for a catcher and an outfielder/pitcher. For details, contact Voyles at (920) 217-4200.
E.C. Hall of Fame seeks relatives of inductee
The East Chicago Sports Hall of Fame is seeking surviving relatives and/or friends of Henry Hardy, who is part of the 2013 induction class. For details, contact E.C. HOF founder Jim Platis at (219) 322-8012.
Hunter's Education Safety Course at Cedar Creek
CEDAR LAKE | Lake County Parks is offering a Hunter's Education Safety Course from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Cedar Creek Family Golf Center, 10483 W. 109th Ave. Participants must attend both session and pass a written test. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources requires all hunters born after 1986 to take the class. All hunters, regardless of age, need this class if they wish to hunt out of state or participate in state-sponsored hunts.
Those who pass the exam will receive a certified hunter's education card that is good for life. Children 12 and younger are required to have an adult present throughout the class.
Pre-registration is required by calling (219) 947-7275.
Hall of Fame basketball coach giving lessons
MERRILLVILLE | Former Merrillville boys basketball coach and member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Jim East, is giving individual one-hour basketball lessons for boys and girls in grades 4-12. For cost and registration, call (219) 308-5504 or (219) 662-8157.
All-Star Angels holding cheerleading call-outs
WHEELER | The All-Star Angels are holding call-outs for their competitive cheer teams April 14 at their gym located at 679 W. State Road 130. Times for ages 8-and-under are from noon to 2 p.m., for 9-11 are from 2 to 4 p.m., for 12-14 are from 4 to 6 p.m. and for 15-18 are from 6 to 8 p.m. Boys and girls of all skill levels are encouraged to attend. Participants should come in workout attire.
For details, call Jess at (219) 448-1364 or Bethany at (219) 617-5238, or go to www.indianaelitegymnastics.com.
Ross Township taking adult softball registrations
MERRILLVILLE | The Ross Township Adult Softball League is taking registrations for the 2013 season. The Men's League will play on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights; the Co-ed League will play on Wednesday nights. There will be upper and lower divisions. Cost is $600 per team. For details, call (219) 769-2111 or visit rosstownship.org.
State basketball tournament at the Fieldhouse
MERRILLVILLE | The Fieldhouse-Merrillville, 899 East 99th Court, will host its boys and girls grade 4-12 Tournament of Champions state basketball tournament, which will consist of public, private and travel team divisions, March 23-24. Entry fee is $225 per team and $175 for teams in the Fieldhouse-Merrillville Winter League. Entry deadline is March 18. For details, call (219) 738-2424 or go to www.thefieldhouse-merrillville.com.
Cougars 12U travel softball team seeks players
The 2013 12U Cougars travel softball has two openings, all positions considered. The team will support and encourage its players to also participate in local recreational leagues. For details, contact Rich Arndt (219) 395-8198, (773) 551-1185 or email@example.com.
Crown Point taking adult softball sign-ups
CROWN POINT | The Crown Point Parks Department Adult Softball Leagues are taking reservations.
The Men's League will have "C" division play on Wednesdays, "D" division play on Thursdays, and "E" division play on Mondays and Tuesdays. Teams will play double-headers each night. Fee is $575 per team. League play begins April 30. Registration deadline is Friday.
The Co-ed League will play on Sundays. Fee is $475 per team. League play begins on April 28. Registration deadline is Friday.
The Women's League will play on Mondays. Fee is $475 per team. League play begins on May 6. Registration deadline is Friday.
All teams must pay full amount or make a deposit of $100 to secure a position.
Also, the Sunday Men's Softball League is taking sign-ups Fee is $550 per team. The season will being May 19 with a preseason tournament. Registration deadline is April 1.
For details about the Men's, Women's and Co-ed leagues, call Richard Zurbriggen at (219) 663-3408 (home) or (219) 776-0654 (cell); for details about the Sunday Men's League, call James Shrader at (219) 794-4327.
Travel 14U baseball team looking for pitchers
A 14U travel baseball team, which will play at 10-tournament schedule, is looking for pitchers. For details, call (219) 712-7556.
Renegades 16U softball team looking for player
The Renegades 16U softball team is looking for one power pitcher/middle infielder/outfielders -- all in one. The team will play four to five tournaments next season. For details, call (219) 801-0469.
Dodgeball league starting at Indiana Elite
MERRILLVILLE | The Elite Championship Series, a 12-week coed dodgeball league, will begin play on April 7 at Indiana Elite Baseball and Softball Facility, 8224 Wright St. Registration fee for the six-on-six teams (three males, three females -- teams may have up to eight players) is $300. For details, call (219) 779-7813 or (219) 545-2241, or go to www.team-elite.com.
Triple Crown Titans seek 14U baseball players
The Triple Crown Titans 14U baseball team is looking for two players for the 2013 season. For details, contact Ed Gomez at (219) 880-9930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Playmakers Elite Tournament seeks 15U baseball teams
GRIFFITH | The Playmakers Elite Tournament is taking registration for 15U baseball teams. The tournament will take place July 5-7 at the Griffith High School varsity field. Cost is $450 per team. There will be a three-game guarantee. For details, contact Dave Griffin at (219) 922-1107 or email@example.com.