Sports news

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's largest city probably will not meet the deadline to apply for a minor league hockey franchise in time for the 2017-18 season.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Godfrey Wood says an unnamed investor identified earlier as a potential financier has pulled out of the deal.

Wood was leading the charge to bring a team to Portland after the Portland Pirates move out of state. He says it's still possible to buy an existing franchise and relocate it to Portland by fall 2017.

It’s been a big week for the Katahdin Region, with news that the area would be home to one of the nation’s newest national monuments. It’s also home to one of the nation’s newest marathons.

John Hough, is race director for the Bay of Fundy International Marathon, is in town with other race organizers to plot the course for the newly minted Millinocket Marathon.

The two-time defending Olympic gold medal-winning U.S. women’s eight rowing crew, featuring Boothbay Harbor’s Elle Logan, won its first race at the 33rd Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday morning.

The heavily favored U.S. squad won its heat in dominating fashion, finishing the 2,000-meter course several boat lengths and more than 8 seconds ahead of the second-place Netherlands.

Team USA was timed in 6 minutes, 6.34 seconds compared to 6:14.36 for the Dutch. Romania was third in 6:16.24 with Australia fourth in 6:22.68.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET: Ali's Funeral Set For Friday

Muhammad Ali, the man considered the greatest boxer of all time, died late Friday at a hospital in Phoenix at age 74. He was battling respiratory problems.

He died of septic shock related to natural causes, with his family at his bedside, according to family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

Ali inspired millions by standing up for his principles during the volatile 1960s and by always entertaining — in the boxing ring and in front of a microphone.

Dave Boardman / MPBN

Tennis great Serena Williams, Olympic gold medal skier Mikaela Shiffren and Mets outfielder Carlos Delgado might play vastly different sports, but they share one common trait that some Maine student-athletes are working to emulate: they are writers.

ninfaj / Flickr/Creative Commons

By Ernie Clark, Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Principals’ Association has joined a growing number of state organizations around the country that have adopted prohibitions on unmanned aerial systems, more commonly known as drones, at their athletic events.

The Maine Principals’ Association general membership approved at its recent spring conference a policy that prohibits the use of drones at its sponsored events, such as championship games in all varsity sports.

Corey Templeton / Commons

Two men well-known in Portland’s business and sports circles say they are close to a deal that would allow them to bring a new hockey team to Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena — and replace the Portland Pirates, who are moving to Massachusetts.

With a season that starts on June 5 and runs through the third week of August, Maine state parks are facing a shortage of lifeguards.

Kurt Shoener, who manages three state parks in southern Maine, says there’s a tight market for lifeguards. Of the five lifeguard positions at Crescent Beach State Park, he says four are open and only two people have applied.

Shoener says some other state parks in Maine have a similar number of openings with no applicants.

Fred Bever / MPBN

Businesses, officials and sports fans are struggling to make sense of news that the Portland Pirates hockey team is leaving town. And some are upset that they financed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the arena where the Pirates played for two decades, only to see them take a walk.

Daniel Steele owns the Brian Boru Irish Pub, a landmark red building a short walk from the Cross Insurance Arena where the Pirates, a minor-league hockey team affiliated with the Florida Panthers, played for more than 20 years.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League are poised to leave their Maine home in favor of Springfield, Massachusetts.

Cross Insurance Arena board chairman Mitch Berkowitz says the Pirates are heading out of town after 23 years in Maine’s largest city.

Springfield wants a team to fill the void expected to be left by another AHL franchise, the Springfield Falcons. The Arizona Coyotes plan to move the Falcons to Tucson, Arizona.

Gabe Souza / Portland Press Herald

The number of kids playing sports in Maine and across the country is up — in fact, there has been a 22 percent increase in the number of sports programs at Maine high schools.

PORTLAND, Maine — Baseball America says Portland has been voted the "Best Road City" in baseball’s minor leagues.

The magazine named Portland, home of Portland Sea Dogs, as the best road destination as part of its "Best of the Minors" awards. The Sea Dogs are a minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Sea Dogs executive vice president and general manager Geoff Iacuessa says opposing teams enjoy coming to Portland because of its restaurants, microbreweries and large Hadlock Field crowds.

New Orleans, Las Vegas, Nashville and others also received votes.

The Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has voted against a measure that would set a blood-level limit for drivers under the influence of marijuana.

FORT KENT, Maine — Some mushers and their dog teams are still out finishing the Can Am Crown 250 in northern Maine. The first team to finish, led by Martin Massicotte of Quebec, crossed the finish line in Fort Kent around 5:45 this morning.

"I think this is his seventh victory here," says Race Marshall Don Hibbs. "He's been a very consistent musher for many, many years and he must work harder than the rest of us, so he deserves everything he gets."

Patty Wight / MPBN

There’s a somewhat new school-sanctioned sport in Maine: unified basketball. The game brings together students with developmental disabilities and those in the general population.