15th Anniversary Season Opens Friday

The East Coast Hockey League opens its 15th Anniversary Season on Friday with 11 games, including Charlotte hosting Kelly Cup Champion Greenville and Dayton hosting Johnstown in a rematch of the 2002 Kelly Cup Playoffs Northwest Division Finals.

The league’s newest member Lexington plays its first ECHL game in the 7,500-seat Rupp Arena, hosting Greensboro on Friday. Augusta hosts Florida on Friday in their first meeting since the Everblades’ 2-1 shootout win at Augusta on the final day of the regular season. The win clinched the final playoff spot for Florida and caused the Lynx to miss the postseason for the first time since moving to Augusta in 1998. In other action Friday, Pee Dee will host South Carolina in the first of nine meetings between the Southeast Division rivals.

Highlighting the 12-game schedule on Saturday will be a match-up of the last two Kelly Cup Champions when 2002 Champion Greenville hosts 2001 Champion South Carolina. Prior to the game, the Grrrowl will raise the 2002 Kelly Cup Championship banner in the BI-LO Center.

There are six games scheduled for Sunday, including Jackson traveling to Mississippi for a rematch of the Kelly Cup Southwest Division Finals.

The 972-game schedule will conclude March 30 and will be followed by the 2003 Kelly Cup Playoffs.