Greenville Upsets Brabham Cup Champion Pensacola

South Carolina Still Only Team To Win Brabham Cup, Kelly Cup In Same Season

PRINCETON, N.J. – The upset by No. 8 Seed Greenville Grrrowl’s of No. 1 Seed Pensacola in the American Conference Quarterfinals marks the ninth time in 17 seasons that the regular season point champion has lost in the first round of the postseason.

Greenville beat the Ice Pilots 4-0 on Tuesday after winning Games 1 and 2 in overtime at Pensacola. Greenville advances to the American Conference Semifinals along with Florida and Gwinnett. The fourth team will be the winner of the series between Columbia and Charlotte, who play Game 5 at Columbia on Wednesday.

Pensacola finished atop the ECHL with 107 points (51-16-5) to win the Brabham Cup, the trophy presented annually to the team that finishes with the most regular season points. Greenville finished fourth in the East Division and eighth in the American Conference with 83 points (39-28-5).

Greenville was 39-28-5 with 83 points, a 50-point improvement from last season when the Grrrowl missed the postseason. The 50-point improvement ties the ECHL record set by Knoxville, which improved 50 points from 1992-93 to 1993-94. It is the fourth trip to the postseason for Greenville, which won the Kelly Cup in 2002.

In the history of the ECHL, the Brabham Cup Champion has lost in the first round nine times, in the second round two times, in the conference finals two times, and in the finals three times. In the first season of the ECHL in 1988-89, Carolina swept Erie in four games in the opening round of the Riley Cup Playoffs. Erie won the Brabham Cup with 77 points (37-20-3) while Carolina finished fourth with 55 points (27-32-1).

South Carolina is the only team in 15 years that has won the Brabham Cup and the Kelly Cup in the same season, accomplishing the feat in 1996-97. South Carolina beat Louisiana in five games to win the inaugural Kelly Cup in 1997 after finishing first overall with 100 points (45-15-10). The Stingrays are also the only team in league history to win the ECHL title after scoring 100 points or more in the regular season.

Alaska swept San Diego in three games in the first round in 2003. San Diego won the Brabham Cup and the Pacific Division with 108 points (49-13-10) while Alaska finished fourth in the division with 82 points (38-28-6).

Cincinnati beat Toledo in four games in the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 2003. Toledo won the Brabham Cup and the Northwest Division with 104 points (47-15-10) while Cincinnati finished third in the Northwest Division with 79 points (36-29-7). Cincinnati upset Peoria, which had finished second overall and second in the Northwest Division with 103 points (48-17-7), in the first round.

Jackson beat Louisiana in five games in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 2002. Louisiana won the Brabham Cup and the Southwest Division with a record 116 points (56-12-4) while Jackson finished fourth in the Southwest Division with 77 points (34-29-9) and had to beat New Orleans in a Wild Card Game to advance. The 39-point differential between the two teams is the third-largest upset in league playoff history.

Trenton won the Brabham Cup and the Northeast Division with 104 points (50-18-4) and advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals in 2001 where it lost to South Carolina in five games.

Augusta beat Florida in five games in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs in 2000. Florida won the Brabham Cup and the Southeast Division with a record 108 points (53-15-2) while Augusta finished fifth in the Southeast Division with 73 points (34-31-5) and had to beat New Orleans in a three-game Wild Card Series to advance. The 35-point differential is the fourth-largest upset in league playoff history.

Pee Dee won the Brabham Cup and the Southeast Division with a record 106 points (51-15-4) and advanced to the Southern Conference Finals in the 1999 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Louisiana won the Brabham Cup and the Southwest Division with 96 points (43-17-10) and advanced to the Southern Conference Finals in the 1998 Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Richmond won the Brabham Cup and the East Division with a record 105 points (46-11-13) and lost in the second round of the 1996 Riley Cup Playoffs.

Birmingham swept Wheeling in three games in the first round of the Riley Cup Playoffs in 1995. Wheeling won the Brabham Cup and the North Division with 97 points (46-17-5) while Birmingham finished sixth in the South Division with 56 points (26-38-4). The 41-point differential between the two teams is the second-largest upset in league playoff history.

Louisville beat Knoxville in three games in the first round of the Riley Cup Playoffs in 1994. Knoxville won the Brabham Cup and the West Division with 94 points (44-18-6) while Louisville finished fifth in the West Division with 40 points (16-44-8). The 54-point differential between the two teams is the largest upset in league playoff history.

Wheeling won the Brabham Cup and the East Division with 88 points (40-16-8) and advanced to the 1993 Riley Cup Finals where it lost to Toledo in six games.

Louisville beat Toledo four games to one in the first round of the Riley Cup Playoffs in 1992. Toledo won the Brabham Cup and the West Division with 95 points (46-15-3) while Louisville finished tied for fourth in the West Division with 70 points (31-25-8). The 25-point differential between the two teams is tied for the ninth-largest upset in league playoff history.

Louisville swept Knoxville in three games in the first round of the Riley Cup Playoffs in 1991. Knoxville won the Brabham Cup and the West Division with 97 points (46-13-5) while Louisville finished fourth in the West Division with 66 points (31-29-4). The 31-point differential between the two teams is tied for the fifth-largest upset in league playoff history.

Winston-Salem won the Brabham Cup with 82 points (38-16-6) and advanced to the 1990 Riley Cup Finals where it lost to Greensboro in five games.