Grizzlies, Thunder Welcome Kelly Cup Tour

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Third-Annual Kelly Cup Tour heads into West Valley City, Utah on Friday for the Utah Grizzlies game against the Stockton Thunder at The “E” Center and then travels 703 miles west to Stockton, Calif. where it will be displayed at Stockton Arena when the Thunder hosts Fresno on Saturday and Idaho on Sunday.

Utah and Stockton are the second and third stops on a 50-day tour that will see the Kelly Cup visit 11 cities in nine states and one Canadian province. The tour covers 10,339 miles which is the greatest distance traveled in one year since the Kelly Cup Tour began in 2004.

The Kelly Cup has gained recognition and prominence as the championship trophy of the nationwide ECHL and is a symbol of hard work, dedication and excellence at the ‘AA’ level. The Kelly Cup has been awarded to the ECHL postseason champion each season since 1997 and was won by the Trenton Titans in 2005. The Kelly Cup and the Stanley Cup were both at the ECHL All-Star Game festivities in Fresno, Calif. on Jan. 24-25, marking the seventh consecutive year that the championship trophy of the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League was displayed with the championship trophy of the National Hockey League.

In addition to ECHL games, the trophy will make appearances at schools, sponsors, radio and television stations and other community events in each city it visits. The Kelly Cup, which stands 19 3/8 inches tall and weighs 25 3/8 pounds, replaced the Riley Cup which was awarded to the ECHL postseason champion from 1989-96. Accompanying the Kelly Cup is a full-color display that highlights the Kelly Cup Playoffs, scheduled to begin April 10. Each of the 25 ECHL cities were given the opportunity to host the tour which traveled 7,112 miles in 51 days while visiting 12 cities in eight states.

The Kelly Cup Tour will head across the United States to Johnstown, Pa. where original ECHL member Johnstown will host North Division rivals Toledo and Dayton on Feb. 24 and 25.

The tour opened Feb. 10 in Victoria, British Columbia as the Kelly Cup traveled outside the United States for the first time. The opening stop of the tour also featured ECHL Commissioner Emeritus Patrick J. Kelly, the man for whom the postseason trophy is named.

2006 Kelly Cup Tour Schedule
Friday West Valley City, Utah
Saturday Stockton, Calif.
Sunday Stockton, Calif.
Feb. 24 Johnstown, Pa.
Feb. 25 Johnstown, Pa.
Mar. 3 Toledo, Ohio
Mar. 4 Toledo, Ohio
Mar. 5 Wheeling, W.Va.
Mar. 10 Greenville, S.C.
Mar. 11 Greenville, S.C.
Mar. 12 Charlotte, N.C.
Mar. 18 Duluth, Ga.
Mar. 24 Boise, Idaho
Mar. 25 Boise, Idaho
Mar. 31 North Charleston, S.C.

2006 Kelly Cup Tour Facts
* 50 days (Feb. 10-Mar. 31)
* 11 ECHL Cities
* Distance Traveled – 10,339 miles
* Longest Travel Segment – 2,584 miles (Stockton, Calif. to Johnstown, Pa.)
* Shortest Travel Segment – 104 miles (Greenville, S.C. to Charlotte, N.C.)

Kelly Cup Champions
2005 – Trenton defeated Florida, 4 games to 2
2004 – Idaho defeated Florida, 4 games to 1
2003 – Atlantic City defeated Columbia, 4 games to 1
2002 – Greenville defeated Dayton, 4 games to 0
2001 – South Carolina defeated Trenton, 4 games to 1
2000 – Peoria defeated Louisiana, 4 games to 2
1999 – Mississippi defeated Richmond, 4 games to 3
1998 – Hampton Roads defeated Pensacola, 4 games to 2
1997 – South Carolina defeated Louisiana, 4 games to 1