The Allen Americans won their first-ever ECHL Kelly Cup championship on Sunday defeating the South Carolina Stingrays 6-1 at the Allen Event Center in Allen, Texas to win the series 4 games to 3.
With the win, Allen becomes the first team since the Idaho Steelheads in 2004 to win the Kelly Cup title in its first season in the ECHL. From 1989-96, the ECHL champion was awarded the Riley Cup. In the 27-year history of the ECHL, 18 different teams have captured the league title.
The Kelly Cup trophy is named for Patrick J. Kelly, who presents it each year to the postseason champion. Kelly was one of the founding fathers of the ECHL and the second inductee into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2008. Kelly served as Commissioner for the league’s first eight seasons and was named Commissioner Emeritus in 1996, a title that he continues to hold. Kelly, who celebrated his 61st season in hockey in 2013-14, coached 1,900 career games and had 935 wins. Kelly coached in the Eastern Hockey League, the Southern Hockey League and the National Hockey League where he was the only coach to ever lead the Colorado Rockies to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Celebrating its 27th season in 2014-15, the ECHL is the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
The ECHL is the primary development league for the AHL and the NHL. The ECHL and the AHL are the only two minor professional hockey leagues that are recognized in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The CBA states that any player on an NHL entry-level contract designated for assignment to a minor league must report if assigned to a team in the ECHL or the AHL. A player on an NHL entry-level contract assigned to a minor professional league other than the ECHL or the AHL is not required to report and can request reassignment to a team in the ECHL or the AHL.
Hanson wins Most Valuable Player award
Allen’s Greger Hanson was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs, becoming the first non-goaltender to win the award since 2011.
Hanson finished third in the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs with 29 points (12g-17a) in 25 games. He had at least one point in 15 of his 25 postseason games and was tied for the playoff lead with three game-winning goals.
Gill ties career record for Finals wins
Allen goaltender Riley Gill recorded four wins in the Kelly Cup Finals, giving him eight career Finals wins, which ties the all-time record for most wins in the Riley/Kelly Cup Finals. Gill, who went 4-1 in the 2013 Kelly Cup Finals with Reading and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 Kelly Cup Playoffs, joins Dave Gagnon (Hampton Roads, 1991 and Toledo, 1994) and Gerald Coleman (Alaska, 2011 and 2014) as goaltenders with eight career wins in the Riley/Kelly Cup Finals.
Gill’s second championship puts him in elite company, as he is only the fifth goaltender to win multiple championships in ECHL history. Nick Vitucci is the all-time leader with four titles, winning Riley Cup championships with Carolina in 1989, Greensboro in 1990, Toledo in 1994 and Charlotte in 1996. Mark Bernard was part of Riley Cup championship teams in Hampton Roads in 1991 and 1992 while Gagnon won with Hampton Roads in 1991 and Toledo in 1994. Coleman is the only other goaltender with multiple Kelly Cup titles, winning with Alaska in 2001 and 2014.
South Carolina’s Simpson sets playoff scoring mark
South Carolina’s Wayne Simpson set the ECHL postseason scoring mark during the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs, tallying 38 points (13g-25a) in 27 games. Simpson broke the previous mark of 34 points which was set by Richmond’s Blaine Moore in 1995 and tied by Louisiana’s John Spoltore in 2000. Simpson’s linemate, Andrew Rowe, finished the playoffs with 34 points, tying Moore and Spoltore for the second-highest point total in a single playoff year.
Americans are 11th Kelly Cup champion with home ice
Allen is the 11th team in 18 years to win the Kelly Cup with home-ice advantage in the Finals. The other winners are Alaska (2014), Reading (2013), Alaska (2011), Cincinnati (2008), Idaho (2007), Alaska (2006), Greenville (2002), Peoria (2000), Mississippi (1999) and South Carolina (1997). Sixteen of the 27 League champions have won the title with home-ice advantage.
Celebration at home & on road
For the 12th time in ECHL history, the decisive game in the Finals was won at home. The Kelly Cup has been clinched at home nine times with Allen (2015), Florida (2012), Cincinnati (2010 and 2008), Idaho (2004), Atlantic City (2003), South Carolina (2001), Peoria (2000) and Mississippi (1999). The Riley Cup was won at home three times with Richmond (1995), Toledo (1993) and Hampton Roads (1991).
The 15 winners on the road are: Alaska (2014), Reading (2013), Alaska (2011), South Carolina (2009), Idaho (2007), Alaska (2006), Trenton (2005), Greenville (2002), Hampton Roads (1998), South Carolina (1997), Charlotte (1996), Toledo (1994), Hampton Roads (1992), Greensboro (1990) and Carolina (1989).
Kelly Cup championship banners in 10 states
Allen’s win makes Texas the 10th state to produce a Kelly Cup champion. South Carolina (South Carolina Stingrays in 1997, 2001 and 2009 and Greenville in 2002) has produced four of the 19 winners of the Kelly Cup while Alaska (Alaska Aces in 2006, 2011 and 2014) has three championships. Idaho (Idaho Steelheads in 2004 and 2007), New Jersey (Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in 2003 and Trenton Titans in 2005) and Ohio (Cincinnati Cyclones in 2008 and 2010) have each produced two champions. The other five champions have been from Florida (Florida Everblades – 2012), Illinois (Peoria Rivermen – 2000), Mississippi (Mississippi Sea Wolves – 1999), Pennsylvania (Reading Royals – 2013) and Virginia (Hampton Roads Admirals – 1998).
ECHL champions from 12 states
In the first 27 years of the ECHL, Ohio (Toledo Storm in 1993 and 1994 and Cincinnati Cyclones in 2008 and 2010), South Carolina (South Carolina Stingrays in 1997, 2001 and 2009 and Greenville in 2002) and Virginia (Hampton Roads Admirals in 1991, 1992 and 1998 and Richmond Renegades in 1995) have the most championships with four each. Alaska (Alaska Aces in 2006, 2011 and 2014) and North Carolina (Carolina Thunderbirds in 1989, Greensboro Monarchs in 1990 and Charlotte Checkers in 1996) both have three champions while Idaho (Idaho Steelheads in 2004 and 2007) and New Jersey (Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in 2003 and Trenton Titans in 2005) have two apiece. Florida (Florida Everblades in 2012), Illinois (Peoria Rivermen in 2000), Mississippi (Mississippi Sea Wolves in 1999), Pennsylvania (Reading Royals in 2013) and Texas (Allen Americans in 2015) each have one winner.
Kelly Cup Finals game-worn jerseys, game-used pucks available
For the eighth year in a row, the ECHL and The MeiGray Group are offering fans the chance to purchase jerseys worn in the Kelly Cup Finals at ECHL.com, MeiGray.com and Auction.nhl.com. The auction will begin on Tuesday, June 16.
All of the jerseys will have the Kelly Cup Finals patch, which is available only on the team jerseys.
The jerseys worn by South Carolina in the Games 1, 2 and 4, as well as game-used and goal-scored pucks from the first three games, will be available starting on Tuesday, with additional pucks from later in the series added in the coming days.
The "Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL" since 2002, MeiGray gives hockey fans and sports collectors worldwide the opportunity to purchase authentic game-worn ECHL jerseys online at MeiGray.com or by telephone at (888) 463-4472.
Kelly Cup Finals available online for 12th consecutive year
Every game of the Kelly Cup Finals was broadcast live on ECHL.TV, powered by NeuLion. It marked the 12th straight season that every game of the Kelly Cup Finals was available for viewing.
2015 Kelly Cup Finals
Allen wins series 4-3
Game 1 – SOUTH CAROLINA 4 at Allen 3
Game 2 – South Carolina 2 at ALLEN 5
Game 3 – SOUTH CAROLINA 4 at Allen 1
Game 4 – ALLEN 3 at South Carolina 2 (2 OT)
Game 5 – ALLEN 3 at South Carolina 2 (OT)
Game 6 – Allen 1 at SOUTH CAROLINA 4
Game 7 – South Carolina 1 at ALLEN 6
Kelly Cup Champions
2015 – Allen defeated South Carolina, 4 games to 3
2014 – Alaska defeated Cincinnati, 4 games to 2
2013 – Reading defeated Stockton, 4 games to 1
2012 – Florida defeated Las Vegas, 4 games to 1
2011 – Alaska defeated Kalamazoo, 4 games to 1
2010 – Cincinnati defeated Idaho, 4 games to 1
2009 – South Carolina defeated Alaska, 4 games to 3
2008 – Cincinnati defeated Las Vegas, 4 games to 2
2007 – Idaho defeated Dayton, 4 games to 1
2006 – Alaska defeated Gwinnett, 4 games to 1
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
Riley Cup Champions
1996 – Charlotte defeated Jacksonville, 4 games to 0
1995 – Richmond defeated Greensboro, 4 games to 1
1994 – Toledo defeated Raleigh, 4 games to 1
1993 – Toledo defeated Wheeling, 4 games to 2
1992 – Hampton Roads defeated Louisville, 4 games to 0
1991 – Hampton Roads defeated Greensboro, 4 games to 1
1990 – Greensboro defeated Winston-Salem, 4 games to 1
1989 – Carolina defeated Johnstown, 4 games to 3
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and one Canadian province for its 27th season in 2014-15. There have been 569 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 28 who made their NHL debuts in the 2014-15 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 29 of the 30 NHL teams in 2014-15, marking the 18th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.