PRINCETON, N.J. – The Alaska Aces clinched their second straight Brabham Cup championship on Friday by virtue of Gwinnett’s loss at Florida. Alaska becomes the first team in ECHL history to win the Brabham Cup in consecutive seasons.
This marks the third time Alaska has won the ECHL’s regular-season championship. The Aces have gone on to win the Kelly Cup the previous two times they captured the Brabham Cup in 2006 and 2010.
The Aces enter Friday’s game at Ontario with a 43-17-10 record for 96 points. Alaska has secured a first-round bye in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, and will open the Western Conference Semifinals at home on Friday, April 13 against either Colorado, Stockton or Utah.
The Brabham Cup is the trophy awarded annually to the ECHL team that finishes with the most points in the regular season. The recipient is guaranteed home-ice advantage throughout its participation in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
The award is named in recognition of Henry Brabham, who founded the ECHL in 1988-89 with five teams in four states. Brabham, who was the first inductee into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2008, owned three of the original five teams. The dedication of the Virginia businessman was crucial to the league surviving to span from coast-to-coast while advancing 465 players and countless coaches, on-ice officials and front office personnel to the National Hockey League.
Alaska won its first Brabham Cup championship in 2005-06 when it led the ECHL with 113 points. The Aces went on to defeat Gwinnett in five games to become just the second team in ECH history to win both the Brabham Cup and Kelly Cup in the same season. Last season, the Aces led the league with 97 points, and went on to defeat Kalamazoo 4 games to 1 in the Kelly Cup Finals becoming the fourth team to win both the regular season and postseason championship in league history. Alaska has qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs in each of its nine seasons in the ECHL, and has advanced past the first round in seven of the previous eight seasons.
Brabham Cup Champions
|2007||Las Vegas Wranglers|
|2005||Pensacola Ice Pilots|
|2004||San Diego Gulls|
|1999||Pee Dee Pride|
|1997||South Carolina Stingrays|