PRINCETON, N.J. – The Second-Annual Kelly Cup Tour visits Boise, home of the defending ECHL champion Idaho Steelheads, on Friday and Saturday. Idaho won the Kelly Cup at the Bank of America Centre on May 22, 2004 with a 5-2 victory over the Florida Everblades in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 5,374.
Every ECHL team had the opportunity to host the Kelly Cup Tour which opened February 18 in Reading and has made stops in Bakersfield, Charlotte, Columbia, Florida, Long Beach, Mississippi, North Charleston, Reading and Toledo. Accompanying the Kelly Cup is a full-color display that highlights the intensity and the excitement of the Kelly Cup Playoffs which begin April 12.
The Kelly Cup is named in recognition of Patrick J. Kelly, who was one of the founding fathers of the ECHL in 1988-89. Kelly served as Commissioner for the first eight seasons and was named Commissioner Emeritus in 1996, a title that he continues to hold. The coveted trophy, which was first awarded to the league champion in 1997, stands 19 3/8 inches and weighs 25 3/8 pounds and has the names of players, coaches and support staff from the last eight ECHL champions.
Idaho became only the second team in the 17-year history of the league to win the title after not finishing in the Top Five in the regular season standings. The Steelheads finished 11th overall while Hampton Roads finished 18th and qualified for the postseason on the final day of the regular season. Idaho is the first-ever champion to come from the Western Conference and the Steelheads hold the distinction of being the Kelly Cup Champion located the furthest west and also the furthest north. The latitude of Boise, Idaho is 43.64564 N while its longitude is 116.13285 W.
The Kelly Cup Tour makes the final stop of its 11-city, 51-day and 7,034-mile trek across eight states next Friday and Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., home of the Fresno Falcons and host of the 2006 ECHL All-Star Game presented by Bud Light.