The South Carolina Stingrays claimed the E.A. "Bud" Gingher Memorial Trophy as Eastern Conference champions on Wednesday with a 4-3 win over the Manchester Monarchs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Trailing 2-1 after one period, South Carolina took its first lead of the night on goals from Domenic Monardo and Olivier Archambault just 1:10 apart late in the second period. Manchester pulled even 3:17 into the third period on Ashton Rome's ninth goal of the playoffs but the Stingrays went back ahead at 8:56 on Archambault's second goal of the night.
Archambault led South Carolina in the series with five goals and shared the team lead in points with Rob Flick (4g-3a) with seven points each.
The Stingrays advance to the Kelly Cup Finals for the second time in three seasons, where they will meet the Western Conference champion Colorado Eagles.
The Stingrays will be making their ECHL record fifth appearance in the Kelly Cup Finals (1997, 2001, 2009, 2015, 2017). South Carolina's three titles are tied with Alaska and Hampton Roads for the most championships in league history.
The E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial Trophy is named in recognition of E.A. “Bud” Gingher, who was Chairman of the ECHL Board of Governors from 1992-95. Gingher, who passed away in 2002, co-founded the Dayton Bombers in 1991 and owned the team for seven seasons, serving as President and Governor until selling the team in 1998. Gingher was inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2009.
Gingher Trophy Champions
2017 South Carolina Stingrays 2016 Wheeling Nailers2015 South Carolina Stingrays 2014 Cincinnati Cyclones 2013 Reading Royals 2012 Florida Everblades 2011 Kalamazoo Wings 2010 Cincinnati Cyclones 2009 South Carolina Stingrays 2008 Cincinnati Cyclones 2007 Dayton Bombers 2006 Gwinnett Gladiators 2005 Florida Everblades 2004 Florida Everblades 2003 Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies 2002 Dayton Bombers 2001 Trenton Titans 2000 Peoria Rivermen 1999 Richmond Renegades1998 Hampton Roads Admirals