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South Carolina captures E.A. “Bud” Gingher Trophy as Eastern Conference champions


The South Carolina Stingrays claimed the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Trophy as Eastern Conference champions on Monday with a 2-1 win over the Greenville Swamp Rabbits in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

South Carolina wins the series 3 games to 1, and awaits the winner of the Western Conference Finals between the Allen Americans and Fort Wayne Komets in the 2021 Kelly Cup Finals. The Stingrays advance to the Finals for the sixth time, extending their ECHL record. South Carolina’s three championships (1997, 2001 and 2009) are tied with Alaska and Hampton Roads for the most in League history.

Matthew Weis broke a scoreless tie with a power-play goal 9:43 into the second period and Max Novak found the back of the net at 4:02 of the third period to give South Carolina 2-0 lead before Ben Finkelstein got the Swamp Rabbits on the scoreboard at 4:37. Hunter Shepard stopped 29 shots, including a Max Zimmer penalty-shot attempt early in the second period.

Novak (3g-2a) and Weis (2g-3a) led the Stingrays in the series with five points each while Shepard went 3-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average. Greenville was led by Graham Knott (1g-2a) and Garret Thompson (1g-2a) with three points each.

The 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 2010.

E.A. “Bud” Gingher Trophy Champions
2021    South Carolina Stingrays

2020    Trophy not awarded due to COVID-19
2019    Newfoundland Growlers
2018    Florida Everblades
2017    South Carolina Stingrays    
2016    Wheeling Nailers    
2015    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 Renegades    
1998    Hampton Roads Admirals