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Florida wins E.A. "Bud" Gingher Trophy as Eastern Conference champions


The Florida Everblades claimed the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Trophy as Eastern Conference champions on Tuesday with a 3-2 double overtime win over the Newfoundland Growlers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Florida wins the series 4 games to 2, and advances to meet the Idaho Steelheads in the 2023 Kelly Cup Finals. Idaho defeated Toledo 4 games to 1 in the Western Conference Finals to claim the Bruce Taylor Trophy.
Schedule announced for 2023 Kelly Cup Finals
With the scored tied after regulation, both goaltenders - Florida's Cam Johnson and Newfoundland's Luke Cavallin - came up with big saves in the first overtime period, which saw the Everblades outshoot the Growlers 10-5. For the second time in the series, the Everblades' John McCarron scored a game-winning goal in the second overtime period, ripping a shot past Cavallin 8:59 into double overtime. 
Blake Winiecki led Florida in the series with four goals, and shared the team lead with six points with Oliver Chau (2g-4a) and John McCarron (2g-4a). Pavel Gogolev’s three goals paced Newfoundland while Zach Solow (2g-3a) and Tyler Boland (1g-4a) shared the team lead with five points each.
The Everblades, who won Kelly Cup titles in 2012 and 2022, advance to the Kelly Cup Finals for the sixth time in team history (2004, 2005, 2012, 2018, 2022 and 2023), which is tied with South Carolina for the most Finals appearances in League history. Florida looks to become the fifth team in ECHL history to win back-to-back titles (Hampton Roads, 1991 and 1992; Toledo, 1993 and 1994; Allen, 2015 and 2016; Colorado, 2017 and 2018).
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
2023    Florida Everblades
2022    Florida Everblades
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
About the ECHL
Formed 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 two Canadian provinces for its 35th season in 2022-23. There have been 740 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after playing in the ECHL, including 13 who made their NHL debut in the 2022-23 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 28 of the 32 NHL teams in 2022-23, marking the 26th consecutive season that the league has affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at as well as on Twitter and Facebook.