PRINCETON, N.J. – The 2005 Kelly Cup Finals have reunited several teammates while also putting many who previously played together on opposite sides.
Florida’s Matt Pagnutti and Ernie Hartlieb were teammates with Arkansas of the ECHL from 2001-03. Hartlieb played with Ryan Brindley at Miami (Ohio) University in 1998-99 and Shane Hnidy and Brad Church were teammates with Prince Albert of the Western Hockey League from 1993-96. Kris Vernarsky, Damian Surma and Jonas Fiedler played together in 2001-02 with Plymouth in the Ontario Hockey League. Vernarsky, Jared Newman and Rob Zepp were teammates in Plymouth from 1998-2001 while Surma and Brent McDonald played together with Lowell of the American Hockey League in 2002-03. Matt Hendricks and Keith Anderson were teammates at St. Cloud State University in 2000-01.
Trenton’s Leon Hayward and Tim Judy played together at Northeastern University in 2001-02, the same season that Andrew Allen and Jarrett Thompson were teammates with Macon of the ECHL. Thompson played with Jeff Smith in Red Deer of the WHL in 1999-2000 and with Rick Kowalsky in Roanoke in 2001-02. Trenton rookies Les Haggett and Brent Robinson were teammates at Brown University from 2001-04 while Stephen Wood and Matt Libby played together at Providence College in 2000-01.
The finals also have many former teammates competing against each other. Florida’s Brindley and Trenton’s Connor Dunlop played together with Cincinnati of the ECHL in 2003-04 while the Titans’ Kowalsky and the Everblades’ Tim O’Connell were teammates with Roanoke of the ECHL from 2002-04. Trenton’s Vince Williams played for Florida in 2001-02 and was a teammate of current Everblades Reggie Berg, McDonald, Anderson and Zepp. McDonald and Surma played with Trenton’s Michael Schutte in Lowell of the AHL in 2002-03 and Florida’s Paul Cabana and Trenton’s Chris Pittman were teammates with Columbia of the ECHL from 2002-04. Florida’s Vernarsky played with Trenton’s Dunlop on the United States Junior National Team in 1997-98. Vernarsky was a teammate of the Titans’ Bryce Cockburn in Providence in 2003-04. Church was a teammate of Trenton’s Kowalsky with Portland of the AHL from 1996-98 and with Hampton Roads of the ECHL in 1999-2000. Church and the Titans’ Hayward played together in Richmond in 2002-03 and in 2003-04 with both Reading of the ECHL and Manchester of the AHL. Cockburn and Florida’s Craig Kowalski were teammates at Northern Michigan University from 2000-03 while the Titans’ Allen and Florida’s Simon Tremblay played together at the University of Vermont in 1997-98.