Original ECHL Member Hosts Kelly Cup Tour

PRINCETON, N.J. – The Third-Annual Kelly Cup Tour travels 2,584 miles across the United States, the longest travel segment of 2006, to Johnstown, Pa. where original ECHL member Johnstown will host North Division rivals Toledo on Friday and Dayton on Saturday.

The Chiefs are playing their 18th ECHL season while Dayton and Toledo are both in their 15th season. Johnstown was one of the original members in 1988-89 when the league began with five teams in three states while Toledo and Dayton joined as expansion teams in 1991-92.

Following its only trip to the Keystone State, the Kelly Cup will visit Toledo, Ohio on Mar. 3 when the Storm hosts 2005 Kelly Cup Champion Trenton and Greenville on Mar. 4 before heading to Wheeling, W.Va. for the Nailers game against Toledo on Mar. 5.

Johnstown, Toledo and Wheeling are fourth, fifth and sixth stops on a 50-day tour that will see the Kelly Cup visit 11 cities in nine states and one Canadian province. The tour covers 10,339 miles, the greatest distance traveled in one year since the Kelly Cup Tour began in 2004.

The Kelly Cup has gained recognition and prominence as the championship trophy of the nationwide ECHL and is a symbol of hard work, dedication and excellence at the ‘AA’ level. The Kelly Cup has been awarded to the ECHL postseason champion each season since 1997 and was won by the Trenton Titans in 2005. The Kelly Cup and the Stanley Cup were both at the ECHL All-Star Game festivities in Fresno, Calif. on Jan. 24-25, marking the seventh consecutive year that the championship trophy of the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League was displayed with the championship trophy of the National Hockey League.

In addition to ECHL games, the trophy will make appearances at schools, sponsors, radio and television stations and other community events in each city it visits. The Kelly Cup, which stands 19 3/8 inches tall and weighs 25 3/8 pounds, replaced the Riley Cup which was awarded to the ECHL postseason champion from 1989-96. Accompanying the Kelly Cup is a full-color display that highlights the Kelly Cup Playoffs, scheduled to begin April 10.

The tour opened Feb. 10 in Victoria, British Columbia as the Kelly Cup traveled outside the United States for the first time. The opening stop of the tour also featured ECHL Commissioner Emeritus Patrick J. Kelly, the man for whom the postseason trophy is named.

2006 Kelly Cup Tour Schedule
Feb. 10 Victoria, British Columbia
Feb. 11 Victoria, British Columbia
Feb. 17 West Valley City, Utah
Feb. 18 Stockton, Calif.
Feb. 19 Stockton, Calif.
Feb. 24 Johnstown, Pa.
Feb. 25 Johnstown, Pa.
Mar. 3 Toledo, Ohio
Mar. 4 Toledo, Ohio
Mar. 5 Wheeling, W.Va.
Mar. 10 Greenville, S.C.
Mar. 11 Greenville, S.C.
Mar. 12 Charlotte, N.C.
Mar. 18 Duluth, Ga.
Mar. 24 Boise, Idaho
Mar. 25 Boise, Idaho
Mar. 31 North Charleston, S.C.

2006 Kelly Cup Tour Facts
* 50 days (Feb. 10-Mar. 31)
* 11 ECHL Cities
* Distance Traveled – 10,339 miles
* Longest Travel Segment – 2,584 miles (Stockton, Calif. to Johnstown, Pa.)
* Shortest Travel Segment – 104 miles (Greenville, S.C. to Charlotte, N.C.)

Kelly Cup Champions
2005 – Trenton defeated Florida, 4 games to 2
2004 – Idaho defeated Florida, 4 games to 1
2003 – Atlantic City defeated Columbia, 4 games to 1
2002 – Greenville defeated Dayton, 4 games to 0
2001 – South Carolina defeated Trenton, 4 games to 1
2000 – Peoria defeated Louisiana, 4 games to 2
1999 – Mississippi defeated Richmond, 4 games to 3
1998 – Hampton Roads defeated Pensacola, 4 games to 2
1997 – South Carolina defeated Louisiana, 4 games to 1