The Alaska Aces won their third ECHL Kelly Cup championship on Monday defeating the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-0 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio to win the series 4 games to 2.
With the win, Alaska ties the South Carolina Stingrays for the most Kelly Cup title in ECHL history. Hampton Roads also won three ECHL championships, winning the Riley Cup in 1991 and 1992 and the Kelly Cup in 1998. From 1989-96, the ECHL champion was awarded the Riley Cup. In the 26-year history of the ECHL, 17 different teams have captured the league title.
The Kelly Cup trophy is named for Patrick J. Kelly, who presents it each year to the postseason champion. Kelly was one of the founding fathers of the ECHL and the second inductee into the ECHL Hall of Fame in 2008. Kelly served as Commissioner for the league’s first eight seasons and was named Commissioner Emeritus in 1996, a title that he continues to hold. Kelly, who celebrated his 61st season in hockey in 2013-14, coached 1,900 career games and had 935 wins. Kelly coached in the Eastern Hockey League, the Southern Hockey League and the National Hockey League where he was the only coach to ever lead the Colorado Rockies to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Celebrating its 26th season in 2013-14, the ECHL is the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
The ECHL is the primary development league for the AHL and the NHL. The ECHL and the AHL are the only two minor professional hockey leagues that are recognized in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The CBA states that any player on an NHL entry-level contract designated for assignment to a minor league must report if assigned to a team in the ECHL or the AHL. A player on an NHL entry-level contract assigned to a minor professional league other than the ECHL or the AHL is not required to report and can request reassignment to a team in the ECHL or the AHL.
Madore wins Most Valuable Player award
Cincinnati goaltender Rob Madore was named Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs, becoming the first player from the losing team to win the award in the ECHL’s 26-year history.
Madore appeared in all 24 postseason games for the Cyclones, posting a record of 14-10 with a 2.29 goals-against average and a save percentage of .930. He led all goaltenders in the postseason in games played, wins, minutes (1,493) and saves (756).
Coleman ties career record for Finals wins
Alaska goaltender Gerald Coleman recorded four wins in the Kelly Cup Finals, giving him eight career Finals wins, which ties the all-time record for most wins in the Riley/Kelly Cup Finals which was set by Dave Gagnon who played with Hampton Roads in 1991 and Toledo in 1994. Coleman also become the first goaltender to lead two teams to the Kelly Cup title.
Aces win title with no overtime wins
Alaska is the first team since Charlotte in 1996 to win the ECHL championship without winning an overtime game during the postseason. The Aces went 0-2 in overtime during the Kelly Cup Playoffs, losing to Idaho in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals and to Bakersfield in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. This was the first time since 2008 that no games in the Kelly Cup Finals were decided in overtime.
Mass joins elite company
Alaska assistant coach Louis Mass became just the fourth individual to win three Kelly Cup titles. Patrick Wellar won three titles as a player with Alaska in 2006, South Carolina in 2009 and Reading in 2013 while Scott Burt won three titles as a player with Idaho in 2004 and 2007 and Alaska in 2011. Jared Bednar won as a player with South Carolina in 1997 and 2001, and was the Stingrays’ head coach for their title in 2009.
Nick Vitucci holds the ECHL record for most titles with five. Vitucci won Riley Cup titles as a player with Carolina in 1989, Greensboro in 1990, Toledo in 1994 and Charlotte in 1996 and was an assistant coach with Greenville during its Kelly Cup championship in 2002.
Alaska pulls off Brabham Cup/Kelly Cup double for the third time
Only five times in the ECHL’s 26-year history has the winner of the Brabham Cup, which is awarded to the team with the most points during the regular season, gone on to win the Riley Cup or Kelly Cup, and Alaska has done it in each of the three seasons it has won the League title. The other two teams to win both the regular season and playoff championship are South Carolina 1996-97 and Cincinnati in 2007-08.
Aces are 10th Kelly Cup champion with home ice
Alaska is the 10th team in 18 years to win the Kelly Cup with home-ice advantage in the Finals. The other winners are Reading (2013), Alaska (2011), Cincinnati (2008), Idaho (2007), Alaska (2006), Greenville (2002), Peoria (2000), Mississippi (1999) and South Carolina (1997). Fifteen of the 26 League champions have won the title with home-ice advantage.
Celebration at home & on road
For the 15th time in ECHL history, the decisive game in the Finals was won on the road. The Kelly Cup has been clinched on the road 10 times in 18 years with Alaska (2014), Reading (2013), Alaska (2011), South Carolina (2009), Idaho (2007), Alaska (2006), Trenton (2005), Greenville (2002), Hampton Roads (1998), and South Carolina (1997). The Riley Cup was won on the road five times with Charlotte (1996), Toledo (1994), Hampton Roads (1992), Greensboro (1990) and Carolina (1989).
The 11 winners at home are Florida (2012), Cincinnati (2010 and 2008), Idaho (2004), Atlantic City (2003), South Carolina (2001), Peoria (2000) and Mississippi (1999). The Riley Cup was won at home three times with Richmond (1995), Toledo (1993) and Hampton Roads (1991).
Kelly Cup championship banners in nine states
South Carolina (South Carolina Stingrays in 1997, 2001 and 2009 and Greenville in 2002) has produced four of the 17 winners of the Kelly Cup while Alaska (Alaska Aces in 2006, 2011 and 2014) has three championships. Idaho (Idaho Steelheads in 2004 and 2007), New Jersey (Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in 2003 and Trenton Titans in 2005) and Ohio (Cincinnati Cyclones in 2008 and 2010) have each produced two champions. The other four champions have been from Florida (Florida Everblades – 2012), Illinois (Peoria Rivermen – 2000), Mississippi (Mississippi Sea Wolves – 1999), Pennsylvania (Reading Royals – 2013) and Virginia (Hampton Roads Admirals – 1998).
ECHL champions from 11 states
In the first 26 years of the ECHL, Ohio (Toledo Storm in 1993 and 1994 and Cincinnati Cyclones in 2008 and 2010), South Carolina (South Carolina Stingrays in 1997, 2001 and 2009 and Greenville in 2002) and Virginia (Hampton Roads Admirals in 1991, 1992 and 1998 and Richmond Renegades in 1995) have the most championships with four each. Alaska (Alaska Aces in 2006, 2011 and 2014) and North Carolina (Carolina Thunderbirds in 1989, Greensboro Monarchs in 1990 and Charlotte Checkers in 1996) both have three champions while Idaho (Idaho Steelheads in 2004 and 2007) and New Jersey (Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies in 2003 and Trenton Titans in 2005) have two apiece. Florida (Florida Everblades in 2012), Illinois (Peoria Rivermen in 2000), Mississippi (Mississippi Sea Wolves in 1999) and Pennsylvania (Reading Royals in 2013) each have one winner.
Kelly Cup Finals game-worn jerseys, game-used pucks available
All of the jerseys will have the Kelly Cup Finals patch, which is available only on the team jerseys.
The jerseys worn by Alaska in the Games 1, 2 and 4, as well as game-used and goal-scored pucks from the first three games, will be available starting on Thursday, June 12. Check back for additional auctions in the coming days.
The "Official Game-Worn Jersey Source of the ECHL" since 2002, MeiGray gives hockey fans and sports collectors worldwide the opportunity to purchase authentic game-worn ECHL jerseys online at MeiGray.com or by telephone at (888) 463-4472.
Kelly Cup Finals on America One for 11th straight year
Every game of the Kelly Cup Finals was broadcast live online by America One Sports, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster of the ECHL,” for the 11th year in a row. America One has broadcast more than 4,700 regular season ECHL games and over 700 Kelly Cup Playoff games around the globe the last 11 years including the ECHL All-Star Game. The first hockey game broadcast by America One was the Las Vegas Wranglers in February 2004 and the first hockey championship carried by America One was the 2004 Kelly Cup Playoffs.
2014 Kelly Cup Finals (Best of Seven)
Alaska wins series 4-2
Kelly Cup Champions
2014 – Alaska defeated Cincinnati, 4 games to 2
2013 – Reading defeated Stockton, 4 games to 1
2012 – Florida defeated Las Vegas, 4 games to 1
2011 – Alaska defeated Kalamazoo, 4 games to 1
2010 – Cincinnati defeated Idaho, 4 games to 1
2009 – South Carolina defeated Alaska, 4 games to 3
2008 – Cincinnati defeated Las Vegas, 4 games to 2
2007 – Idaho defeated Dayton, 4 games to 1
2006 – Alaska defeated Gwinnett, 4 games to 1
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
Riley Cup Champions
1996 – Charlotte defeated Jacksonville, 4 games to 0
1995 – Richmond defeated Greensboro, 4 games to 1
1994 – Toledo defeated Raleigh, 4 games to 1
1993 – Toledo defeated Wheeling, 4 games to 2
1992 – Hampton Roads defeated Louisville, 4 games to 0
1991 – Hampton Roads defeated Greensboro, 4 games to 1
1990 – Greensboro defeated Winston-Salem, 4 games to 1
1989 – Carolina defeated Johnstown, 4 games to 3
Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League Fast Facts
• Watch games live on America ONE Sports, the “Official Broadband & Mobile Broadcaster” of the ECHL.
• The ECHL celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2012-13 and is the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
• ECHL began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states and has grown to be a coast-to-coast league with 21 teams in 15 states in 2013-14.
• The league officially changed its name from East Coast Hockey League to ECHL on May 19, 2003.
• 541 players have played in the NHL after playing in the ECHL including 22 in 2012-13.
• 29 ECHL players have made their NHL debuts in 2013-14: former Reading Royals Will Acton (Edmonton on Oct. 1), former Kalamazoo Wings left wing Darren Archibald (Vancouver on Oct. 25), former Columbia Inferno, Charlotte Checkers, Greenville Road Warriors and Reading Royals defenseman Julien Brouillette (Washington on Feb. 6), former Colorado Eagles defensemen Ben Chiarot (Winnipeg on Nov. 2) former San Francisco Bulls left wing Jamie Devane (Toronto on Oct. 5), former Elmira Jackals and Reading Royals left wing Brett Gallant (New York Islanders on April 8), former Idaho Steelheads left wing Luke Gazdic (Edmonton on Oct. 1), former Toledo Walleye center Luke Glendening (Detroit on Oct. 12), former Wheeling Nailers defenseman Alex Grant (Anaheim on Nov. 30), former Florida Everblades goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis (Tampa Bay on April 11), former Trenton Titans goaltender Cal Heeter (Philadelphia on April 12), former Cincinnati Cyclones goaltender Magnus Hellberg (Nashville on Oct. 26), former Reading Royals and Ontario Reign goaltender Michael Hutchinson (Winnipeg on April 7), former Alaska Aces, Idaho Steelheads, Utah Grizzlies and Cincinnati Cyclones right wing Justin Johnson (New York Islanders on April 11), former Ontario Reign goaltender Martin Jones (Los Angeles on Dec. 3), former Greenville Road Warriors, Florida Everblades and Alaska Aces goaltender Connor Knapp (Buffalo on April 11), former Toledo Walleye forward Peter Leblanc (Washington on April 12), former Greenville Road Warriors goaltender Nathan Lieuwen (Buffalo on March 16) former Alaska Aces goaltender Joni Ortio (Calgary on Feb. 27), former Wheeling Nailers center Adam Payerl (Pittsburgh on April 6), former Wheeling Nailers defenseman Philip Samuelsson (Pittsburgh on Dec. 16), former Wheeling Nailers center Zach Sill (Pittsburgh on Nov. 16), former Toledo Walleye goaltender Kent Simpson (Chicago on Dec. 14), former Greenville Road Warriors goaltender Cam Talbot (New York Rangers on Oct. 24), former Cincinnati Cyclones center and 2010 Kelly Cup champion Mark Van Guilder (Nashville on March 30), former Gwinnett Gladiators goaltender Mark Visentin (Phoenix on April 12), former Reading Royals defenseman Patrick Wey (Washington on Dec. 7), former Cincinnati Cyclones forward Garrett Wilson (Florida on March 18) and former Ontario Reign goaltender Jeff Zatkoff (Pittsburgh on Oct. 11).
• Seven players have played in the ECHL and NHL in 2013-14: John Curry with Orlando and Minnesota, Kristers Gudlevskis with Florida and Tampa Bay, Magnus Hellberg with Cincinnati and Nashville, Michael Hutchinson with Ontario and Winnipeg, Connor Knapp with Greenville, Florida, Alaska and Buffalo, Joni Ortio with Alaska and Calgary and Patrick Wey with Reading and Washington.
• The ECHL has had 349 players reach the NHL since 2002-03 when it changed its focus to become the primary developmental league for the NHL and the AHL. The ECHL had 97 players reach the NHL in its first 10 seasons and 215 in the first 15 years.
• 285 ECHL players have played their first game in the last nine seasons for an average of more than 31 per year.
• ECHL had a record 93 players on NHL opening-day rosters in 2013-14, surpassing the 87 from 2012-13 and marking the 11th year in a row that there have been over 50 former ECHL players on opening-day rosters.
• ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 30 NHL teams in 2013-14, marking the 17th consecutive season that the league has affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL.
• 25 coaches with an ECHL background are working behind the benches of teams in the NHL including Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette,New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano and Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. It is the ninth consecutive season that there have been 11 or more coaches with an ECHL background working in the NHL.
• 27 former ECHL officials are scheduled to work as part of the NHL officiating team in 2013-14 with referees Darcy Burchell, Francis Charron, Tom Chmielewski, Ghislain Hebert, Jean Hebert, Marc Joannette, Trent Knorr, Mike Leggo, Dave Lewis, T.J. Luxmore, Wes McCauley, Jon McIsaac, Dean Morton, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Pochmara, Kevin Pollock, Kyle Rehman, Chris Rooney, Graham Skilliter, Justin St. Pierre and Ian Walsh, and linesmen Steve Barton, Matt MacPherson, Brian Mach, Tim Nowak, Bryan Pancich and Jay Sharrers.
• ECHL was represented for the 13th year in a row on the Stanley Cup champion in 2013 with Chicago Blackhaws assistant coach Jamie Kompon, players Sheldon Brookbank and Daniel Carcillo, vice president/assistant to the president Al MacIsaac, director of pro scouting Ryan Stewart and general manager of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard. The ECHL was represented by 53 former players and 18 coaches on the 16 teams competing in the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, marking the eighth year in a row that there have been at least 30 former ECHL players and the 10th consecutive season that over 25 players with ECHL experience have competed in the NHL postseason.
• Former ECHL broadcasters working in the NHL include John Ahlers and Steve Carroll of the Anaheim Ducks, Dave Goucher of the Boston Bruins, Chris Kerber of the St. Louis Blues, Jack Michaels of the Edmonton Oilers, Dave Mishkin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Bob McElligott of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
• Ryan Stanzel and Jeremy Zager, who were both recipients of the ECHL Media Relations Director of the Year award, are working in the communications department for the Minnesota Wild and the Los Angeles Kings, respectively. Former ECHL assistant director of communications Joe Siville works in the communications department for the Philadelphia Flyers.
• In the last 10 seasons the ECHL has had more call-ups to the AHL than all other professional leagues combined 4500 with over call-ups involving more than 2,400 players and in 2013-14 there were 10 times as many call-ups from the ECHL to the AHL than all other professional leagues.
• The ECHL averaged 4,706 fans per game in 2013-14, the highest single-season average since 1999-2000, and marking the 10th consecutive season and the 22nd time in the last 24 years that the ECHL has averaged over 4,000 fans.