Tour Reaches Final Stop Prior To 2006 Kelly Cup Playoffs
PRINCETON, N.J. – The Third-Annual Kelly Cup Tour makes its final stop Friday when it visits North Charleston Arena as the South Carolina Stingrays host South Division rival Charlotte.
The Kelly Cup has traveled 10,339 miles, which is the greatest distance traveled in one year since the Kelly Cup Tour began in 2004, and it has visited 11 cities in nine states and one Canadian province.
The Stingrays, who joined the ECHL as an expansion team in 1993-94, are the only team to have won the Kelly Cup twice, capturing the inaugural trophy in 1997 and winning it again in 2001. South Carolina has not missed the postseason in its 13 seasons in the ECHL, and it holds the league records for playoff appearances and consecutive playoff appearances.
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.
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. The tour has also made stops in West Valley City, Utah; Stockton, Calif.; Johnstown, Pa.; Toledo, Ohio; Wheeling W.Va.; Greenville, S.C., Charlotte, N.C.; Duluth, Ga. and Boise, Idaho.
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.
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