Florida Everblades Win ECHL 2011-12 Championship
Florida Everblades Win ECHL 2011-12 Championship
Thursday, May. 24th, 2012
PRINCETON, N.J. - The Florida Everblades won their first ECHL Kelly Cup championship on Wednesday beating the Las Vegas Wranglers 3-2 in overtime in front of a standing-room only crowd of 7,290 at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla. to win the series 4 games to 1.
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 leagues first eight seasons and was named Commissioner Emeritus in 1996, a title that he continues to hold. Kelly, who celebrated his 59th season in professional hockey in 2011-12, 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 24th season in 2011-12, 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.
Muse wins Most Valuable Player award
Florida goaltender John Muse was named Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Kelly Cup Playoffs. Muse appeared in 13 games during the postseason posting a record of 11-2 with one shutout, a 1.78 goals-against average and a save percentage of .939. He allowed two goals or less in 10 of his 13 appearances.
Florida captures second Kelly Cup
The Everblades are the first team since Cincinnati in 2008 to win their first Kelly Cup. Florida is the 11th different winner of the Kelly Cup since 1996-97. From 1989-96, the ECHL champion was awarded the Riley Cup. In the 24-year history of the ECHL, 16 different teams have captured the league title.
Florida won the title in its third Kelly Cup Finals appearance. The three appearances in the Finals are tied with six other clubs for the most appearances in ECHL history.
Fifth team to win title without top-five regular-season finish
Florida becomes the fifth team in ECHL history to win the postseason championship after not finishing in the top five of the regular season standings. The Everblades finished the 2011-12 season eighth overall in the league with 85 points.
Idaho won the 2007 title after finishing sixth in the regular season, and the 2004 title after an 11th place finish in the regular season. Trenton won the Kelly Cup after finishing sixth in 2004-05 while Hampton Roads finished 19th and qualified for the postseason on the last day of the 1997-98 season before winning the Kelly Cup.
Everblades are eighth Kelly Cup champion without home ice
Florida is the eighth team in 16 years to win the Kelly Cup without having home-ice advantage in the Finals. The other winners are Cincinnati in 2010, South Carolina in 2009, Trenton in 2005, Idaho in 2004, Atlantic City in 2003, South Carolina in 2001, Pensacola in 1998. Eleven of the 24 league champions have won the title without having home-ice advantage.
Celebration at home & on road
For the 11th time in ECHL history, the decisive game in the Finals was won at home. The Kelly Cup has been clinched at home eight times in 16 years with 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).
The 13 teams to clinch the ECHL championship on the road are Alaska (2011 and 2006), South Carolina (2009), Idaho (2007), Trenton (2005), Greenville (2002), Hampton Roads (1998), South Carolina (1997), Charlotte (1996), Toledo (1994), Hampton Roads (1992), Greensboro (1990) and Carolina (1989).
Fourth championship clinched in overtime
Florida becomes the fourth team to win the ECHL championship in overtime, joining Peoria (2000), Mississippi (1999) and Toledo (1993). Each of the three teams to win the ECHL title in overtime did so on home ice.
Kelly Cup championship banners in eight states
South Carolina (South Carolina Stingrays in 1997, 2001 and 2009 and Greenville in 2002) has produced four of the 16 winners of the Kelly Cup while Alaska (Alaska Aces in 2006 and 2011), 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) and Virginia (Hampton Roads Admirals 1998).
ECHL champions from 10 states
In the first 24 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. North Carolina (Carolina Thunderbirds in 1989, Greensboro Monarchs in 1990 and Charlotte Checkers in 1996) has three champions while Alaska (Alaska Aces in 2006 and 2011), 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) and Mississippi (Mississippi Sea Wolves in 1999) each have one winner.
2012 Kelly Cup Finals (Best of Seven)
Florida wins series 4-1
Game 1 Florida 1 at LAS VEGAS 2
Game 2 FLORIDA 7 at Las Vegas 2
Game 3 Las Vegas 3 at FLORIDA 4 (OT)
Game 4 Las Vegas 1 at FLORIDA 3
Game 5 Las Vegas 2 at FLORIDA 3 (OT)
Kelly Cup Champions
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
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