1996 RHI season

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title
League Roller Hockey International
Sport Inline hockey
Duration May, 1996 – September 2, 1996
Regular season
Best Overall Record Anaheim Bullfrogs
Season MVP Canada Hugo Belanger
(Long Island Jawz)
Top scorer Canada Hugo Belanger
(Long Island Jawz)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Orlando Jackals
  Eastern runners-up St. Louis Vipers
Western champions Anaheim Bullfrogs
  Western runners-up Vancouver Voodoo
Playoffs MVP Canada Bill Horn
(Orlando)
Murphy Cup
Champions Orlando Jackals
  Runners-up Anaheim Bullfrogs
RHI seasons
← 1995
1997 →

The 1996 RHI season was the 4th season of Roller Hockey International. It began in May 1996, with the regular season ending on August 12, 1996. The Murphy Cup playoffs ended on September 2, with the Orlando Jackals defeating the Anaheim Bullfrogs to win their first Murphy Cup. The Anaheim Bullfrogs hosted the 3rd RHI All-Star Game at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California on July 8, 1996.

League business[edit]

Franchise changes[edit]

Arena changes[edit]

The Montreal Roadrunners, Ottawa Loggers, and Vancouver Voodoo all moved into their cities' new arenas; Molson Centre in Montreal, Corel Centre in Ottawa, and General Motors Place in Vancouver. The Oakland Skates also moved to the Kaiser Convention Center. The New Jersey Rockin Rollers' and Philadelphia Bulldogs' arenas were renamed to the Continental Airlines Arena and CoreStates Spectrum respectively.

New uniforms[edit]

The Orlando Rollergators were renamed the Orlando Jackals and debuted a new logo and uniforms. The Sacramento River Rats and Vancouver Voodoo both debuted slightly altered uniforms.

Contraction[edit]

The Chicago Cheetahs folded after two seasons in the league. The Detroit Motor City Mustangs and Minnesota Blue Ox folded after only one season in the league. The Buffalo Stampede folded after their second season, and their roster was picked up by the Empire State Cobras, formerly the Phoenix Cobras.

Relocation[edit]

The Phoenix Cobras relocated to Glens Falls, New York to become the Empire State Cobras, but the Phoenix Cobras players did not transfer with the franchise. The players went into a supplemental draft, and the Cobras picked up the folded Buffalo Stampede's roster.

Expansion[edit]

The league added three franchises, including the Denver Daredevils, Long Island Jawz, and the Minnesota Arctic Blast, who were on hiatus for the 1995 season.

Realignment[edit]

In the Atlantic Division, the Montreal Roadrunners and Ottawa Loggers were moved to the Central Division. The three existing franchises, the New Jersey Rockin Rollers, Orlando Jackals (formerly the Orlando Rollergators), and Philadelphia Bulldogs were joined by the Empire State Cobras, formerly the Phoenix Cobras, and the expansion Long Island Jawz, to bring the total back to five teams.

In the Central Division, the Buffalo Stampede, Chicago Cheetahs, Detroit Motor City Mustangs, and Minnesota Blue Ox all folded before the 1996 season. The only remaining franchise, the St. Louis Vipers, were joined by the Montreal Roadrunners and Ottawa Loggers from the Atlantic, and the newly reformed Minnesota Arctic Blast, lowering the division's teams to four.

The Northwest Division was the only division to remain the same from the 1995 season.

In the Pacific Division, the Empire State Cobras, formerly the Phoenix Cobras, were moved to the Atlantic Division. The remaining four teams, the Anaheim Bullfrogs, Los Angeles Blades, Oklahoma Coyotes, and San Diego Barracudas were joined by the expansion Denver Daredevils to bring the total number of teams back to five.

Season schedule[edit]

RHI again increased its regular season schedule from 24 to 28 games per team.

Regular season[edit]

Divisional standings[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

Atlantic Division GP W L OTL GF GA PTS
yEmpire State Cobras 28 16 7 5 202 168 37
xOrlando Jackals 28 17 9 2 231 201 36
eLong Island Jawz 28 16 9 3 246 211 35
ePhiladelphia Bulldogs 28 16 9 3 202 199 35
eNew Jersey Rockin Rollers 28 7 17 4 167 227 18
Central Division GP W L OTL GF GA PTS
zMinnesota Arctic Blast 28 22 6 0 246 200 44
xSt. Louis Vipers 28 15 12 1 207 209 31
eMontreal Roadrunners 28 14 11 3 177 174 31
eOttawa Loggers 28 3 22 3 174 263 9

Western Conference[edit]

Northwest Division GP W L OTL GF GA PTS
yVancouver Voodoo 28 18 7 3 217 162 39
xOakland Skates 28 15 11 2 187 181 32
eSan Jose Rhinos 28 15 12 1 189 180 31
eSacramento River Rats 28 10 17 1 185 229 21
Pacific Division GP W L OTL GF GA PTS
bAnaheim Bullfrogs 28 22 4 2 215 159 46
xLos Angeles Blades 28 16 11 1 160 155 33
eOklahoma Coyotes 28 13 12 3 174 174 29
eSan Diego Barracudas 28 9 18 1 183 233 19
eDenver Daredevils 28 8 17 3 173 210 19

Note: x – clinched playoff spot, y – clinched division title, z – clinched regular season conference title, b – clinched best overall record, e – eliminated from playoff contention

Tiebreaking procedures[edit]

If two or more clubs are tied in points during the regular season, the ranking of the clubs is determined in the following order:

  1. The fewer number of games played.
  2. The greater number of games won.
  3. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.
  4. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.
  5. The fewer number of goals against.

Statistical leaders[edit]

Scoring leaders[edit]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Canada Hugo Belanger Long Island Jawz 25 48 53 101 +29 6
Canada Doug Ast Vancouver Voodoo 28 50 41 91 +25 32
Canada Gerry St. Cyr Sacramento River Rats 28 48 41 89 +9 37
United States Cory Laylin Minnesota Arctic Blast 28 42 47 89 +15 16
Canada Mark Woolf San Jose Rhinos 27 32 53 85 +24 25
United States Vincent Giannone Empire State Cobras 25 21 63 84 +12 62
Canada Victor Gervais Anaheim Bullfrogs 25 29 55 84 +21 58
Canada Daniel Shank Orlando Jackals 28 31 50 81 +15 52
Canada Christian Skoryna St. Louis Vipers 28 36 44 80 +8 38
United States John Young Minnesota Arctic Blast 28 24 55 79 +10 32

Leading goaltenders[edit]

Player Team GP TOI W L OTL GA SO Sv% GAA
Canada Jeff Ferguson Los Angeles Blades 16 606:56 10 3 0 61 0 .877 4.82
Canada Eric Raymond Anaheim Bullfrogs 9 418:41 7 2 0 44 0 .848 5.04
Canada Scott Humphrey Vancouver Voodoo 17 691:30 10 3 2 78 0 .871 5.41
Canada Bill Horn Orlando Jackals 11 480:51 8 2 0 56 0 .843 5.59
Canada Nick Vitucci Empire State Cobras 15 717:07 10 2 3 85 0 .846 5.69
Canada David Goverde Empire State Cobras 13 622:05 6 5 2 74 0 .866 5.71
Canada Pat Mazzoli Long Island Jawz 8 374:52 4 1 2 45 0 .835 5.76
United States Rob Laurie Anaheim Bullfrogs 21 922:18 15 2 2 112 0 .839 5.83
Canada Bob Bell Vancouver Voodoo 13 600:42 8 3 1 73 0 .832 5.83
Canada Grant Sjerven San Jose Rhinos 10 382:59 4 3 1 47 0 .834 5.89

Playoffs[edit]

Playoff seeds[edit]

After the regular season, 8 teams qualified for the playoffs. The Anaheim Bullfrogs were the Western Conference regular season champions and had the best overall record with 46 points. The Minnesota Arctic Blast had the best record in the Eastern Conference with 44 points.

Eastern Conference[edit]

Atlantic Division[edit]
  1. Empire State CobrasAtlantic Division champions, 37 points
  2. Orlando Jackals – 36 points
Central Division[edit]
  1. Minnesota Arctic BlastCentral Division and Eastern Conference regular season champions, 44 points
  2. St. Louis Vipers – 31 points*

*St. Louis finished with exactly the same number of points as the Montreal Roadrunners, but garnered more wins (the Vipers with 15, the Roadrunners with 14), to earn the 2nd spot.

Western Conference[edit]

Northwest Division[edit]
  1. Vancouver VoodooNorthwest Division champions, 39 points
  2. Oakland Skates – 32 points
Pacific Division[edit]
  1. Anaheim BullfrogsPacific Division and Western Conference regular season champions; Best Overall Record winners, 46 points
  2. Los Angeles Blades – 33 points

Playoff bracket[edit]

In each round, the higher-seeded team is awarded home floor advantage. In the Murphy Cup Finals, home floor is determined based on regular season points. Each best-of-three series follows a 1–2 format: the lower-seeded team will play at home for game 1, and the higher-seeded team will be at home for game 2 and 3 (if necessary).

  Division Finals Conference Finals Murphy Cup Finals
                           
  A1  Empire State Cobras 1  
A2  Orlando Jackals 2  
  A2  Orlando Jackals 2  
Eastern Conference
  C2  St. Louis Vipers 0  
C1  Minnesota Arctic Blast 1
  C2  St. Louis Vipers 2  
    A2  Orlando Jackals 2
  P1  Anaheim Bullfrogs 1
  N1  Vancouver Voodoo 2  
N2  Oakland Skates 1  
  N1  Vancouver Voodoo 1
Western Conference
  P1  Anaheim Bullfrogs 2  
P1  Anaheim Bullfrogs 2
  P2  Los Angeles Blades 0  

RHI awards[edit]

1996 RHI awards
Award Recipient(s)
Murphy Cup Orlando Jackals
Eastern Conference Champions Orlando Jackals
Western Conference Champions Anaheim Bullfrogs
Coach of the Year Murray Eaves (Empire State Cobras)
Defenseman of the Year Cory Laylin (Minnesota Arctic Blast)
Executive of the Year
Goalie of the Year Rob Laurie (Anaheim Bullfrogs)
Leading Scorer Hugo Belanger (Long Island Jawz)
Most Valuable Player Hugo Belanger (Long Island Jawz)
Playoff MVP Bill Horn (Orlando Jackals)

See also[edit]