1997 RHI season

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title
League Roller Hockey International
Sport Inline hockey
Duration May, 1997 – September, 1997
Regular season
Best Overall Record Orlando Jackals
Season MVP Czech Republic Radek Hamr
(San Jose)
Top scorer United States Billy Lund
(Orlando)
Playoffs
Eastern champions New Jersey Rockin Rollers
  Eastern runners-up Orlando Jackals
Western champions Anaheim Bullfrogs
  Western runners-up San Jose Rhinos
Playoffs MVP Canada David Goverde
(Anaheim)
Murphy Cup
Champions Anaheim Bullfrogs
  Runners-up New Jersey Rockin Rollers
RHI seasons
← 1996
1998 →

The 1997 RHI season was the 5th season of Roller Hockey International. It began in May 1997, with the regular season ending in August 1997. The Murphy Cup playoffs ended in September, with the Anaheim Bullfrogs defeating the New Jersey Rockin Rollers to win their second Murphy Cup.

League business[edit]

Franchise changes[edit]

New uniforms[edit]

The Los Angeles Blades, New Jersey Rockin Rollers, Sacramento River Rats, and St. Louis Vipers all debuted new uniforms.

Contraction[edit]

Three original teams, the Oakland Skates, San Diego Barracudas, and Vancouver Voodoo, all folded after four seasons in the league. The Minnesota Arctic Blast folded after three seasons in the league, one of which was spent on hiatus. The Philadelphia BulldogsThe Denver Daredevils and Long Island Jawz both folded after only one season in the league. Also, the Oklahoma Coyotes were placed on hiatus for the 1997 season.

Relocation[edit]

The Empire State Cobras relocated to Buffalo, New York to become the Buffalo Wings.

Expansion[edit]

For the first time since the 1994 expansion, the league did not add any expansion teams.

Realignment[edit]

With the contraction of the Denver Daredevils, Long Island Jawz, Minnesota Arctic Blast, Oakland Skates, Oklahoma Coyotes, Philadelphia Bulldogs, San Diego Barracudas, and Vancouver Voodoo, the league was left with ten teams. The four division alignment was dropped and the league was aligned into just two conferences, still named the Eastern and Western.

Of the remaining teams, six remained in the Eastern Conference, the Buffalo Wings, Montreal Roadrunners, New Jersey Rockin Rollers, Orlando Jackals, Ottawa Loggers, and St. Louis Vipers, and four remained in the Western Conference, the Anaheim Bullfrogs, Los Angeles Blades, Sacramento River Rats, and San Jose Rhinos. To even each conference at five teams, the St. Louis Vipers were moved to the Western Conference.

Season schedule[edit]

For the first time, the league decreased its regular season schedule from 28 back to 24 games per team.

Regular season[edit]

After only one game into its schedule, Roller Hockey International took over control of the Ottawa Loggers. The team was renamed to the Ottawa Wheels and used the same uniforms previously used by the contracted San Diego Barracudas.

Divisional standings[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

Template:1997 RHI Eastern Conference standings

Western Conference[edit]

Template:1997 RHI Western Conference standings

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
United States Billy Lund Orlando Jackals 24 32 46 78 +28 13
Czech Republic Radek Hamr San Jose Rhinos 24 19 56 75 +30 3
Canada Frank Cirone St. Louis Vipers 24 34 39 73 +2 9
Canada Kyle Reeves Orlando Jackals 24 41 29 70 +33 46
Canada Christian Skoryna St. Louis Vipers 23 27 43 70 +17 39
Canada Daniel Shank Orlando Jackals 17 19 47 66 +15 23
Canada Mark Woolf San Jose Rhinos 24 35 29 64 +14 20
Canada Robin Bouchard Ottawa Wheels 24 28 35 63 –10 35
Canada Victor Gervais Anaheim Bullfrogs 17 17 45 62 –6 26
Canada Doug Ast Los Angeles Blades 21 32 27 59 +14 7

Leading goaltenders[edit]

Player Team GP TOI W L OTL GA SO Sv% GAA
Latvia Sergei Naumov Orlando Jackals 10 383 6 2 0 36 0 .854 4.50
Canada Corrado Micalef San Jose Rhinos 16 591 8 4 1 72 0 .850 5.84
United States Bill Pye Los Angeles Blades 11 400 5 2 2 50 0 .818 6.00
Canada Joe Bonvie San Jose Rhinos 12 55 7 3 1 71 0 .833 6.14
Canada Ken Shepard St. Louis Vipers 15 542 5 5 2 70 0 .834 6.20
Canada David Goverde Anaheim Bullfrogs 13 505 6 4 0 66 0 .839 6.26
Canada Jeff Ferguson Los Angeles Blades 18 740 6 6 3 97 0 .827 6.29
United States Mark Richards New Jersey Rockin Rollers 16 658 10 4 0 91 0 .823 6.63
Canada Frankie Ouellette Orlando Jackals 15 655 13 1 0 93 0 .775 6.81
Canada Alain Morissette Montreal Roadrunners 19 807 7 8 2 115 0 .809 6.83

Playoffs[edit]

Playoff seeds[edit]

After the regular season, 8 teams qualified for the playoffs. The Orlando Jackals were the Eastern Conference regular season champions and had the best overall record with 40 points. The San Jose Rhinos had the best record in the Western Conference with 32 points.

Eastern Conference[edit]

  1. Orlando Jackals – Eastern Conference regular season champions; Best Overall Record winners, 40 points
  2. New Jersey Rockin Rollers – 32 points
  3. Montreal Roadrunners – 23 points
  4. Ottawa Wheels – 22 points

Western Conference[edit]

  1. San Jose Rhinos – Western Conference regular season champions, 32 points
  2. Anaheim Bullfrogs – 30 points
  3. Los Angeles Blades – 27 points
  4. St. Louis Vipers – 26 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).

  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Murphy Cup Finals
                           
  E1  Orlando Jackals 2  
E4  Ottawa Wheels 0  
  E1  Orlando Jackals 1  
Eastern Conference
  E2  New Jersey Rockin Rollers 2  
E2  New Jersey Rockin Rollers 2
  E3  Montreal Roadrunners 0  
    E2  New Jersey Rockin Rollers 0
  W2  Anaheim Bullfrogs 2
  W1  San Jose Rhinos 2  
W4  St. Louis Vipers 1  
  W1  San Jose Rhinos 1
Western Conference
  W2  Anaheim Bullfrogs 2  
W2  Anaheim Bullfrogs 2
  W3  Los Angeles Blades 1  

RHI awards[edit]

1996 RHI awards
Award Recipient(s)
Murphy Cup Anaheim Bullfrogs
Eastern Conference Champions New Jersey Rockin Rollers
Western Conference Champions Anaheim Bullfrogs
Coach of the Year
Defenseman of the Year Radek Hamr (San Jose Rhinos)
Executive of the Year
Goalie of the Year Corrado Micalef (San Jose Rhinos)
Leading Scorer Billy Lund (Orlando Jackals)
Most Valuable Player Radek Hamr (San Jose Rhinos)
Playoff MVP David Goverde (Anaheim Bullfrogs)

See also[edit]