2001–02 ECHL season

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The 2001–02 ECHL season was the 14th season of the East Coast Hockey League. Before the start of the season, the league saw one expansion franchise and five relocations, three of which were through the buying of the franchise rights of former clubs that had ceased operations. These relocations include the rights to the Columbus Chill moving to Reading, PA, the rights to the Hampton Roads Admirals moving to Columbus, GA, and the rights to the Miami Matadors relocating to the former ECHL market of Cincinnati, OH. The league also saw current franchises Birmingham Bulls move to Atlantic City, NJ and Tallahassee Tiger Sharks move to Macon, GA. The league also welcomed its fourth franchise from the state of South Carolina with an expansion franchise in the state's capital of Columbia, SC. The Louisiana IceGators finished first overall in the regular season, winning the Brabham Cup with the best record in league history. The Greenville Grrrowl won their first Kelly Cup sweeping the Dayton Bombers in four games.

During the opening weekend of the ECHL season, the league had a moment of silence for former South Carolina Stingrays player Mark Bavis, who had been killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Ryan Brindley, who was wearing #12 for the Stingrays in the previous season, changed to #55 after the team retired the number that Bavis had worn during his two seasons (1994–96) with the Stingrays.

Playoff format[edit]

The ECHL realigned the playoff format for the season.

Northern Conference[edit]

The top four teams in each division would qualify for the playoffs, with the division champions being ranked first in their brackets and the other qualified teams ranked by points. The first seeds will play the fourth seeds and the second seeds will play the third seeds in best-of-five series in the Division Semifinals. The winners will advance to the best-of-five Division Finals and the playoff winners of each division would play each other in a best-of-five Conference Championship series, with the winner advancing to the Kelly Cup Finals.

Southern Conference[edit]

The top five teams in each division would qualify for the playoffs, with the division champions being ranked first in their brackets and the other qualified teams ranked by points. The fourth and fifth seeds of each division will play a single-game series in the Division Wild Card, with each winner advancing to play their division leader in the best-of-five Division Semifinal series, while the second seeds will play the third seeds in best-of-five series in the Division Semifinals. The winners will advance to the best-of-five Division Finals and the playoff winners of each division would play each other in a best-of-five Conference Championship series, with the winner advancing to the Kelly Cup Finals.

Regular season[edit]

Final standings[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L= Loses; T = Ties; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points; Green shade = Clinched playoff spot; Blue shade = Clinched division; (z) = Clinched home-ice advantage

Northern Conference[edit]

Northeast Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
Trenton Titans 72 46 16 10 102 238 178
Charlotte Checkers 72 41 20 11 93 256 207
Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies 72 42 22 8 92 233 209
Roanoke Express 72 35 26 11 81 242 223
Richmond Renegades 72 32 30 10 74 191 225
Reading Royals 72 27 36 9 63 182 215
Greensboro Generals 72 23 41 8 54 188 278
Northwest Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
Dayton Bombers 72 40 20 12 92 222 196
Peoria Rivermen 72 41 23 8 90 206 179
Johnstown Chiefs 72 39 31 2 80 220 232
Cincinnati Cyclones 72 36 30 6 78 210 207
Wheeling Nailers 72 36 32 4 76 213 208
Toledo Storm 72 28 34 10 66 225 265

Southern Conference[edit]

Southeast Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
Greenville Grrrowl 72 43 23 6 92 231 198
Pee Dee Pride 72 41 25 6 88 236 218
Columbia Inferno 72 36 22 14 86 211 197
South Carolina Stingrays 72 39 26 7 85 235 225
Florida Everblades 72 37 27 8 82 207 221
Augusta Lynx 72 36 26 10 82 218 224
Macon Whoopee 72 29 31 12 70 194 228
Columbus Cottonmouths 72 24 37 11 59 197 242
Southwest Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
Louisiana IceGators 72 56 12 4 116 261 156
Mississippi Sea Wolves 72 41 26 5 87 251 232
Pensacola Ice Pilots 72 38 28 6 82 247 242
Jackson Bandits 72 34 29 9 77 187 202
New Orleans Brass 72 36 32 4 76 211 209
Mobile Mysticks 72 28 26 18 74 215 237
Arkansas RiverBlades 72 31 31 10 72 189 206
Baton Rouge Kingfish 72 29 35 8 66 187 244

Kelly Cup playoffs[edit]

Northern Conference[edit]

Bracket[edit]

Division Semifinals
(Best of 5)
Division Finals
(Best of 5)
Conference Finals
(Best of 5)
                 
NE.1 Trenton 3
NE.4 Roanoke 1
NE.1 Trenton 0
Northeast Division
NE.3 Atlantic City 3
NE.2 Charlotte 2
NE.3 Atlantic City 3
NE.3 Atlantic City 1
NW.1 Dayton 3
NW.1 Dayton 3
NW.4 Cincinnati 0
NW.1 Dayton 3
Northwest Division
NW.3 Johnstown 0
NW.2 Peoria 2
NW.3 Johnstown 3

Division semifinals[edit]

Division finals[edit]

Conference finals[edit]

(NE.2) Atlantic City vs. (NW.1) Dayton
Date Away Home
April 24 Dayton 3 Atlantic City 2
April 26 Dayton 3 Atlantic City 4
April 28 Atlantic City 2 Dayton 3
April 29 Atlantic City 2 Dayton 5
Dayton wins series 3–1

Southern Conference[edit]

Bracket[edit]

  Division Wild Card Division Semifinals
(Best of 5)
Division Finals
(Best of 5)
Conference Finals
(Best of 5)
                                     
   
  SE.1  Greenville 3  
    SE.5  Florida 2  
SE.4  South Carolina 0
SE.5  Florida 1  
  SE.1  Greenville 3  
Southeast Division
  SE.2  Pee Dee 1  
   
   
  SE.2  Pee Dee 3
    SE.3  Columbia 2  
 
   
  SE.1  Greenville 3
  SW.2  Mississippi 1
   
   
  SW.1  Louisiana 2
    SW.4  Jackson 3  
SW.4  Jackson 1
SW.5  New Orleans 0  
  SW.4  Jackson 0
Southwest Division
  SW.2  Mississippi 3  
   
   
  SW.2  Mississippi 3
    SW.3  Pensacola 0  
 

Division Wild Card[edit]

Division semifinals[edit]

Division finals[edit]

Conference finals[edit]

(SE.1) Pee Dee vs. (SW.2) Mississippi
Date Away Home
April 25 Mississippi 1 Greenville 8
April 26 Mississippi 2 Greenville 3
April 28 Greenville 3 Mississippi 5
April 30 Greenville 6 Mississippi 2
Greenville wins series 3–1

Kelly Cup finals[edit]

Kelly Cup Finals
(Best of 7)
     
NW.1 Dayton 0
SE.1 Greenville 4
(SE.1) Greenville vs. (NW.1) Dayton
Date Away Home
May 3 Dayton 2 Greenville 6
May 5 Dayton 1 Greenville 4
May 8 Greenville 3 Dayton 2 OT
May 10 Greenville 5 Dayton 2
Greenville wins series 4–0

ECHL awards[edit]

Patrick J. Kelly Cup: Greenville Grrrowl
Henry Brabham Cup: Louisiana IceGators
Northern Conference Champion: Dayton Bombers
Southern Conference Champion: Greenville Grrrowl
John Brophy Award: Dave Farrish (Louisiana)
ECHL Most Valuable Player: Frederic Cloutier (Louisiana)
Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player: Simon Gamache and Tyrone Garner (Greenville)
ECHL Goaltender of the Year: Frederic Cloutier (Louisiana)
ECHL Rookie of the Year: Frederic Cloutier (Louisiana)
Defenseman of the Year: Duncan Dalmao (Roanoke)
Leading Scorer: Louis Dumont (Pensacola)
Plus Performer Award: Konstantin Kalmikov (Louisiana)
Sportsmanship Award: Ben Stafford (Trenton)

See also[edit]