2003–04 ECHL season

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2003–04 ECHL season
League ECHL
Sport Ice hockey
Regular season
Season MVP United States Scott Stirling (Atlantic City)
Top scorer Canada Tim Smith (Columbia)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Florida Everblades
  Eastern runners-up Reading Royals
Western champions Idaho Steelheads
  Western runners-up Gwinnett Gladiators
Playoffs MVP Canada Dan Ellis (Idaho)
Finals
Champions Idaho Steelheads
  Runners-up Florida Everblades
ECHL seasons

The 2003–04 ECHL season was the 16th season of the ECHL. This season brought a major change in the ECHL as the ECHL Board of Governors approved membership applications from the Anchorage Aces, the Bakersfield Condors, the Fresno Falcons, the Idaho Steelheads, the Las Vegas Wranglers, the Long Beach Ice Dogs and the San Diego Gulls from the recently defunct West Coast Hockey League. Alaska, Bakersfield, Fresno, Idaho, Las Vegas, Long Beach and San Diego were joined by franchises in Duluth, GA and Beaumont, TX as the league's latest expansion teams. In a change reflective of the nationwide presence of the ECHL, the East Coast Hockey League changed its name to simply ECHL on May 19, 2003.

The ECHL All-Star Game was held at Carver Arena in Peoria, Illinois and was hosted by the Peoria Rivermen. The Eastern Conference All-Stars defeated the Western Conference All-Stars 7:6, with Peoria's Randy Rowe named Most Valuable Player.

At the end of the season, the Columbus Cottonmouths, Greensboro Generals, and Roanoke Express franchises all ceased operations as their franchises were revoked. (The Columbus team moved to the Southern Professional Hockey League for 2004–05; the franchise planned to be in Bradenton, Florida, but had its franchise revoked in the September 2006 ECHL Board of Governors meeting.) The Cincinnati Cyclones requested a voluntary suspension of franchise, which was lifted for the 2006–07 season, when the Cyclones resumed play following a full season without minor league hockey in the city.

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

Eastern Conference[edit]

Northern Division GP W L T PTS GF GA
Wheeling Nailers (z) 72 51 17 4 106 259 188
Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies 72 47 19 6 100 242 159
Peoria Rivermen 72 45 18 9 99 244 177
Johnstown Chiefs 72 45 20 7 97 223 195
Reading Royals 72 37 25 10 84 212 189
Trenton Titans 72 37 28 7 81 222 193
Dayton Bombers 72 26 41 5 57 187 271
Toledo Storm 72 23 38 11 57 183 258
Cincinnati Cyclones 72 25 43 4 54 175 223
Southern Division GP W L T PTS GF GA
Columbia Inferno 72 44 20 8 96 275 217
Roanoke Express 72 38 26 8 84 219 232
Florida Everblades 72 37 25 10 84 239 221
South Carolina Stingrays 72 39 28 5 83 205 202
Greensboro Generals 72 40 30 2 82 241 240
Charlotte Checkers 72 31 32 9 71 206 230
Florence Pride 72 30 33 9 69 210 254
Greenville Grrrowl 72 14 53 5 33 177 281

Western Conference[edit]

Central Division GP W L T PTS GF GA
Louisiana IceGators 72 48 22 2 98 235 167
Mississippi Sea Wolves 72 45 20 7 97 256 200
Gwinnett Gladiators 72 42 22 8 92 248 193
Pensacola Ice Pilots 72 40 23 9 89 240 239
Columbus Cottonmouths 72 37 27 8 82 214 197
Augusta Lynx 72 32 33 7 71 203 234
Texas Wildcatters 72 22 44 6 50 196 287
Pacific Division GP W L T Pts GF GA
San Diego Gulls (z) 72 49 13 10 108 240 177
Las Vegas Wranglers 72 43 22 7 93 227 186
Idaho Steelheads 72 40 23 9 89 219 208
Alaska Aces 72 38 28 6 82 220 210
Bakersfield Condors 72 25 38 9 59 201 236
Fresno Falcons 72 23 43 6 52 187 275
Long Beach Ice Dogs 72 23 44 5 51 191 257

Scoring leaders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty Minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts
Tim Smith CBA 69 33 62 95
Steffon Walby MS 59 33 55 88
Brian McCullough FL 72 40 47 87
Louis Dumont MS 72 33 51 84
Louis Goulet AUG 72 32 52 84
Mark Pederson SD 70 44 37 81
Sylvai Deschatelets SD 72 24 57 81
Mark Turner GBO 72 28 50 78
Cory Neilson PEN 72 19 59 78
Jon Cullen AC 71 29 48 77

Leading goaltenders[edit]

Note: GP = Games played; Mins = Minutes played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GA = Goals allowed; SO = Shutouts; SV% = Save percentage; GAA = Goals against average

Player Team GP Mins W L T GA SO Sv% GAA
Scott Stirling AC 49 2954 31 13 5 94 4 .933 1.91
Derek Gustafson LA 43 2498 28 14 0 87 5 .927 2.09
Michael Garnett GWT 33 1936 21 10 2 69 4 .926 2.14
Trever Koenig SD 53 3154 37 7 8 114 3 .920 2.17
Mike Valley PEO 37 2184 20 8 7 83 3 .915 2.28

Kelly Cup playoffs[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

1st round[edit]

Northern Division Wildcard
Johnstown vs. Reading
Date Away Home
April 5 Reading 2 Johnstown 1
Reading wins series 1–0

Division Semifinals[edit]

Northern Division Semifinals
Wheeling vs. Reading
Date Away Home
April 8 Reading 1 Wheeling 3
April 9 Reading 3 Wheeling 2
April 10 Wheeling 3 Reading 4
April 13 Wheeling 3 Reading 1
April 14 Reading 4 Wheeling 0
Reading wins series 3–2
Northern Division Semifinals
Atlantic City vs. Peoria
Date Away Home
April 7 Peoria 2 Atlantic City 3
April 9 Peoria 6 Atlantic City 3
April 12 Atlantic City 1 Peoria 2 2OT
April 13 Atlantic City 1 Peoria 2 OT
Peoria wins series 3–1
Southern Division Semifinals
Columbia vs. South Carolina
Date Away Home
April 6 South Carolina 1 Columbia 4
April 9 South Carolina 4 Columbia 2
April 10 Columbia 2 South Carolina 3 OT
April 13 Columbia 0 South Carolina 3
South Carolina wins series 3–1
Southern Division Semifinals
Roanoke vs. Florida
Date Away Home
April 6 Florida 4 Roanoke 3
April 8 Florida 6 Roanoke 3
April 9 Roanoke 5 Florida 3
April 12 Roanoke 2 Florida 3 OT
Florida wins series 3–1

Division finals[edit]

Northern Division Finals
Peoria vs. Reading
Date Away Home
April 17 Reading 2 Peoria 1 OT
April 19 Reading 2 Peoria 4
April 21 Peoria 2 Reading 3
April 22 Peoria 1 Reading 3
Reading wins series 3–1
Southern Division Finals
Florida vs. South Carolina
Date Away Home
April 17 South Carolina 3 Florida 6
April 19 South Carolina 1 Florida 2 2OT
April 22 Florida 8 South Carolina 2
Florida wins series 3–0

Conference finals[edit]

Eastern Conference Finals
Florida vs. Reading
Date Away Home
April 28 Reading 0 Florida 1
April 30 Reading 3 Florida 5
May 2 Florida 0 Reading 6
May 5 Florida 1 Reading 4
May 10 Reading 2 Florida 3
Florida wins series 3–2
and Gingher Memorial Trophy

Western Conference[edit]

Division Semifinals[edit]

Central Division Semifinals
Louisiana vs. Pensacola
Date Away Home
April 7 Pensacola 4 Louisiana 8
April 8 Pensacola 0 Louisiana 6
April 10 Louisiana 1 Pensacola 2 OT
April 13 Louisiana 1 Pensacola 3
April 14 Pensacola 1 Louisiana 2 2OT
Louisiana wins series 3–2
Central Division Semifinals
Gwinnett vs. Mississippi
Date Away Home
April 7 Gwinnett 2 Mississippi 1 OT
April 9 Gwinnett 3 Mississippi 4
April 10 Mississippi 3 Gwinnett 6
April 12 Mississippi 3 Gwinnett 0
April 14 Gwinnett 2 Mississippi 1 OT
Gwinnett wins series 3–2
Pacific Division Semifinals
San Diego vs. Alaska
Date Away Home
April 6 Alaska 4 San Diego 2
April 7 Alaska 4 San Diego 3 OT
April 9 San Diego 1 Alaska 5
Alaska wins series 3–0
Pacific Division Semifinals
Las Vegas vs. Idaho
Date Away Home
April 6 Idaho 2 Las Vegas 4
April 9 Idaho 2 Las Vegas 3
April 10 Las Vegas 0 Idaho 2
April 13 Las Vegas 3 Idaho 4 OT
April 14 Idaho 3 Las Vegas 0
Idaho wins series 3–2

Division finals[edit]

Central Division Finals
Louisiana vs. Gwinnett
Date Away Home
April 16 Gwinnett 1 Louisiana 3
April 17 Gwinnett 2 Louisiana 1
April 21 Louisiana 2 Gwinnett 3
April 22 Louisiana 5 Gwinnett 6 2OT
Gwinnett wins series 3–1
Pacific Division Finals
Idaho vs. Alaska
Date Away Home
April 16 Alaska 4 Idaho 3 OT
April 17 Alaska 1 Idaho 4
April 20 Idaho 4 Alaska 1
April 21 Idaho 3 Alaska 2
Idaho wins series 3–1

Conference finals[edit]

Western Conference Finals
Gwinnett vs. Idaho
Date Away Home
April 27 Idaho 5 Gwinnett 3
April 28 Idaho 1 Gwinnett 3
May 1 Gwinnett 1 Idaho 3
May 5 Gwinnett 2 Idaho 5
Idaho wins series 3–1
and Bruce Taylor Trophy

Kelly Cup finals[edit]

Florida vs. Idaho
Date Away Home
May 14 Idaho 5 Florida 1
May 15 Idaho 6 Florida 4
May 19 Florida 0 Idaho 1 OT
May 21 Florida 3 Idaho 2 OT
May 22 Florida 2 Idaho 5
Idaho wins series 4–1
and Kelly Cup

ECHL awards[edit]

See also: ECHL awards
Patrick Kelly Cup: Idaho Steelheads
Henry Brabham Cup: San Diego Gulls
Gingher Memorial Trophy: Florida Everblades
Bruce Taylor Trophy: Idaho Steelheads
John Brophy Award: Pat Bingham (Wheeling)
CCM TACKS Most Valuable Player: Scott Stirling (Atlantic City)
Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player: Dan Ellis (Idaho)
Reebok Hockey Goaltender of the Year: Scott Stirling (Atlantic City)
CCM Tacks Rookie of the Year: Kevin Doell (Gwinnett)
Defenseman of the Year: Corey Neilson (Pensacola)
Leading Scorer: Tim Smith (Columbia)
Reebok Hockey Plus Performer Award: Tim Smith (Columbia)
Sportsmanship Award: Mark Pederson (San Diego)

See also[edit]