1997–98 ECHL season

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The 1997–98 ECHL season was the tenth season of the ECHL. Before the start of the season, the league saw the Knoxville Cherokees move to Florence, SC and welcomed expansion teams in New Orleans, LA and Upper Marlboro, MD. The Louisiana IceGators finished the regular season first overall and the Hampton Roads Admirals won their record setting third overall ECHL championship (1st Kelly Cup), defeating the Pensacola Ice Pilots 4 games to 2.

League realignment[edit]

With the league expanding to 25 teams, the Board of Governors decided to divide the league into two conference (Northern and Southern), with two divisions each. With the realignment the Board of Governors also created two new trophies, one each for the playoff champion of each conference.[1]

Northern Conference[edit]

Southern Conference[edit]

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
Roanoke Express 70 42 21 7 91 235 208
Wheeling Nailers 70 37 24 9 83 255 255
Chesapeake Icebreakers 70 34 28 8 76 252 239
Hampton Roads Admirals 70 32 28 10 74 222 225
Richmond Renegades 70 30 33 7 67 218 277
Johnstown Chiefs 70 23 41 6 52 219 297
Northwest Division GP W L T PTS GF GA
Peoria Rivermen 70 44 19 7 95 296 213
Toledo Storm 70 41 21 8 90 251 210
Dayton Bombers 70 36 26 8 80 255 256
Huntington Blizzard 70 34 29 7 75 230 259
Columbus Chill 70 33 30 7 73 221 220
Louisville RiverFrogs 70 32 31 7 71 228 257

Southern Conference[edit]

Southeast Division GP W L T PTS GF GA
South Carolina Stingrays 70 41 23 6 88 246 218
Charlotte Checkers 70 35 24 11 81 251 237
Pee Dee Pride 70 34 25 11 79 214 215
Jacksonville Lizard Kings 70 35 29 6 76 243 239
Raleigh Icecaps 70 32 33 5 69 236 254
Tallahassee Tiger Sharks 70 24 44 2 50 210 320
Southwest Division GP W L T PTS GF GA
Louisiana IceGators 70 43 17 10 96 298 232
Birmingham Bulls 70 39 23 8 86 293 257
Pensacola Ice Pilots 70 36 24 10 82 276 262
New Orleans Brass 70 36 24 10 82 278 263
Mobile Mysticks 70 35 27 8 78 236 233
Mississippi Sea Wolves 70 34 27 9 77 225 224
Baton Rouge Kingfish 70 33 27 10 76 220 238

Kelly Cup playoffs[edit]

Bracket[edit]

Conference Quarterfinals
(Best of 5)
Conference Semifinals
(Best of 5)
Conference Finals
(Best of 7)
Kelly Cup Finals
(Best of 7)
                       
1 Peoria 0
8 Hampton Roads 3
3 Toledo 1
4 Wheeling 3
4 Wheeling 3
5 Dayton 2
4 Wheeling 2
Northern Conference
8 Hampton Roads 4
3 Toledo 3
6 Chesapeake 0
2 Roanoke 2
8 Hampton Roads 3
2 Roanoke 3
7 Huntington 1
8 Hampton Roads 4
4 Pensacola 2
1 Louisiana 3
8 Mobile 0
1 Louisiana 3
7 Pee Dee 0
4 Pensacola 3
5 New Orleans 1
1 Louisiana 2
Southern Conference
4 Pensacola 4
3 Birmingham 1
6 Charlotte 3
4 Pensacola 3
6 Charlotte 0
2 South Carolina 2
7 Pee Dee 3

Northern Conference[edit]

Quarterfinals[edit]

Semifinals[edit]

Finals[edit]

(4) Wheeling vs. (8) Hampton Roads
Date Away Home
April 22 Hampton Roads 4 Wheeling 3 OT
April 24 Hampton Roads 1 Wheeling 2
April 25 Hampton Roads 3 Wheeling 4 OT
April 30 Wheeling 1 Hampton Roads 3
May 2 Wheeling 1 Hampton Roads 2 OT
May 3 Wheeling 1 Hampton Roads 5
Hampton Roads wins series 4–2

Southern Conference[edit]

Quarterfinals[edit]

Semifinals[edit]

Finals[edit]

(1) Louisiana vs. (4) Pensacola
Date Away Home
April 22 Pensacola 1 Louisiana 3
April 25 Pensacola 1 Louisiana 3
April 26 Louisiana 4 Pensacola 9
April 28 Louisiana 4 Pensacola 6
April 30 Pensacola 8 Louisiana 2
May 3 Louisiana 4 Pensacola 5 OT
Pensacola wins series 4–2

Kelly Cup finals[edit]

Kelly Cup Finals
(4) Pensacola vs. (8) Hampton Roads
Date Away Home
May 8 Hampton Roads 4 Pensacola 7
May 9 Hampton Roads 3 Pensacola 1
May 12 Pensacola 1 Hampton Roads 0 OT
May 13 Pensacola 2 Hampton Roads 4
May 18 Pensacola 3 Hampton Roads 7
May 20 Hampton Roads 4 Pensacola 1
Hampton Roads wins series 4–2

ECHL awards[edit]

See also: ECHL awards
Patrick J. Kelly Cup: Hampton Roads Admirals
Henry Brabham Cup: Louisiana IceGators
Northern Conference Champion: Hampton Roads Admirals
Southern Conference Champion: Pensacola Ice Pilots
John Brophy Award: Chris Nilan (Chesapeake)
ECHL Most Valuable Player: Jamey Hicks (Birmingham)
Kelly Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player: Sebastien Charpentier (Hampton Roads)
ECHL Goaltender of the Year: Nick Vitucci (Toledo)
ECHL Rookie of the Year: Sean Venedam (Toledo)
Defenseman of the Year: Chris Valicevic (Louisiana)
Leading Scorer: Jamey Hicks (Birmingham)
Sportsmanship Award: Cal Ingraham (Tallahassee)

References[edit]

See also[edit]