Anaheim Arena (1993)
The Anaheim Bullfrogs were a professional inline hockey team based in Anaheim, California. The Bullfrogs played in Roller Hockey International (1993–1997) and Major League Roller Hockey (1998) before returning to Roller Hockey international (1999). The Bullfrogs played their home games in the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
The team won two championships in 1993 and 1997, the only team to win more than one. The team also won the Major League Roller Hockey championship in 1998. The team also went to the Murphy Cup finals two other times but lost to the Orlando Jackals in 1996 and the St. Louis Vipers in 1999. The team lasted the full length of the RHI and had the highest attendance figures at the Arrowhead Pond.
The Anaheim Bullfrogs made a brief comeback when they joined IHA, a pro roller hockey league held during the NHL Lockout at the Anaheim's Convention Center. They were one of the six teams participating in the league. However, due to poor management, the league folded halfway through the season, and the Bullfrogs were once again gone. They were undefeated until the collapse of the league.
Some players of note include: Rob Laurie (goaltender), Victor Gervais, Joe Cook, Hugo Belanger, Mark Wolf, B.J. MacPherson, Todd Wetzel, Darren Perkins, Rick Judson, Tom Menicci, Jim Ficenec, Kevin Kerr, Daniel Shank, Derek Booth, Rick Judson, Darren Banks, Nathan Petralia, Savo Mitrovic and Darren Langdon.
In Roller Hockey International's inaugural 1993 season, the Bullfrogs finished with a record of 13-0-1, the best in the league. Building on the growing popularity of inline skating, the team's averaged attendance of nearly 8,800 fans per game, with three of team's seven home games drawing audiences of 10,000 or more at the Anaheim Arena. The tea m won all four of its playoff games, including a two-game sweep of the Oakland Skates to win the first ever Murphy Cup, marking the champion of Roller Hockey International.
The team beat the New Jersey Rockin' Rollers by a score of 9-5 in the second game of the RHI 1997 Murphy Cup finals held at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to win the series in a two-game sweep.
The Bullfrogs left RHI and played the 1998 season in Major League Roller Hockey (MLRH), finishing with a record of 20-0-1. With MLRH dropping from 14 teams to two in 1999, the Bullfrogs and the Buffalo Wings returned to play in a revitalized RHI, which planned to resume league play after the year off with 10 teams that season.
The Bullfrogs finished the 1999 RHI season with a record of 22-4-2, but lost the league championship to the St. Louis Vipers by a score of 8-6. The Bullfrogs had won the Roller Hockey International Murphy Cup championships in 1993 and 1997, and won the Major League Roller Hockey Jason Cup title in 1998 against the Orlando Surge.
After a debt-ridden Roller Hockey International announced that it would not hold a 2000 season, management of the Bullfrogs announced that the team would be in hiatus that season, declining to join other professional roller hockey leagues based on their low level of competitive play.
|1993 (RHI)||14||13||0||1||27||130||83||405||1st, Buss||Won Quarterfinal (Coasters)
Won Semifinal (Blades)
Won Murphy Cup Final (Skates)
|1994 (RHI)||22||13||8||1||27||185||155||634||3rd, Pacific||Won Pacific Semifinal (Rhinos)
Won Pacific Final (Blades)
Lost Western Final (Rage)
|1995 (RHI)||24||19||4||1||39||219||157||558||1st, Pacific||Won Western Quarterfinal (Blades)
Won Western Semifinal (Barracudas)
Lost Western Final (Rhinos)
|1996 (RHI)||28||22||4||2||46||215||159||495||1st, Pacific||Won Pacific Final (Blades)
Won Western Final (Voodoo)
Lost Murphy Cup Final (Jackals)
|1997 (RHI)||24||15||9||0||30||173||156||435||2nd, Western||Won Western Semifinal (Blades)
Won Western Final (Rhinos)
Won Murphy Cup Final (Rockin Rollers)
|1998 (MLRH)||20||19||0||1||39||263||84||353||1st, Coastal||Earned Coastal Semifinal bye
Won Coastal Final (Power)
Won Final Four (Tigers)
Won Jason Cup Final (Surge)
|1999 (RHI)||26||21||3||2||44||197||127||403||1st, Western||Earned Western Semifinal bye
Won Western Final (Rhinos)
Lost Murphy Cup Final (Vipers)
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From 1994 to '96, Bullfrogs games were regularly available on radio. The 1994 season broadcasts were on KMAX-FM and the next two seasons' games were on KPLS. Lew Stowers, a business associate of longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, was the play-by-play announcer.
- Itagaki, Michael. "Bullfrogs Leap Into Playoffs : Roller hockey: Team that plays at Anaheim Arena faces Connecticut tonight in first round of league's first postseason.", Los Angeles Times, August 24, 1993. Accessed January 24, 2017. "The Bullfrogs drew three crowds of more than 10,000, including 13,314 on opening night.The Bullfrogs earned home-floor advantage throughout the playoffs after compiling a league-best 13-0-1 record. They also led the league in attendance, averaging 8,779 in seven home games."
- Penner, Mike. "Bullfrogs Floor the Curse", Los Angeles Times, September 8, 1993. Accessed January 26, 2017. "The Bullfrogs are 1993 champions of Roller Hockey International, the little league that started up in early July in an attempt to capitalize on the in-line roller blade fad, warm some seats for Mighty Ducks ticket holders and maybe kill a few summer nights between Angel ulcers and Ram headaches. The Bullfrogs didn't lose a game. They went 13-0-1 during the regular season and swept through the playoffs in four games, including Tuesday's clincher, a 9-4 victory over the Oakland Skates."
- "Results Plus: New Jersey Falls in Final", The New York Times, September 1, 1997. Accessed January 23, 2017. "The Anaheim Bullfrogs beat the New Jersey Rockin' Rollers, 9-5, last night in East Rutherford, N.J., to complete a two-game sweep of Roller Hockey International's Murphy Cup."
- McLeod, Paul. "Bullfrogs Back in Business, but for How Long?Roller hockey: After a year off, league tries to get back on track. Anaheim opens Saturday at Pond.", Los Angeles Times, June 4, 1999. Accessed January 24, 2017. "The Bullfrogs' seven-year record is 128-35-6. They won RHI titles in 1993 and '97, but when the league went broke after the '97 season, they jumped to Major League Roller Hockey, where they finished 20-0-1 and won the championship in 1998."
- McLeod, Paul. "Bullfrogs Are Checkmated; Roller hockey: Physical approach backfires as early penalty paves way for 8-6 loss to St. Louis in title game.", Los Angeles Times, August 23, 1999. Accessed January 24, 2017. "And while few players wanted to talk about it, the Bullfrogs' 8-6 loss to the St. Louis Vipers in the league championship game at the Arrowhead Pond was a result of a brutal start that backfired, costing Anaheim a third consecutive in-line title in front of an announced crowd of 6,143.... The Bullfrogs also won RHI titles in 1993 and 1997 and were appearing in their fourth consecutive league title game."
- McLeod, Paul. "Bullfrogs, League to Sit Out the Summer", Los Angeles Times, April 18, 2000. Accessed January 24, 2017. "The Bullfrogs, who play at the Arrowhead Pond, are an original member of RHI, which began in 1993 but has had financial problems in recent years.Montague said the Bullfrogs, who played in Major League Roller Hockey in 1998 when RHI first went broke, have turned down requests to join several start-up leagues because they would not be up to the team's competitive standards."
- Anaheim Bullfrogs - RHI Stats