Columbia Inferno

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Columbia Inferno
ColumbiaInferno.png
City Columbia, South Carolina
League ECHL
Conference American Conference
Division South Division
Founded 2001
Operated 2001–2008
Home arena Carolina Coliseum
Colors Red, yellow, black, white
                   
Owner(s) Ezra B. Riber, MD
Franchise history
2001–2008 Columbia Inferno
Championships
Regular season titles none
Division Championships 3 (2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05)
Conference Championships 1 (2002–03)
Kelly Cups none

The Columbia Inferno was an ECHL team based in Columbia, South Carolina. Beginning in 2008, the team went on voluntary suspension awaiting construction of a new arena in suburban Lexington County, South Carolina, however, the ECHL dropped Columbia as a "future market" in June 2014.[1] They played their home games at the Carolina Coliseum.

History[edit]

The Inferno first took the ice in 2001 as an expansion team after a group of physicians dubbed the "Hockey Docs" sought to purchase a team. While officially unaffiliated in their first season, the Inferno soon reached a working relationship with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League that turned into a formal affiliation the following season and later with Manitoba's National Hockey League affiliate, the Vancouver Canucks. On July 10, 2006, the team announced the end of their affiliation with the Moose and Canucks and announced a new affiliation with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL) two days later.

Demise[edit]

The Inferno was originally slated to move across the street to the Colonial Life Arena after the 2007–08 ECHL season, but legal issues with the arena's funding prevented the move. The team was voluntarily suspended for the 2008–09 season as the team was told that it could not be guaranteed a lease with the Carolina Coliseum in time to meet league requirements. The voluntary suspension was extended during subsequent seasons and, according to Joe Babik, the Director of Communications for the ECHL, included the 2012–13 season.[2]

However, as of the 2013–14 season the team had not returned since its 2008 suspension. A March 2014 article in the Charleston-based The Post and Courier indicated team owner Ezra Riber was no longer required by the league to pay ECHL franchise fees.[3] Acknowledging his long term personal and financial commitment to the league, the BOG voted that he cease paying dues while affirming their interest in Dr. Riber bringing hockey back to Columbia. The team was not included in the June 2014 ECHL realignment for the 2014–15 season.[4] Columbia was removed as a "future market" by the ECHL shortly thereafter.[1]

Season-by-season records[edit]

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season GP W L T OTL Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
2001–02 72 36 22 14 86 211 197 1618 3rd in Southeast Lost Div. Semifinals vs. Pee Dee Pride
2002–03 72 47 23 2 96 265 202 1158 1st in Southeast Lost Finals, 1-4 vs. Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies
2003–04 72 44 20 8 96 275 217 1855 1st in South Lost Div. Semifinals, 1-3 vs. South Carolina Stingrays
2004–05 72 38 22 12 88 199 186 1333 1st in East Lost Conf. Quarterfinals, 2-3 vs. Charlotte Checkers
2005–06 72 25 39 8 58 209 290 1596 7th in South Did not qualify
2006–07 72 29 34 9 67 214 247 1316 7th in South Did not qualify
2007–08 72 33 28 11 77 212 217 1171 5th in South Lost Conf. Semifinals, 2-3 vs. South Carolina Stingrays

Team captains[edit]

  • 2007–2008
    • C – Brad Ralph
      • A – Patrick Wellar
      • A – Tyson Marsh
      • A – Mac Faulkner
      • A – Jeff Miles
      • A – Donny Grover
      • A – Steve McJannet
  • 2006–2007
    • C – Chris Thompson
    • C – Brad Ralph
      • A – Mike Vellinga
      • A – Tyson Marsh
      • A &ndsh; Jeff Miles
      • A – Brad Ralph
  • 2005–2006
    • C – Jay Legault
      • A – Leon Hayward
      • A – Derek Eastman
  • 2004–2005
    • C – Trevor Demmans
      • A – Brad Ralph
      • A – Matt Ulwelling
      • A – Kevin Hopke
      • A – Robin Carruthers
  • 2003–2004
    • C – Barrie Moore
      • A – Dennis Vial
      • A – Sean Owens
      • A – Robin Carruthers
  • 2002-2003
    • C – Barrie Moore
      • A – Dennis Vial
      • A – Corey Hessler

Coaching history[edit]

Coach Tenure W L OTL
Scott White 2001–2005 165 87 36
Ted Dent 2005–2006 25 39 8
Troy Mann 2006–2008 62 62 20

NHL alumni[edit]

Notable players[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Future Markets", ECHL. (accessed 24 June 2014).
  2. ^ Babik, Joe. "Columbia Inferno Facebook Fan Page". Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Miller, Andrew. "Southern fried hockey: the rise, fall and rise again of minor league hockey in the South", The Post and Courier, March 2, 2014. (accessed 26 June 2014)
  4. ^ "Annual ECHL Board of Governors Meeting concludes", ECHL, June 24, 2014. (accessed 24 June 2014)

External links[edit]