Toledo Storm

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Toledo Storm
Toledo Storm.gif
City Toledo, Ohio
League ECHL
Home arena Toledo Sports Arena
Colors Red & White
         
Media Toledo Blade
Affiliates Detroit Red Wings (1991-1999, 2000-07)
Nashville Predators (2003–04)
San Jose Sharks (2005-07)
Franchise history
1991–2007 Toledo Storm
2009–present Toledo Walleye
Championships
Regular season titles 2 (1991–92, 2002–03)
Division Championships 6 (1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 2002–03, 2005–06)
Kelly Cups 2 (1992–93, 1993–94)

The Toledo Storm was a minor league professional ice hockey team in the ECHL from 1991 to 2007. The Storm played their home games at the venerable Toledo Sports Arena along the eastern banks of the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio. The team colors were red and white, similar to the Detroit Red Wings, their NHL affiliate for fourteen of their sixteen seasons.[1] The Storm would win six division titles, two Henry Brabham Cups and two Jack Riley Cups as champion of the East Coast Hockey League. The franchise suspended operations following the 2006–07 season after they were sold to Toledo Arena Sports, Inc. The Storm returned to the ECHL for the 2009–10 season as the Toledo Walleye.

The Storm's logo was notorious for poor appearance, and was voted "Worst Logo" in The Hockey News annual survey of minor league hockey logos several times.[2]

History[edit]

McSorley era (1991–94)[edit]

The Toledo Storm were founded in 1991, joining the East Coast Hockey League for the 1991–92 season as an expansion franchise with two other Ohio franchises, the Columbus Chill and Dayton Bombers, and the Raleigh IceCaps of Raleigh, North Carolina. The Storm's first head coach was Chris McSorley, older brother of NHLer Marty McSorley, Chris McSorley had previously played for the Toledo Goaldiggers of the International Hockey League from 1984–86. One of McSorley's first actions as head coach would be to procure an affiliation agreement with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, a team that was heavily supported by Toledo hockey fans as Detroit was within an hour drive of Toledo. In the first year under McSorley, the Storm would play to an impressive record of 46–15–3, winning the West Division title and the Brabham Cup as the team with the best overall record during the ECHL's regular season. Despite the regular season success, the Storm would fall in the first round of the ECHL playoffs, being upset by the Louisville Icehawks four games to one.

The following season, McSorley would once again ice a very competitive team, posting a regular season record of 36–17–11 and a second consecutive West Division title for the Storm and defenceman Derek Booth would become the first member of the team to win an ECHL award, as he was named the Defenseman of the Year for the 1992–93 season. The Storm's finish in the top three of the West Division granted them a bye to the West Division semifinals of the 1993 Riley Cup playoffs. The Storm would be matched with the West Division's fourth place team, the Erie Panthers, who had defeated the Greensboro Monarchs in the 2nd Round of the playoffs. The Storm took the first two games of the series at the Toledo Sports Arena 6–3 and 5–2, before Erie won Game Three 9–6 at Louis J. Tullio Arena in the highest scoring game of the 1992–93 Riley Cup playoffs. The Storm would close out the series in Game Four, defeating Erie 6–2 to move to the West Division Finals against the West Division's third place team the Nashville Knights who had swept the West Division's second seed the Dayton Bombers.

Toledo would once again take the first two games of the series defeating Nashville 3–1 in Game One and 7–4 in Game Two. When the series moved back to Nashville, the Knights would take Game Three with a 4–3 overtime victory and tie the series with a 3–2 victory in Game Four. Toledo would take Game Five in Toledo 8–2 and finish the series off with a 9–5 victory in Game Six in Nashville, to earn the first trip to the Riley Cup Finals in club history where they would play the Brabham Cup titleholder Wheeling Thunderbirds. Wheeling would take the first two games of the series 5–3 and 7–3, but the Storm would tie the series when it moved to Toledo, winning Game Three 4–3 and Game Four 7–5. Toledo would take control of the series with a 4–2 victory in Wheeling in Game Five and would clinch their first Riley Cup championship with a 7–6 overtime win in Game Six. Forward Rick Judson was named the Riley Cup Playoffs Most Valuable Player in Toledo's first league championship since the Toledo Goaldiggers won the IHL's Turner Cup during the 1982–83 season.

Later years[edit]

The Storm celebrated their 15th-anniversary during the 2005–06 season, adopting a new logo marking the occasion. The Storm's last season of operation was 2006–2007. The final game was played April 19, 2007, at US Bank Arena against the Cincinnati Cyclones in the North Division Semifinals. The Cyclones won 3–0, sweeping the series in three games.

Women's hockey firsts[edit]

The Toledo Storm once featured a female goaltender, Erin Whitten ,[3] who on March 7, 1996 became the first woman ever to appear in a professional hockey game in a position other than goaltender; she played at forward for 18 seconds in a game against the Madison Monsters. She was the first U.S.-born woman to play professional hockey when she appeared for the East Coast Hockey League's Toledo Storm, and on October 30, 1993, became the first woman goaltender to record a professional victory.

List of NHL affiliates[edit]

Season-by-season record[edit]

Riley Cup Champions League Leader in points * Conference Champions ^ Division Champions ¤
ECHL Season Conference Division Regular Season Post Season
Finish GP W L OTL SOL Pts GF GA PIM GP W L GF GA Result
1991-92 West ¤ 1st 64 46 15 3 0 95* 367 274 1984 5 1 4 16 23 Lost in First Round, 1-4 (Louisville)
1992-93 West ¤ 1st 64 36 17 1 10 83 316 238 2211 16 11 5 83 63 Won in Quarterfinals, 3-1 (Erie)
Won in Semifinals, 4-2 (Nashville)
Won in Riley Cup Finals, 4-2 (Wheeling) †
1993-94 North ¤ 1st 68 44 20 1 3 92 338 289 2277 14 12 2 75 41 Won in First Round, 2-1 (Dayton)
Won in Quarterfinals, 3-0 (Columbus)
Won in Semifinals, 3-0 (Wheeling)
Won in Riley Cup Finals, 4-1 (Raleigh) †
1994-95 North 3rd 68 41 22 5 0 87 287 230 2301 4 1 3 10 12 Lost in First Round, 1-3 (Nashville)
1995-96 North ¤ 1st 70 48 14 0 8 104 301 240 2353 11 8 3 39 33 Won in First Round, 3-0 (Dayton)
Won in Quarterfinals, 3-0 (Knoxville)
Lost in Semifinals, 2-3 (Jacksonville)
1996-97 North 5th 70 32 28 0 10 74 258 248 1940 5 2 3 12 17 Lost in First Round, 2-3 (Columbus)
1997-98 Northern Northwest 2nd 70 41 21 0 8 90 251 210 1548 7 4 3 19 19 Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 3-0 (Chesapeake)
Lost in Conference Semifinals, 1-3 (Wheeling)
1998-99 Northern Northwest 3rd 70 39 26 0 5 83 256 246 1915 7 3 4 24 26 Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 3-1 (Peoria)
Lost in Conference Semifinals, 0-3 (Richmond)
1999-00 Northern Northwest 6th 70 22 41 0 7 51 214 306 2405 Did Not Qualify
2000-01 Northern Northwest 3rd 72 37 27 0 8 82 262 259 2273 8 3 5 19 26 Won in Conference Quarterfinals, 3-2 (Roanoke)
Lost in Conference Semifinals, 0-3 (Trenton)
2001-02 Northern Northwest 6th 72 28 34 0 10 66 225 265 1944 Did Not Qualify
2002-03 Northern Northwest ¤ 1st 72 47 15 0 10 104* 247 196 2224 7 4 3 22 12 Won in Divisional Semifinals, 3-0 (Lexington)
Lost in Divisional Finals, 1-3 (Cincinnati)
2003-04 Eastern Northern 7th 72 23 38 0 11 57 183 258 1508 Did Not Qualify
2004-05 National North 4th 72 41 26 0 5 87 203 194 1289 4 1 3 3 8 Lost in Division Semifinals, 1-3 (Reading)
2005-06 American North ¤ 1st 72 46 21 0 5 97 244 189 1627 13 7 6 39 36 Won in Division Semifinals, 3-0 (Johnstown)
Won in Division Finals, 3-2 (Wheeling)
Lost in Conference Finals, 1-4 (Gwinnett)
2006-07 American North 2nd 72 39 30 0 3 81 211 220 1489 3 0 3 4 14 Lost in Divisional Semifinals, 0-3 (Cincinnati)
16 Seasons[5] 6 Division Titles
2 Brabham Cups
1,118 610 395 16 97 1,313
(.587)
4,163 3,828 31,288 104 57 47 365 330 13 Playoff Appearances
2 Riley Cup Championships

Franchise records[edit]

All-time leaders[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

  • Chris McSorley, 1991–94
  • Greg Puhalski, 1994–98
  • Murray Eaves, 1998–99
  • Todd Gordon, 1999–00
  • Dennis Holland, 2000–02
  • Claude Noel, 2002–03
  • Steve Harrison, 2003–04
  • Nick Vitucci, 2003–07

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Toledo Goaldiggers
Professional Hockey Team in
Toledo, Ohio

1991–2007
Succeeded by
Toledo Walleye
Preceded by
Knoxville Cherokees
Brabham Cup
Champions

1991–92
Succeeded by
Wheeling Thunderbirds
Preceded by
Hampton Roads Admirals
Riley Cup
Champions

1992–93, 1993–94
Succeeded by
Richmond Renegades
Preceded by
Louisiana IceGators
Brabham Cup
Champions

2002–03
Succeeded by
San Diego Gulls