NAHL grads help Aces win ECHL's Kelly Cup
June 10, 2014
Five former NAHL players helped the Alaska Aces capture the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Championship on Monday night as the Aces defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-0 on Monday at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati to claim the 2014 ECHL Kelly Cup championship 4 games to 2.??The title is Alaska's third Kelly Cup championship, following titles in 2006 and 2011. The Patrick J. Kelly Cup is awarded annually to the playoff champion of the ECHL.
The five NAHL alumni who contributed to Alaska’s ECHL Kelly Cup Championship were: Nick Mazzolini (2003-05: Texas Tornado, Toledo IceDiggers, Dayton Gems), Ross Ring-Jarvi (2005-08: North Iowa Outlaws), Zach McKelvie (2003-05: Bozeman Icedogs), John Ramage (2007-09: St. Louis Bandits, USNTDP) and Gerald Coleman (2000-02: USNTDP).
The ECHL is the leading professional developmental league for the American Hockey and the National Hockey Leagues. Serving as the only true Nationwide ‘AA’ pro league, the ECHL has an identity that is well known within North American hockey circles.
NAHL graduate Nick Mazzolini scored the only goal Alaska needed, his 11th of the postseason, on the power play with just 23 seconds remaining in the first period. NAHL graduate Gerald Coleman stopped all 23 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the Finals series. The win was Coleman's eighth career win in the Kelly Cup Finals.
Mazzolini, who is Alaska’s captain, played two seasons in the NAHL and totaled 97 points in 85 career regular season games. He played for the Dayton Gems and Toledo IceDiggers before settling with the Texas Tornado, where he was a part of Robertson Cup Championship teams in 2004 and 2005.
Ring-Jarvi played three seasons in the NAHL, all for the North Iowa Outlaws. In 168 career regular season games, Ring-Jarvi totaled 61 points and also had four points in eight playoff games.
McKelvie played two seasons in the NAHL, both for the Bozeman Icedogs from 2003-05. In 101 career NAHL games, McKelvie had 12 points from the blueline and 170 career penalty minutes.
Ramage began his NAHL career as a 16-year-old playing for the St. Louis Bandits in the NAHL. That continued the next season as Ramage played for the USNTDP-18 Team. In 59 career NAHL games, Ramage had 14 points and he also played on the Bandits Robertson Cup Championship team during the 2007-08 season.
Coleman played in 58 career NAHL regular season games throughout his career, all of it with the USNTDP program. The 2003 NHL Draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning just completed his ninth professional season.