Toledo Claims Bruce Taylor Trophy as Western Conference Champions
May 22, 2019 - ECHL (ECHL) News Release
PRINCETON, N.J. - The Toledo Walleye captured the Bruce Taylor Trophy as Western Conference champions on Wednesday with a 6-2 win over the Tulsa Oilers in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Toledo wins the series 4 games to 3, and advances to meet the Newfoundland Growlers in the 2019 Kelly Cup Finals presented by SmileDirectClub.
The Walleye took a 2-0 lead 9:29 into the contest on goals from David Pope and Zach Gallant. After Stephen Perfetto got the Oilers on the board with a power-play tally at 12:24 of the first period, Chris Crane restored Toledo's two-goal lead at 17:14. Matt Register extended the lead to 4-1 13:28 into the second period. Jared Thomas pulled Tulsa within two at 19:33 of the second period, but Toledo's Bryan Moore and Ben Storm added empty-net tallies in the closing minutes of the third period to set the final.
A.J. Jenks led the Walleye in the series with six points (2g-4a) while Pat Nagle went 4-3 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a save percentage of .938. Perfetto (3g-4a) and Adam Pleskach (2g-5a) shared the series lead for the Oilers with seven points each.
This is the Walleye's first trip to the Kelly Cup Finals in team history, and the third visit to the final round of the ECHL playoffs for a Toledo team. The Toledo Storm won back-to-back Riley Cup championships in 1993 and 1994.
The trophy is named in recognition of Bruce Taylor, who was the founding father of the West Coast Hockey League. In the early 1990s, Taylor purchased teams in Fresno, Reno and Bakersfield and in 1995 joined them with teams in Anchorage, Fairbanks and San Diego to form the West Coast Hockey League. The Taylor Cup was presented to the playoff champion in the WCHL from the league's inaugural season in 1995-96 until the league ceased operations following the 2002-03 season. Taylor's ownership in hockey began in 1983 with the purchase of the Burnaby Bluehawks of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League and continued with the purchase of the Richmond Sockeyes in the BCJHL and the New Westminster Royals in the BCJHL.
Bruce Taylor Trophy Champions
2019 Toledo Walleye
2018 Colorado Eagles
2017 Colorado Eagles
2016 Allen Americans
2015 Allen Americans
2014 Alaska Aces
2013 Stockton Thunder
2012 Las Vegas Wranglers
2011 Alaska Aces
2010 Idaho Steelheads
2009 Alaska Aces
2008 Las Vegas Wranglers
2007 Idaho Steelheads
2006 Alaska Aces
2005 Trenton Titans
2004 Idaho Steelheads
2003 Columbia Inferno
2002 Greenville Grrrowl
2001 South Carolina Stingrays
2000 Louisiana IceGators
1999 Mississippi Sea Wolves
1998 Pensacola Ice Pilots
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