The Newfoundland Growlers became the first Canadian team to win the Kelly Cup, when they defeated the Toledo Walleye 4-3 on Tuesday night to capture the ECHL’s championship.
The Growlers, an expansion team, took the series 4-2 to get the first professional championship for a team from St. John’s, Newfoundland. A crowd of 6,329 attended the game at the Mile One Centre.
The Walleye had ousted the Komets from the first round of the playoffs – that series went six games – and former Fort Wayne goaltender Pat Nagle was in net for Toledo on Tuesday, stopping 23 shots as the Growler’s Michael Garteig stopped 23, too.
Newfoundland had Scott Pooley, son of former Fort Wayne player Paul Pooley, as it completed a season that saw its coach, Ryane Clowe, step aside early because of medical reasons and get replaced by another first-time head coach, John Snowden. Eric Levine, who played for Fort Wayne this season, was listed as Newfoundland’s third goalie.
Giorgio Estephan had two goals and an assist Tuesday, as Newfoundland had a 4-1 lead and barely hung on. Zach O’Brien was named Playoffs MVP
In other news, the NHL’s Nashville Predators have hired Dan Lambert, a former Komets defenseman, as an assistant coach as the franchise attempts to boost its power play. Lambert spent the last two seasons as head coach of the Western Hockey League's Spokane Chiefs.
Predators general manager David Poile said Lambert "has had success at every level running the power play, and we look forward to adding his knowledge and insight in this area to the organization."