The Newfoundland Growlers Journey to Becoming Kelly Cup Champions

The Newfoundland Growlers Journey to Becoming Kelly Cup Champions

March 13th, 2018- The ECHL officially approved St. John’s entry to the ECHL for the 2018-19 season. They were placed in the North Division of the Eastern Conference.

May 22nd, 2018- St. John’s ownership announced that the new franchise would be named the Newfoundland Growlers. The name in reference to the Newfoundland dog specifically the World War I mascot of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment Sable Chief. Among the names considered for the new franchise were Shamrocks, Storm, Regiment, and the Newfoundland Growlers.

June 14th, 2018- Newfoundland Growlers and Toronto Maple Leafs announce affiliation. This would bring the Maple Leafs organization back to St. John’s for the first time since the Maple Leafs relocated their American Hockey League affiliate, St John’s Maple Leafs, to Toronto in 2005.

June 20th, 2018- Former New Jersey Devil assistant coach and Newfoundland native, Ryan Clowe, was announced as head coach.

July 13th, 2018- The Growlers announce the signing of St. John’s native Marcus Power, making him the first player signing in team history.

July 19th, 2018- John Snowden is announced as assistant coach. Snowden was the assistant coach for the previous Maple Leafs affiliate, the Orlando Solar Bears. The Growlers also announced the signing of eventual captain, James Melindy.

October 11th, 2018- Growlers announce their season opening roster: Michael Garteig, G; Eamon McAdam, G; James Melindy, D; Kristians Rubins, D; Alex Gudbranson, D; Andrew Darrigo, D; Stefan LeBlanc, D; Evan Neugold, D/F; Zach O’Brien, F; Marcus Power, F; Semyon Babintsev, F; Ryan Moore, F; Scott Trask, F; Jimmy Soper, F; Derian Plouffe, F; Scott Pooley, F; Brady Ferguson, F; Matt Bradley, F; Giorgio Estephan, F

Reserve – Adam Pardy, D; Maxim Mizyurin, F

Injured Reserve – Josh Kestner, F; Kristian Pospisil, F

October 12th, 2018- Growlers play their first (home) game of the regular season against the Florida Everblades. They would win 3-2 in front of a sold out crowd.

November 14th, 2018- Growlers Head Coach Ryane Clowe announced today that defenseman James Melindy has been named as the Growlers’ first captain in franchise history.

January 24th, 2019- John Snowden is announced head coach after Ryan Clowe stepped down due to health concerns.

March 23rd, 2019- Growlers clinch playoff spot after defeating the Reading Royals 3-2 in a shootout.

March 29th, 2019- Newfoundland clinchs the North Division title after defeating the Manchester Monarchs 4-2.

Kelly Cup Playoffs

Division Semifinals

The Growlers defeated the Brampton Beast 4 games to 2

Division Finals

The Growlers defeated the Manchester Monarchs 4 games to 2

Conference Finals

The Growlers defeated the Florida Everblades 4 games to 1 to win the Eastern Conference and claim the E.A. “Bud” Gingher Memorial Trophy.

June 4th, 2019- The Newfoundland Growlers do the unthinkable and win the Kelly Cup in their inagural season defeating the Toledo Walleye 4-3 and winning the series 4 games to 2. They become the first expansion team to win the Kelly Cup in their inagural season.

Featured Photo Credit: preecevilleprogress.com

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