ECHL Finals Showcase Alums

More than two dozen former NCAA players vying for the Kelly Cup as Alaska meets Cincinnati.
Mike Dalhuisen (left) had 30 points in 54 games as an ECHL rookie this season (Photo by Larry Radloff).

A year ago, as Quinnipiac senior defensemen, Mike Dalhuisen and Zach Davies came within a game of a national championship.

Now the duo will face off in a best-of-seven series, with one of them assured of winning the Kelly Cup as the ECHL champions in their first pro season.

Dalhuisen and Davies are two of more than two dozen former college players who have played for the Cincinnati Cyclones and Alaska Aces, respectively, this postseason. The 26 former NCAA players on the two rosters represent 20 schools, with Quinnipiac, Ferris State (Brendan Connolly and Brett Wysopal) and Vermont (Drew MacKenzie and Rob Madore) each assured of a player on the winning team. Minnesota (Josh Birkholz and Zach Budish), Ohio State (Devon Krogh and Chris Reed) and Robert Morris (Andrew Blazek and Trevor Lewis) each have a pair of representatives on the Cyclones.

The series faces off Friday in Anchorage, where Providence alum Nick Mazzolini has led the Aces - and the entire ECHL - with 27 points in 15 playoff games. The Aces' top five scorers all played college hockey, with Mazzolini followed by Evan Trupp (North Dakota), John Ramage (Wisconsin), Connolly (Ferris State) and Kane Lafranchise (Alaska Anchorage).

Cincinnati boasts Vermont alum Madore in net, who has earned all 12 of the team's playoff wins to this point. The Cyclones have dressed 15 former college players in the playoffs, including three - Joe Basaraba (Minnesota Duluth), Blazek (Robert Morris) and Matt Tinordi (Rensselaer) - who played college hockey this season.

Both coaching staffs in the final have college ties as well. Cincinnati is led by first-year head coach Ben Simon, who starred at Notre Dame and is assisted by St. Lawrence alum Matt MacDonald. Alaska's assistant coach is Louis Mass, who played at Bowling Green.

Kelly Cup Finals Schedule

Game 1: Fri., May 30, at Alaska
Game 2: Sat., May 31, at Alaska
Game 3: Mon., June 2, at Alaska
Game 4: Fri., June 6, at Cincinnati
Game 5: Sat., June 7, at Cincinnati*
Game 6: Mon., June 9, at Cincinnati*
Game 7: Wed., June 11, at Alaska*

* If necessary

Former College Players on Each Team

Alaska Aces  
Brendan Connolly Ferris State
Zach Davies Quinnipiac
Kane Lafranchise Alaska Anchorage
Drew MacKenzie Vermont
Nick Mazzolini Providence
Zach McKelzie Army
Tom Mele American International
John Ramage Wisconsin
Ross Ring-Jarvi Gustavus Adolphus
Andy Taranto Alaska Fairbanks
Evan Trupp North Dakota
Cincinnati Cyclones
Barry Almeida Boston College
Joe Basaraba Minnesota Duluth
Josh Birkholz Minnesota
Andrew Blazek Robert Morris
Zach Budish Minnesota
Mike Dalhuisen Quinnipiac
Dan Eves Lake Superior State
Devon Krogh Ohio State
Trevor Lewis Robert Morris
Rob Madore Vermont
Wade Megan Boston University
Brian Nugent Northern Michigan
Chris Reed Ohio State
Matt Tinordi Rensselaer
Brett Wysopal Ferris State

Includes all players who have seen action in the playoffs

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