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Renegades Night Before Christmas
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The 1998-1999 season: After the disappointing 1997-98 season ended, our owners promised some changes to the organization. They began by not renewing Scott Gruhl's contract. Mark Kaufman, former assistant coach of the now-defunct AHL Kentucky Thoroughblades, is his successor. Rod Langway has returned as a volunteer assistant coach. Former Renegades' head coach Roy Sommer is the new head coach of the successful Thoroughblades (way to go, Roy!). The Renegades have an affiliation agreement with the Thoroughblades and San Jose Sharks for the 1998-1999 season. A strong affiliation was promised (Sharks' news release about affiliation agreement), and the organization provided several players.
The following Renegades (all rookies) were selected to the 1999 ECHL Northern Conference All-Star Team: G Maxime Gingras (starter and winner of goaltending competition), LW Joe Blaznek (starter), and C Ryan Kraft. Gingras captured top goaltending honors in the skills competition. Congratulations!
For fans unable to attend in person, the game was simulcast on NHL Radio. Broadcast archives of the game in both Real Audio and Media Player formats are available from Broadcast.com. ESPN2 had a tape-delayed television broadcast on January 14 from 2-5 p.m.
On 4/1/99, Maxime Gingras was named ECHL CCM Rookie of the Year, the first goaltender and first Renegade ever selected for this honor. On 4/6/99, Gingras was named ECHL Goaltender of the Year for 1999! Gingras was subsequently selected to the ECHL's end of season first All-Star Team.
Richmond finished the 1998-99 season with a record of 40-27-3, good enough for third in the Northeast Division and fifth overall in the Northern Conference.
In the first
round of the Kelly Cup playoffs, the Renegades
defeated arch-rivals (and first-round opponents in 1997) Hampton Roads
Admirals 3 games to 1. Results:
In the second
round of the Kelly Cup playoffs, the Renegades
took on (and swept) the Toledo Storm. Schedule:
In the Northern
Conference finals, the Renegades took on (and
also swept) the cross-state rival Roanoke Express. Results of the best-of-seven
The Renegades advanced to
Cup finals, with worthy opponents in the Mississippi
Sea Wolves, the Southern Conference champions. Schedule for the finals
series, which used a 2-2-1-1-1 format because of arena availability (all
Congratulations to the 1998-99 Mississippi Sea Wolves, Kelly Cup Champions, and goaltender Travis Scott, playoff MVP!
For regular season Renegades news and game summaries, check out my articles written for In the Crease (most stories are no longer available, but you can search the archives for some of the older stories, and be sure to bookmark the page for next season). For playoff updates, check out ITC's Playoffs Coverage, Mark Burge's ECHL Playoffs Update, or Malcolm Preen's Playoffs Update.
Who wasn't back this season: Scott Burfoot (signed with Quad Cities in UHL), Darrin Madeley (claimed in expansion draft), Etienne Beaudry (traded for rights to Passarelli), D Jamie Yoder (waived, picked up by the Admirals, since traded), C Mark Kotary (waived, now in UHL), F Jay Moser (back with Stingrays), C Brendan Flynn (playing for Pride), G Tripp Tracy (doing color commentary for the Hurricanes), G Taras Lendzyk (traded to Charlotte after recovering from shoulder surgery for Pat Brownlee), and Dan Fournel (waived, now with Oklahoma City). Andy Davis, the Gades' radio play-by-play announcer, defected to the South Carolina Stingray's organization. His replacement is John Emmett, who brings a wealth of experience and a passion for hockey to the broadcast booth.
With the Wheeling Nailers' move to the Northwest Division, the Northeast Division was just five teams, the smallest in the league. The Trenton Titans, an expansion team, joined the division in 1999-2000, but the Chesapeake Icebreakers moved to Jackson, MS. An expansion franchise, the Greensboro Generals, is coming to Greensboro, NC. The Greensboro and Charlotte franchises are moving to the Northeast Division as the league reorganizes the conferences and divisions to accomodate the changes in teams.
GO GADES! We still believe!
and ECHL links (scores, news, affiliates, road trip info and more and
links to official team sites, newspaper coverage, Real Audio and Media
Player game broadcasts, and unofficial sites got so big I moved them
to two separate pages. Want more links? Here are ECHL
and Minor League Hockey web rings that this site belongs to, or peruse
hockey and NHL links.
Pro Roller Hockey arrived in Richmond in 1998. The Virginia Vultures played in the now-defunct Major League Roller Hockey league last summer. Scott Burfoot was the player/coach and GM. The following former Renegades players were on the roster: Kurt Mallett, Trevor Senn, David Dartsch, Garry Gulash, Brian Goudie, Jay Murphy (2 games only), Sandy Allan, Shayne Tomlinson, and former radio announcer/emergency back-up goalie Andy Davis. The team finished a respectable second place in the Southern Division and were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by the Orlando Surge. Unfortunately, the league folded after one season. Thanks for a great summer, guys!