Florida Everblades/Twitter

BCHL grads help Florida Everblades claim ECHL Championship

Three B.C. Hockey League alumni hoisted the Kelly Cup on Friday as the Florida Everblades beat the Idaho Steelheads to win the ECHL’s ultimate prize.

Ben Masella (three goals, 10 assists in 56 games with Chilliwack in 2012-13) is the Everblades captain but didn’t factor in the scoring as Florida edged Idaho 4-3 in game four of the ECHL championship final series. It’s the Everblades’ second straight Kelly Cup title after also winning it in 2012.

The Montreal native did finish first among all Florida defenders in scoring in the playoffs with 14 points (3-11-14) in 22 games. His totals were good for third in the league among blueliner scoring. Masella is the lone player on Florida’s roster with BCHL experience who also won the Kelly Cup a year ago.

Forwards Ashton Calder (22 goals, 20 assists in 49 games with Surrey in 2016-17) and Will Calverley (35 goals, 61 assists in 111 games with Chilliwack from 2016-18) joined the Everblades after their respective NCAA seasons ended earlier this spring. Calder had six points (3-3-6) in 17 ECHL playoff games while Calverley had five points (3-2-5) in a dozen appearances.

There were three BCHL alumni on the Steelheads roster vying for the ECHL title. Idaho forward Wade Murphy (69 goals, 112 assists in 172 games with Victoria and Penticton from 2009-13) ended up tied for tops in ECHL playoff scoring with 20 points (12-8-20) in 20 games. Steelheads forward Jordan Kawaguchi (120 goals, 122 assists in 215 games with West Kelowna and Chilliwack from 2013-17) finished with 14 points (4-10-14) in 16 playoff games. In 17 games, Idaho forward Colton Kehler (25 goals, 14 assists in 93 games with Cowichan Valley and Langley from 2013-15) ended up with six points (4-2-6).

Florida eliminated South Carolina, Jacksonville, and Newfoundland before besting Idaho to win the Kelly Cup, compiling an overall playoff record of 16-4.

The Everblades, who play out of Estero, Florida, are the affiliate team for the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers and the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers.

For more on Florida’s championship run, visit echl.com.