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Template:Infobox sports season The 1997 RHI season was the 5th season of Roller Hockey International. It began in May 1997, with the regular season ending in August 1997. The Murphy Cup playoffs ended in September, with the Anaheim Bullfrogs defeating the New Jersey Rockin Rollers to win their second Murphy Cup.

League businessEdit

Franchise changesEdit

New uniformsEdit

The Los Angeles Blades, New Jersey Rockin Rollers, Sacramento River Rats, and St. Louis Vipers all debuted new uniforms.

ContractionEdit

Three original teams, the Oakland Skates, San Diego Barracudas, and Vancouver Voodoo, all folded after four seasons in the league. The Minnesota Arctic Blast folded after three seasons in the league, one of which was spent on hiatus. The Philadelphia BulldogsThe Denver Daredevils and Long Island Jawz both folded after only one season in the league. Also, the Oklahoma Coyotes were placed on hiatus for the 1997 season.

RelocationEdit

The Empire State Cobras relocated to Buffalo, New York to become the Buffalo Wings.

ExpansionEdit

For the first time since the 1994 expansion, the league did not add any expansion teams.

RealignmentEdit

With the contraction of the Denver Daredevils, Long Island Jawz, Minnesota Arctic Blast, Oakland Skates, Oklahoma Coyotes, Philadelphia Bulldogs, San Diego Barracudas, and Vancouver Voodoo, the league was left with ten teams. The four division alignment was dropped and the league was aligned into just two conferences, still named the Eastern and Western.

Of the remaining teams, six remained in the Eastern Conference, the Buffalo Wings, Montreal Roadrunners, New Jersey Rockin Rollers, Orlando Jackals, Ottawa Loggers, and St. Louis Vipers, and four remained in the Western Conference, the Anaheim Bullfrogs, Los Angeles Blades, Sacramento River Rats, and San Jose Rhinos. To even each conference at five teams, the St. Louis Vipers were moved to the Western Conference.

Season scheduleEdit

For the first time, the league decreased its regular season schedule from 28 back to 24 games per team.

Regular seasonEdit

After only one game into its schedule, Roller Hockey International took over control of the Ottawa Loggers. The team was renamed to the Ottawa Wheels and used the same uniforms previously used by the contracted San Diego Barracudas.

Divisional standingsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Template:1997 RHI Eastern Conference standings

Western ConferenceEdit

Template:1997 RHI Western Conference standings

Note: x – clinched playoff spot, y – clinched division title, z – clinched regular season conference title, b – clinched best overall record, e – eliminated from playoff contention

Tiebreaking proceduresEdit

If two or more clubs are tied in points during the regular season, the ranking of the clubs is determined in the following order:

  1. The fewer number of games played.
  2. The greater number of games won.
  3. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.
  4. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.
  5. The fewer number of goals against.

Statistical leadersEdit

Scoring leadersEdit

Player Team Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr
Template:Country data USA Billy Lund Orlando Jackals 24 32 46 78 +28 13
Template:Country data CZE Radek Hamr San Jose Rhinos 24 19 56 75 +30 3
Template:Country data CAN Frank Cirone St. Louis Vipers 24 34 39 73 +2 9
Template:Country data CAN Kyle Reeves Orlando Jackals 24 41 29 70 +33 46
Template:Country data CAN Christian Skoryna St. Louis Vipers 23 27 43 70 +17 39
Template:Country data CAN Daniel Shank Orlando Jackals 17 19 47 66 +15 23
Template:Country data CAN Mark Woolf San Jose Rhinos 24 35 29 64 +14 20
Template:Country data CAN Robin Bouchard Ottawa Wheels 24 28 35 63 –10 35
Template:Country data CAN Victor Gervais Anaheim Bullfrogs 17 17 45 62 –6 26
Template:Country data CAN Doug Ast Los Angeles Blades 21 32 27 59 +14 7

Leading goaltendersEdit

Player Team Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr Template:Abbr
Template:Country data LAT Sergei Naumov Orlando Jackals 10 383 6 2 0 36 0 .854 4.50
Template:Country data CAN Corrado Micalef San Jose Rhinos 16 591 8 4 1 72 0 .850 5.84
Template:Country data USA Bill Pye Los Angeles Blades 11 400 5 2 2 50 0 .818 6.00
Template:Country data CAN Joe Bonvie San Jose Rhinos 12 55 7 3 1 71 0 .833 6.14
Template:Country data CAN Ken Shepard St. Louis Vipers 15 542 5 5 2 70 0 .834 6.20
Template:Country data CAN David Goverde Anaheim Bullfrogs 13 505 6 4 0 66 0 .839 6.26
Template:Country data CAN Jeff Ferguson Los Angeles Blades 18 740 6 6 3 97 0 .827 6.29
Template:Country data USA Mark Richards New Jersey Rockin Rollers 16 658 10 4 0 91 0 .823 6.63
Template:Country data CAN Frankie Ouellette Orlando Jackals 15 655 13 1 0 93 0 .775 6.81
Template:Country data CAN Alain Morissette Montreal Roadrunners 19 807 7 8 2 115 0 .809 6.83

PlayoffsEdit

Template:Main

Playoff seedsEdit

After the regular season, 8 teams qualified for the playoffs. The Orlando Jackals were the Eastern Conference regular season champions and had the best overall record with 40 points. The San Jose Rhinos had the best record in the Western Conference with 32 points.

Eastern ConferenceEdit

  1. Orlando Jackals – Eastern Conference regular season champions; Best Overall Record winners, 40 points
  2. New Jersey Rockin Rollers – 32 points
  3. Montreal Roadrunners – 23 points
  4. Ottawa Wheels – 22 points

Western ConferenceEdit

  1. San Jose Rhinos – Western Conference regular season champions, 32 points
  2. Anaheim Bullfrogs – 30 points
  3. Los Angeles Blades – 27 points
  4. St. Louis Vipers – 26 points

Playoff bracketEdit

In each round, the higher-seeded team is awarded home floor advantage. In the Murphy Cup Finals, home floor is determined based on regular season points. Each best-of-three series follows a 1–2 format: the lower-seeded team will play at home for game 1, and the higher-seeded team will be at home for game 2 and 3 (if necessary).

  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals Murphy Cup Finals
                           
  E1  Orlando Jackals 2  
E4  Ottawa Wheels 0  
  E1  Orlando Jackals 1  
Eastern Conference
  E2  New Jersey Rockin Rollers 2  
E2  New Jersey Rockin Rollers 2
  E3  Montreal Roadrunners 0  
    E2  New Jersey Rockin Rollers 0
  W2  Anaheim Bullfrogs 2
  W1  San Jose Rhinos 2  
W4  St. Louis Vipers 1  
  W1  San Jose Rhinos 1
Western Conference
  W2  Anaheim Bullfrogs 2  
W2  Anaheim Bullfrogs 2
  W3  Los Angeles Blades 1  

RHI awardsEdit

1996 RHI awards
Award Recipient(s)
Murphy Cup Anaheim Bullfrogs
Eastern Conference Champions New Jersey Rockin Rollers
Western Conference Champions Anaheim Bullfrogs
Coach of the Year
Defenseman of the Year Radek Hamr (San Jose Rhinos)
Executive of the Year
Goalie of the Year Corrado Micalef (San Jose Rhinos)
Leading Scorer Billy Lund (Orlando Jackals)
Most Valuable Player Radek Hamr (San Jose Rhinos)
Playoff MVP David Goverde (Anaheim Bullfrogs)

See alsoEdit

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