LOVELAND, Colo. – Former Michigan Tech hockey captain Cliff Watson won the ECHL Kelly Cup with the Colorado Eagles on June 9. The Eagles defeated the Florida Everblades 3-2 at Germain Arena in Estero, Florida in Game 7 to win their second straight Kelly Cup.
Watson played eight regular season and 22 playoff games for the Eagles after he was traded from the Utah Grizzlies on February 15. He had 11 points this season for the Eagles, including two goals and four assists in the playoff run.
Watson played for five different teams in his first pro season. He played 36 games for Utah to begin the year and was named an ECHL All-Star. In total, Watson appeared in 66 ECHL games, putting up 36 points on 14 goals and 22 assists. He has also played eight games for three different AHL teams. He was loaned to the Utica Comets in December, the San Jose Barracuda in late February, and the Stockton Heat in late March.
Watson played 162 career games over his four years in a Tech uniform, missing only one game from 2013-17. He was the captain over his final two seasons, an alternate captain as a sophomore, and tallied 42 career points on eight goals and 34 assists. He was named an ACHA All-American Scholar and WCHA Scholar-Athlete as a senior and appeared on the WCHA All-Academic Team three times.
Colorado became just the fourth team in the ECHL's 30-year history to win back-to-back titles. The 2018 Kelly Cup Finals marked just the fifth time in the ECHL's 30-year history that the Finals series was decided in seven games.
Former Tech goaltender Josh Robinson is the goaltender coach for the Florida Everblades. He played for the Huskies from 2008-12 and wrapped up a five-year professional career last season. As a pro, Robinson was a Calder Cup champion in 2014 with the Texas Stars and the ECHL Goaltender of the Year in 2015-16 with the Missouri Mavericks.