The 1977–78 AHL season was the 42nd season of the American Hockey League. The season was in jeopardy when the last of the original eight franchises of the "International-American Hockey League", the Rhode Island Reds (previously Providence Reds) folded in the offseason, and the AHL was left with five teams. The league increased its member teams by four, when the North American Hockey League and Southern Hockey Leagues both folded before the 1977–78 season. Two teams joined from the NAHL, and another from the SHL, along with one expansion team.

North and south divisions were resumed. The F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy resumes as the regular season championship trophy for the north division, and the John D. Chick Trophy resumes as the regular season championship trophy for the south division. The Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award is first awarded to the player best exemplifying sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

Nine teams were scheduled to play 80 games each, however the Hampton Gulls folded on February 10, 1978, playing 46 games. The Maine Mariners finished first overall in the regular season, and won the Calder Cup championship as a first year expansion team.

Team ChangesEdit

  • The Maine Mariners join the AHL as an expansion team, based in Portland, Maine, playing in the North Division.
  • The Broome Dusters, of the defunct North American Hockey League, acquire and merge with the Rhode Island Reds. The Reds are relocated to Binghamton, New York, and play as the Binghamton Dusters in the North Division.
  • The Philadelphia Firebirds, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, transfer to the AHL as an expansion team, from the defunct North American Hockey League, and play in the South Division.
  • The Hampton Gulls, based in Hampton, Virginia, transfer to the AHL as an expansion team, from the defunct Southern Hockey League, and play in the South Division.

Final standingsEdit

Note: GP = Games played; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; Pts = Points;

North GP W L T Pts GF GA
Maine Mariners 804328 9 95305256
Nova Scotia Voyageurs 81372816 90304250
Springfield Indians 813933 9 87348350
Binghamton Dusters 812746 8 62287377
South GP W L T Pts GF GA
Rochester Americans 814331 7 93332296
New Haven Nighthawks 80383111 87313292
Philadelphia Firebirds 81353511 81294290
Hershey Bears 81274410 64281324
Hampton Gulls461528 3 33142171

Scoring LeadersEdit

Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty minutes

Player Team GP G A Pts PIM
Gord Brooks Philadelphia Firebirds 81 42 56 98 40
Rick Adduono Rochester Americans 76 38 60 98 34
Al Hill Maine Mariners 80 32 59 91 118
Bob Collyard Philadelphia Firebirds 79 28 62 90 42
Andre Peloffy Springfield Indians 67 33 55 88 73
Gordie Clark Rochester Americans 75 37 51 88 18
Joe Hardy Binghamton Dusters 73 24 63 87 56
Tom Colley New Haven Nighthawks 80 32 54 86 17
Charlie Simmer Springfield Indians 75 42 41 83 100

Calder Cup playoffsEdit

Main article: 1978 Calder Cup Playoffs
  Division Semifinals     Division Finals     Calder Cup Final
  North Division     1  Maine 4  
  2  Nova Scotia 3     2  Nova Scotia 3    
  3  Springfield 1         N1  Maine 4
      S2  New Haven 1
  South Division     1  Rochester 2    
  2  New Haven 3     2  New Haven 4  
  3  Philadelphia 1  

Trophy and Award WinnersEdit

Team Awards
Calder Cup
Playoff champions:
Maine Mariners
F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy
Regular Season champions, North Division:
Maine Mariners
John D. Chick Trophy
Regular Season champions, South Division:
Rochester Americans
Individual Awards
Les Cunningham Award
Most valuable player:
Blake Dunlop - Maine Mariners
John B. Sollenberger Trophy
Top point scorer:
Rick Adduono - Rochester Americans &
Gord Brooks - Philadelphia Firebirds
Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award
Rookie of the year:
Norm Dupont - Nova Scotia Voyageurs
Eddie Shore Award
Defenceman of the year:
Terry Murray - Maine Mariners
Harry "Hap" Holmes Memorial Award
Lowest goals against average:
Bob Holland & Maurice Barrett - Nova Scotia Voyageurs
Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award
Coach of the year:
Bob McCammon - Maine Mariners
Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award
Sportsmanship / Perseverance:
Blake Dunlop - Maine Mariners
Other Awards
James C. Hendy Memorial Award
Most outstanding executive:
Sam Pollock
James H. Ellery Memorial Awards
Outstanding media coverage:
Brian Thayer, Maine, (newspaper)
Al Kalter, Binghamton, (radio)
Tim Melton, Hershey & Frank Fixaris, Maine, (television)

See AlsoEdit

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