TWO HOCKEY ALUMNS LEAD TEAM TO 2007 ECHL KELLY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP
Nesbitt and Rallo Help Lead Idaho Steelheads To A Championship Title
Former Ferris State University men's ice hockey standouts Derek Nesbitt and Greg Rallo both experienced success during their collegiate careers at FSU and are doing likewise in the professional ranks as the pair are now members of a East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) Championship team.
Nesbitt and Rallo presently skate for the Idaho Steelheads, which captured the 2006-07 Kelly Cup Championship as the ECHL's champions. Idaho won the league title by skating to a 4-1 game-five road victory over the Dayton Bombers on June 1 to clinch the best-of-seven game series by a four to one count. The Steelheads, who are headquartered in Boise, Idaho, are an affiliate of the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars.
Nesbitt, who played at Ferris State from 2001-05, registered 81 points on 30 goals and 51 assists with a plus 13 efficiency rating in 66 2006-07 regular-season contests. He posted a team fourth-place 18 points with six goals and 12 assists in 22 playoff appearances this campaign. Nesbitt made his initial ECHL All-Star game appearance this season as the left winger was named to the National Conference squad and tallied a lamplighter in the contest. He finished runner up in the 2007 Rbk Hockey All-Star Idol contest balloting by an online vote of ECHL fans.
|Derek Nesbitt (Photo by Allen Picard, courtesy Idaho Steelheaders)
In the 2005-06 season as a member of the Gwinnett Gladiators, the Egmondville, Ontario product finished in the top five among all ECHL rookies as his 69 points total tied for fourth best while his 43 assists ranked fifth highest.
Nesbitt compiled 142 career points with 59 goals and 83 assists in 154 appearances at Ferris State. The 2002-03 All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Honorable Mention Team selection presently is listed 14th among the Bulldogs' all-time points leaders while ranking 15th in goals and tied for 15th place in assists.
Rallo accounted for the game-winning lamplighter in the Steelheads' championship series clinching win over Dayton. The center produced 31 points with 13 goals and 18 assists in 37 regular-season games for the 2006-07 campaign. He would go on to generate 11 points on eight goals and three helpers in 14 playoff encounters. Like Nesbitt, Rallo also earned a National Conference roster spot for the 2007 ECHL All-Star game and picked up an assist in the contest.
Rallo, who hails from Gurnee, Ill., wrapped up his four-year (2002-06) career with 108 total points on 46 goals with 62 assists in 152 outings. He was named the Bulldogs' 2005-06 Most Valuable Player and the winner of the team's Lloyd Earl Trophy after racking up a squad-leading 39 points on 17 goals and 22 assists in 40 games. Rallo was also a co-recipient of the team's Blue Line Competitive Award for the 2005-06 campaign.
|Greg Rallo (Photo by Nick Falzerana, courtesy Idaho Steelheaders)
The two were teammates at Ferris State for three seasons (2002-05) and helped lead the nationally-ranked 2002-03 Bulldog squad to a school-record 31-10-1 overall mark. Ferris also claimed its first-ever CCHA Regular-Season Championship title in the historic 2002-03 campaign and made the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament as the Bulldogs advanced to the Elite Eight.