Fans had to order generic Capitals jerseys at Verizon Center on Monday...
Congrats to the Reading Royals, 2013 Kelly Cup Champions!
The Royals celebrate one of many goals scored on the way to their first Kelly Cup Championship (Photo Credit: M. Richter)
For the first time in franchise history, the Reading Royals are Kelly Cup Champions.
In some games, it comes down to a single goal and the last moment of play. And then every once in a while, you get a series-deciding game like tonight, with the Reading Royals carrying a five goal lead after forty minutes. They held fast through those final agonizing twenty minutes, and added a tally to win the Kelly Cup with a score of 6-0.
There was a lot of holding of breath coming into tonight, after the Royals gave the Stockton Thunder a dignity win in Game 4 due to a slow start. While the Royals have a track record of shaking things off and coming back with a vengeance, there’s no such thing as a safe assumption in the Kelly Cup Finals. Fans need not have worried, however, because tonight they came to play.
Credit Where It’s Due
A win like this belongs to the whole organization, but there are a few names that deserve the first nods. Most important are Head Coach Larry Courville & Assistant Coach Tim Branham, who wrangled a roster that saw 48 players over the course of the regular season (13 Goalies, 16 Defensemen, & 19 Forwards). Right after them come the men on the ice, the 18 who dressed tonight and those who were injured or scratched along the way.
In terms of individual accomplishments, Playoff MVP Riley Gill has done some serious heavy lifting between the pipes this spring. He’s had four shutouts, including tonight’s and ranked third in both GAA & Save Percentage in the playoffs despite having started 17 games. Both Captain Yannick Tifu (Overall, 12-13-25 points) & forward T.J. Syner (Rookie, 9-12-21) earned scoring titles for the playoffs. Defenseman Patrick Wellar, who bounced between the Hershey Bears & Reading Royals over the course of the season, claimed his third career Kelly Cup Championship as a player – only the second to have done so.
Changing It Up
In Reading’s first roster change of the finals, Stanislav Galiev rejoined the Royals after three weeks on the injured list. Not only was he a solid presence throughout the game, but he picked up a power play goal late in the second period to prove that his time off hasn’t slowed him down at all.
- (1) Mark Mitera (from Alex Berry) @ 17:05.
- (2) Brett Flemming (unassisted!) @ 2:49.
- (2) Ian O’Connor (from T.J. Syner) @ 6:28 (Short-Handed!).
- (2) T.J. Syner (from Patrick Wellar & Alex Berry) 13:43 (Syner’s 9th of the playoffs, 4th of the series).
- (2) Stanislav Galiev (from Mark Mitera & Yannick Tifu) @ 15:10 (Power-Play).
- (3) Joel Champagne (T.J. Syner & Stanislav Galiev) @ 16:25.
The Royals will be hosting their Victory Parade on Wednesday, May 29, at 6PM EDT.
It will be followed by an event at the Sovereign Center at 7PM.