Despite once holding a 3-0 series lead and even a 2-0 lead...
Kelly Cup Makes Royals Go Krazy
The Kelly Cup goes for a dip in the pool. Photo courtesy @kmacdonald13.
In case you haven’t heard, the only Capitals-affiliated team left playing in May actually won something.
After opening the 2012-13 ECHL season with a 1-5-0-1 record, the Reading Royals lost only two games in November after an 11-game win streak (12-2-0-0) and suffered only one loss in December (10-0-1-0).
As the top seed in the Eastern Coference, the Pennsylvania team entered the Kelly Cup playoffs under the supposed curse of regular season success. They shut out the Greenville Road Warriors in every win of the quarterfinals, came back from a 2-1 series deficit to the Florida Everblades with two away overtime wins and a Game 7 and won two of three overtime games against the Cincinnati Cyclones for the Eastern Conference title. Saturday, they beat the Stockton Thunder on the other side of the country to earn the rights to the 2013 Kelly Cup.
And then things got weird.
The Twitter accounts of Royals players were initially full of the expected excitement of winning a championship—a lot of exclamation points!!! and variations of #champions hashtags. It was forward Kirk MacDonald who lit the coal in the crazy train, pulling a Crosby the night of:
— Kirk MacDonald (@kmacdonald13) May 26, 2013
It wasn’t until the team returned to the East Coast that the insanity resumed, highlighted once again by MacDonald’s beard:
— Kirk MacDonald (@kmacdonald13) May 27, 2013
Not to be outdone, defenseman Brett Flemming did this to his face:
— joel champagne (@joelchampagne64) May 27, 2013
I have to apologize dear reader, you probably haven’t followed the Royals a lot this season. It’s rather difficult with the ECHL coming in at third in American hockey coverage, so don’t feel too bad. Luckily, forward Ian O’Connor was thinking of you guys.
So here they are, your 2013 Kelly Cup Champions!
— Ian O’Connor (@theOC1626) May 28, 2013
Forgot what the Kelly Cup looks like? Let Conductor MacDonald reintroduce you.
— Kirk MacDonald (@kmacdonald13) May 28, 2013
And then there are the Russians.
— Stanislav Galiev (@Galixon_97) May 26, 2013