Reading Celebrates the Kelly Cup

By
Posted May 31, 2013
Royals on Firetruck, Berry

Members of the Royals arrive at the Sovereign Center in style on a Reading FD truck, with Alex Berry reminding the crowd that They’re Number One! (Photos Credit: M. Richter)

“I’ll sign from here! I’ll sit later!”

The rugged Quebecois-accented voice of Yannick Tifu booms over the din of the crowd. The captain of the Kelly Cup-winning Reading Royals has rarely stopped moving since he led his teammates down Penn Street.

The team's Russian contingent (Stan Galiev, Nikita Kashirsky, & family) had their own 4-Wheeler for the parade.

One of the groups in the parade was the team’s Russian contingent (Stan Galiev, Nikita Kashirsky, & family), who had their own 4-Wheeler for the parade.

Though a table with Russians Stanislav Galiev and Nikita Kashirksy awaits the 28-year-old on the Sovereign Center floor, since the team speeches ended, Tifu can’t stop moving. While his teammates take their designated seats to sign for the crowd on this Wednesday night, the people engulf Tifu–eyes bright, a smile of broken teeth never fading.

Mark Owuya stirs the crowd with shouts of "VICTORY!"

Mark Owuya stirs the crowd with shouts of “VICTORY!”

Wuuuuuuu

On an April night, it’s the kind of chant that might confuse a newcomer as the home team turns a rebound into a rush. But tonight, the ice is gone and Mark Owuya is free of his goalie armor. Uncovered, his energy is as electric as the crowd–

VICTORY!”

“VICTORY!

“I, uh, always wanted to do that.”

Despite the explosive open, the Swede’s ensuing speech is short, humble, gracious. Just as he’s about to escape the spotlight, his captain runs across the stage to pull him back.

Mark Owuya is dragged back into rapping by Yannick Tifu at the 2013 Royals Kelly Cup Celebration.

A reluctant Mark Owuya is dragged back to the mic by Yannick Tifu at the 2013 Royals Kelly Cup Celebration.

Tifu is the MC to Owuya’s “Mark in Da Park,” urging the former Swedish Idol star to rap. The seconds stretch as the crowd lingers in the “Will he or won’t he?” feeling, wondering if their goalie of two seasons will actually perform. Eventually Owuya loosens his collar as a swagger-fied freestyler might, but looks to a retreating Tifu for backup.

He asks for beat. Tifu can’t drop a beat–”It’s all you buddy!”

Turning to the audience, his eyes search for words. In the next moment, he throws caution to the wind and shrugs his shoulders in what one might call a “What the f$#@” manner.

Standing on the stage and I don’t know what to say…

Towards the end, he loses rhythm and regard for younger ears. But what the f$#@, he just won the Kelly Cup.

Kirk MacDonald surveys the crowd during the parade.

Kirk MacDonald surveys the crowd during the parade.

“Yeah! K-Mac!”

Kirk MacDonald, or “K-Mac” to his teammates, has lost the wildman beard that will forever be a symbol of his championship run. A five-hour shadow has replaced it, giving him a manly yet dignified look. He thanks his teammates, coach Larry Courville, the fans–

“One more year!”

Though only 29 years old, seven seasons of professional hockey has taken its toll on MacDonald. Despite the demand from fans, the British Columbia native winces playfully and shakes his head.

He’s going out on top.

At 6th and Penn St., the parade stops. Fans here have been waiting for the procession for too long, anticipation building in the 90-degree weather as the horn of a fire truck filled with with players blared in the distance.

The zamboni carrying the first round of Royals includes captain Tifu, who has ordered the pause in action. He slips off the front of the blue machine and motions for the Kelly Cup from his teammates. Eyes covered by dark sunglasses in the May heat, he strides to the sidewalk corner–to the man with a cowbell, the kid with the “Hill 94″ jersey, “Berry 29,” and down the line. A block of Reading, Pa. residents come face-to-face with a man they once despised, a man who has led them to the championship trophy that brushes under their hands.

The Cup is home.

Below, you’ll find a few more photos of the parade:

Several of the Royals (including Galiev and MacDonald) enjoy celebratory cigars before the parade.

Several of the Royals (including Galiev and MacDonald) enjoy celebratory cigars before the parade.

The Royals received a lift to the start of the parade in festively decorated trollies.

The Royals received a lift to the start of the parade in festively decorated trollies.

Riley Gill was loathe to give up his MVP trophy. According to team broadcaster Mark Thompson, Gill held onto it the entire trip from Stockton to Reading.

Riley Gill was loathe to give up his MVP trophy. According to team broadcaster Mark Thompson, Gill held onto it the entire trip from Stockton to Reading.

Royals ride a fire truck during the 2013 Kelly Cup Championship Parade

Royals ride a fire truck during the 2013 Kelly Cup Championship Parade.

The Eastern Conference Champions trophy cruised down the street on a zamboni.

The Eastern Conference Champions trophy cruised down the street on a zamboni.

In honor of the series-winning game, the Sovereign Center's scoreboard displayed the final score.

In honor of the series-winning game, the Sovereign Center’s scoreboard displayed the final score.

Congratulations to the Kelly Cup Champions!

Congratulations to the Kelly Cup Champions!

Taylor Lewis

Taylor Lewis

Contributor at Capitals Outsider
Taylor is a journalism student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Though she's covered everything from art to politics, her passion is hockey. Through her work with Capitals Outsider, Taylor has been in the locker rooms of the Washington Capitals and Reading Royals. The Maryland native also contributes to College Hockey News and started an arts and literature publication, The Writers' Bloc, on the College Park campus. A top-five finalist for The Goalie Guild's inaugural Redfield Internship Program, Taylor also enjoys writing creatively. Some of her poems have been published online and in addition to a book about hockey, she is in the process of writing a novel.
Taylor Lewis
Taylor Lewis

Latest posts by Taylor Lewis (see all)

Comments