One to Go! Royals Improve to 3-0 Over Thunder With 3-1 Win

Posted May 22, 2013

The Royals celebrate a win during the 2013 Kelly Cup Finals (Stock Photo Credit M. Richter)

When the Reading Royals won the first two games of the Kelly Cup Finals against the Stockton Thunder last weekend, it left fans with a sense of cautious optimism.  It’s one thing to win at home, it’s another to do it in an enemy arena.  Tonight, the Royals showed that their success at Sovereign Center wasn’t a fluke – they beat the Thunder 3-1 in regulation.  The victory improves their current streak to five wins, and places them just one win from taking home the ECHL’s Kelly Cup.

Credit where it’s due, Yannick Tifu has been earning his status as Captain this spring.  Today, he was responsible for first tying the score after the Thunder opened things up (11:18 in the first, assisted by T.J. Syner and Ethan Cox), and then scoring the game-winner 7:56 into the third period (assisted again by Syner).  To seal the deal, Kirk MacDonald scored an empty net goal with seven seconds left in the game.  Riley Gill held down the fort in net, stopping 28 of 29 shots.

The Royals face the Thunder in a potentially series-ending Game Four on Friday evening, with the puck to drop at 7:30 PDT (10:30 EDT) in Stockton.  Should they complete the sweep, it would be only the fourth time a team has swept the Finals in ECHL history.