Last night, the Hershey Bears farm club, the Reading Royals, won the ECHL championship. The team included seven former Bears, T.J. Syner, Stanislav Galiev, Barry Almeida, Evan Barlow, Alex Berry, Patrick Wellar, and Brett Flemming who played in Hershey this season, and one former Bear, Nikita Kashirsky, who played in the Chocolate and White during the 2010-11 season. Reading beat the Stockton (Ca) Thunder in five games. The Royals had an Eastern Conference best 46-19-7 regular season record with 99 points.
Below the jump, check out some tweets from Reading players and a very familiar team after Reading won their first Kelly Cup.
The Hershey Bears looked to close out a strong weekend with back to back home wins against the Binghamton Senators and the Norfolk Admirals. A night after a hard fought win against the division leading Senators, the Bears rallied for three goals in the third period, but fell in the shootout, 4-3 to Norfolk.
Redemption. It is one of the sweetest feelings in life from both a personal perspective and a team perspective. After a disappointing Super Bowl Sunday loss to their I-81 Rivals, the Hershey Bears redeemed themselves with a road 3-2 shootout win over the Lake Erie Monsters.
The Hershey Bears battled the Manchester Monarchs at home for the first game in February. With playoff races weeks away from beginning and the Bears currently on the outside looking into the top eight teams in the conference, they looked for a bounce back effort against the the Monarchs. Martin Jones made 42 saves for Manchester, but the Bears squeaked past the Monarchs, 2-1.
After an exciting shootout win the night before over the Connecticut Whale, the Hershey Bears would have to face them once more at Giant Center. Tom Poti played in his first career AHL game, and helped the Bears to a stunning 5-0 victory win over the Whale.
Hershey Bears fans welcomed an old friend back to Giant Center, but his new team wasn’t very friendly. Former Bears defenseman Dean Arsene returned as a member of the St John’s IceCaps and helped beat the Bears 2-1 at Giant Center on Saturday night.
Photo courtesy: Liam Edson
Friday the Hershey Bears looked to leap over the Springfield Falcons on the road for their fourth win of the year. Entering against the 5-1-0-1 Falcons, Braden Holtby received the nod to start in goal. It was Holtby’s first start since his 35-save shutout over Albany, six days prior. In front of a Springfield crowd of 3,489 fans, Boyd Kane and Matt Pope found the score sheet and Stan Galiev had the game-winning goal in the shootout as the Bears topped the Falcons, 3-2 (SO).
Down one game, the Bears had a chance to tie up the series before returning home.
…unfortunately it didn’t go quite as planned. I won’t upset you with the details, but the Bears left the first period down four goals. Between deflections, rebounds, and just plain getting out-worked, the Penguins owned Dany Sabourin and the first period and set the tone for the rest of the game.
The last game of the season. Let’s recap this game against the Worchester Sharks so we can all rest up before the start of playoffs on Friday.
In a move that not many people would have seen coming, new signee Barry Almeida scored the first goal of the game! The former Boston College Eagle and cousin of T.J. Syner only needed two minutes and 57 seconds to score his first professional goal. A few minutes later, the Yanni Gourde of the Sharks tied it up but Andrew Carroll regained Hershey’s lead only twelve seconds later with his first goal of the season.