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.
It was a long time in waiting, but Saturday the Reading Royals for in the Kelly Cup Finals for the first time in their franchise’s history. After three division tittles, and a 2013 Eastern Conference crown, the Royals looked to open their first Kelly Cup Finals series on the right foot.
Stan Galiev on ESPN’s Top Ten Plays (Photo via @Strohmie13)
Recently the Hershey Bears received a minor glimpse of what it is like to play under a rather large spotlight. The AHL Showcase was televised on a large platform, including Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic. But being televised on local cable sports network may seem like baby steps compared to what Stanislav Galiev accomplished last Friday.
While the Hershey Bears had a much needed night off on Black Friday, the Reading Royals looked to extend their franchise record in consecutive wins to eleven. They had no easy task, as they battled the Greenville Road Warriors. Entering Friday, the Warriors have earned 15 of their last 20 standings points. Many former Bears had some impact on the game, including Stanislav Galiev, who recorded his first point in the East Coast Hockey League during Reading’s 5-2 win over Greenville.
The Hershey Bears will have a much easier time getting players from their ECHL affiliate this coming season. The Washington Capitals have agreed to an affiliation with the ECHL Reading Royals. After eight seasons with the South Carolina Stingrays, the Caps will shift their ECHL affilation to an arena and team just an hour from Hershey.