The Reading Royals, the ECHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals, became the seventeenth different team to capture the Patrick J. Kelly Cup on Saturday by defeating the Stockton Thunder (ECHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers) 6-0 at the Stockton Arena in Stockton, California.
After a goal late in the first period by former Anaheim Duck’s first round pick Mark Mitera (19th overall in 2006), Reading exploded for four second period goals and in the process all but crushed the Thunder’s dream of any chance of a comeback.
Goals from Brett Flemming (a Capitals 5th round pick in 2009), Ian O’Connor (a former Stockton Thunder member), Patrick Weller ( a 3rd round pick to Washington in 2002) and Stanislav Galiev (Washington’s 3rd round pick in 2010) buried the Thunder in the 2nd period. Joel Champagne (Toronto’s 5th round pick in 2008) iced the game for the Royals.
Royals goaltender Riley Gill, who wasn’t signed to an ECHL contract until this past February, was named MVP of the Kelly
Cup Playoffs. Former Albany River Rats forward Yanick Tifu finished with 25 points (12 goals 13 assists) to lead all scorers in the ECHL playoffs.
Thunder goaltender and Oilers 5th round pick Tyler Bunz took the loss.
Weller becomes the second player in ECHL history to win the Kelly Cup with three teams (Alaska in ’06, South Carolina in ’09, Reading in ’13)