STOCKTON, Calif. - The Reading Royals won their first ECHL Kelly Cup championship early Sunday morning, defeating the Stockton Thunder in a Game 5 shutout. The final score was 6-0, giving the Royals a 4-1 series win.
Mark Mitera got the scoring started for Reading with a goal in the first period.
The Royals then erupted for four goals in the second period. Brett Flemming, Ian O'Connor, T.J. Syner, and Stanislav Galiev all scored, helping Reading take a 5-0 lead into the final period, in which Joel Champagne finished off the scoring.
Riley Gill closed out the series in style, stopping all 29 shots he faced to post the shutout in net.
Soon after the game, ECHL officials presented the team captain, Yannick Tifu, with the Kelly Cup. Tifu then hoisted the cup over his head in celebration of the Royals' first-ever championship.
The Royals will continue the celebration when they return to Reading. A championship parade is scheduled for Wed., May 29. It will step off at 6 p.m. from the parking lot of the VF Outlets on Penn Avenue in Wyomissing and make its way along Penn Avenue and Penn Street to the Sovereign Center in downtown Reading for a 7 p.m. event featuring players, coaches and the Kelly Cup.
Free parking will be available at the DoubleTree Hotel parking garage on Court Street, between 7th and 8th.
Fans who are looking to get their hands on the official Reebok championship hats and t-shirts that the players were presented with after the game can do so by visiting the Royals' team store at the Sovereign Center between 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday. The merchandise will also be available on the Royals website.
The Royals finish the season with new franchise records for wins (46), points (99), and winning percentage (.688).
They become Reading's sixth professional team to win a national championship. The Reading Phillies did it four times (1965, 1973, 1995, 2001), and the Reading Express indoor football team did it once (2009).
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