STOCKTON – The Reading Royals used four goals in the second period as enough fuel to win their first Kelly Cup championship, defeating the Thunder 6-0 in Game 5 of the Kelly Cup Finals in front of 4,662 fans at Stockton Arena on Saturday.
The Thunder, making its deepest playoff run which included its first Western Conference title, finished with a 9-4 mark at home in the postseason.
“You’ve got to give credit to Reading.” Thunder head coach Matt Thomas said, “They played a very strong series. They played really well. They played better than us in the series, and that’s what it came down to.”
Riley Gill, who was named Kelly Cup Playoffs MVP, earned the shutout win for the Royals with 29 saves, while Stockton’s Tyler Bunz stopped 28 shots.
T.J. Syner each led Reading with a goal and two assists, while Mark Mitera recorded two points. Garet Hunt and Tony DeHart led the Thunder with four shots on goal.
The Royals got on the board first when Mitera was the last to touch a puck that was redirected by traffic into the net at the 17:05 mark of the first period.
Brett Flemming made it 2-0 when he drove down the right side across the blue line and to the net, putting the puck by Bunz just 2:49 into the second period.
Reading stretched the lead to 3-0 on a penalty kill. After clearing the zone, Snyer poked the puck to an open Ian O’Connor, who flicked it by Bunz for the shorthanded goal at the 6:28 mark of the second period.
Snyer increased the Thunder deficit to 4-0 when he collected his own rebound, which bounced off Bunz and to the right post, and stuffed it by 13:43 into the middle frame.
On the power play just 1:37 later, Stanislav Galiev smacked a shot by Bunz from the left circle to make it 5-0.
Joel Champagne’s redirected a shot by Syner in front of net to make it 6-0 with 3:35 to play in the third period.
“We didn’t have enough gas in the tank to do what we were able to do early in the playoffs, but I let the guys know I was proud of them.” said Thomas, “What a group. It’s a shame that a group that played so well and did so much that nobody expected of them to not get a chance to be champions when it was all
Season Tickets for 2013-14 are on sale now. For more information about tickets, merchandise, or other inquiries contact the Stockton Thunder offices at (209) 373-1500 or visit www.StocktonThunder.com