Capitals general manager George McPhee announced Sunday that the club has extended its ECHL affiliation with the Reading Royals for the 2013-14 season.
The Royals, who are currently in their 12th year in Reading, PA, and their first as an affiliate of the Capitals, finished the ECHL regular-season with a 46-19-3-4 record and the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Hours after the affiliation extension was announced, Reading beat the Greenville Road Warriors 5-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The win gave Reading a 4-1 series victory, with all four wins coming via shutout (two shutouts each from Riley Gill and Mark Owuya).
The Royals’ current roster features eight Capitals prospects including Stanislav Galiev (3rd round, 86th overall, 2010 NHL Draft) and Brett Flemming (5th round, 145th overall, 2009 NHL Draft) who each had a goal and an assist in Reading’s Game 5 win on Sunday.
BEARS REMAIN IN AHL PLAYOFF CHASE:
Joey Crabb recorded a hat-trick and an assist as the Hershey Bears snapped a four-game losing streak and beat the Portland Pirates 6-3 on Sunday.
AHL leading scorer Jeff Taffe had five assists in the Hershey win while defenseman Tomas Kundratek and Dmitry Orlov both netted power play goals.
The win pulls the Bears within two points of the Norfolk Admirals and Connecticut Whale for one of the final two playoff positions in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.
Entering the final week of the regular-season, only two points separate the 7th and 10th place teams in the East.
The Bears next play on Friday when they visit the Adirondack Phantoms. Hershey has qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs every year since its current affiliation with the Capitals was established in 2005.
PROSPECTS WILSON AND CARRICK ADVANCE TO OHL CONF. FINALS:
Capitals prospects Tom Wilson and Connor Carrick and the Plymouth Whalers have advanced to the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference Finals.
The Whalers beat the Owen Sound Attack 3-1 on Sunday in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals and clinched a 4-2 series victory.
Wilson (Capitals first-round pick, 16th overall, 2012 NHL Draft) has three goals and nine points in seven games this post-season, but missed three games with an disclosed injury.
Carrick (Capitals fifth-round pick, 137th overall, 2012 NHL Draft) has appeared in all ten Plymouth playoff games and has one goal and 11 points.
The Whalers will face Dale Hunter’s London Knights in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals beginning Friday, April 19.