HERSHEY, Pa. – The HERSHEY BEARS announced today that the affiliation agreement between the BEARS, the Washington Capitals (NHL) and the Reading Royals (ECHL) has been extended for the 2013-2014 season. The announcement was made by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.
“We’re excited to be continuing our relationship with the Royals for another season,” Yingst said. “We believe that the geographic proximity between Washington, HERSHEY and Reading has benefitted all three teams, as well as the players who have moved throughout our system this past season. We look forward to expanding our working relationships, improving the performance of our players, growing our game, and ultimately providing championship quality hockey for our fans.”
Reading recently finished its first regular season of affiliation with Washington and HERSHEY with franchise records for wins (46), winning percentage (.688), fewest losses (19) and most points (99). The Royals finished the regular season with the top seed in the Eastern Conference, winning their third Atlantic Division title in franchise history and their first Eastern Conference regular-season title. No fewer than 17 different players on assignment and loan from Washington and HERSHEY appeared in games for Reading this season.
The Royals have five players on their active roster that have spent time in a BEARS sweater this season: Barry Almeida, Alex Berry, Brett Flemming, Stanislav Galiev and T.J. Syner. Current BEARS goaltender Philipp Grubauer, Washington’s fourth round selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, earned the Warrior Hockey ECHL Goaltender of the Month Award for November while playing for the Royals during the NHL lockout.
Reading is currently looking to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, holding a three-games-to-one lead over the Greenville Road Warriors.