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Royals Agree to Terms with Forward Ian O'Connor

Friday, July 26th
Royals Agree to Terms with Forward Ian O'Connor

Third Year Pro is Sixth Player to Return from Reading’s Championship Team

Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the NHL and Hershey Bears of the AHL, today announced that the organization has agreed to terms with forward Ian O’Connor. O’Connor (6’0/203) (26), who will be entering his third season of pro, is the seventh player announced as signed for the Royals for the 2013-14 season, six of whom played for Reading’s 2012-13 Kelly Cup Championship team. The other players so far announced as signed by the Royals are Ethan Cox (f), Nikita Kashirsky (f), Bryant Molle (d), Bobby Shea (d), Yannick Tifu (f), and Brad Walch (d). O’Connor, who hails from Londonderry, New Hampshire, played seventy-one games for the Royals last season—fifty-five in the regular season and sixteen of the twenty-two playoff games it took for the Reading to capture the Kelly Cup. During the regular season, O’Connor also earned an extended seventeen game stint in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs. This past season marked the third stint for O’Connor with the Royals. He began his pro career in Reading late in 2011 after completing his collegiate career at Providence College; and, after starting the 2011-12 season with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL, O’Connor was acquired from Stockton in March of 2012 and finished that season with Reading. This past year, O’Connor totaled a career high thirty-three points (20g-13a) and forty-seven penalty minutes—which included five tilts—in 72 total regular season games (55 with Reading; 17 with Manchester). His eighteen regular season goals with Reading tied him (with Joel Champagne and David Marshall) for third best on the team. O’Connor, who had four separate multi-goal games during the regular season, scored a pair of short-handed goals in the regular season this year, which tied him for the team lead with T.J. Syner. He was also one of two Royals to score a regular season overtime game winner. O’Connor’s OT GWG came on November 14, 2012, in Reading’s 2-1 OT win over the Elmira Jackals. He added a pair of goals during his stint with the Monarchs, which stretched from February 27 through April 20, 2013. In his second game with Manchester, O’Connor engaged in his first AHL fight when he took on Norm Ezekiel of the St. John’s IceCaps. O’Connor returned from the AHL to the Royals just in time for Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semi-Final series against the Florida Everblades. He played sixteen playoff games for the Royals, recording eight points (6g-2a) and twenty-one penalty minutes, which included a fighting major against Florida’s Charles Landry in Game Four of the ECS. As with the regular season, two of O’Connor’s post-season goals came while the Royals were playing short-handed, tying him for the league lead in that category. His first SHG got the Royals on the board in that pivotal Game Four against Florida (which Reading ultimately won in overtime, 3-2). His second playoff SHG was the critical third goal in Reading’s 6-0 victory in the decisive Game Five of the Kelly Cup Finals against the Stockton Thunder. In Game Seven of the ECS against Florida, O’Connor scored another back-breaking goal, which gave the Royals a 3-0 lead with 4:51 remaining in regulation. In 2011-12, O’Connor began the season with the Stockton, where he recorded twenty-six points (15g-11a) and forty-seven penalty minutes in forty-nine games prior to being traded on March 6, 2012, (along with forward Chris Doyle and defenseman Colten Hayes) to the Royals in return for defenseman Rob Kwiet. O’Connor, who also played two games that year with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL, finished the regular season in strong style with the Royals, registering six points (3g-3a) and seven penalty minutes in twelve games. His goals for Reading that year included another critical short-handed goal—this one in the team’s ‘do-or-die’ 6-4 win over the Trenton Titans in the final game of the regular season which ultimately served to clinch the final available playoff spot in the ECHL’s Eastern Conference. O’Connor continued his hot hand in the playoffs, scoring a goal in each of the first two games of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarter-Final matchup against the Elmira Jackals, including the game winner in the Royals’ 4-2 win in Game Two of that series. O’Connor first joined the Royals in March of 2011, when he was signed to an Amateur Tryout Agreement after completing his senior season at Providence College. During that six game stint with Reading, he scored his first pro goal and recorded his first pro fight (against current Royal Yannick Tifu, who was then with the Elmira Jackals). In his three separate stints with the Royals, O’Connor now has thirty-eight points (22g-16a) and fifty-two penalty minutes in 73 career regular season games with Reading. In 141 career pro games, O’Connor has 66 points (39g-27a) and 108 penalty minutes. In twenty-one career pro playoff games, O’Connor has ten points (8g-2a) and twenty-one penalty minutes. Prior to turning pro, O’Connor registered sixty-two points (26g-26a) and 102 penalty minutes in 135 total games in his four seasons at Providence College. Season Tickets for the 2013-14 Reading Royals ECHL season are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 for more information or log onto www.royalshockey.com.