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Royals Sign Defensemen Bobby Shea and Brad Walch

Tuesday, July 23rd
Royals Sign Defensemen Bobby Shea and Brad Walch

Shea Won Kelly Cup With Royals Last Year – Walch Did Not Play Due to Injury

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 defensemen Bobby Shea and Brad Walch. Shea and Walch are the fifth and sixth players, respectively, announced as signed for the Royals for the 2013-14 season, joining forwards Ethan Cox, Nikita Kashirsky and Yannick Tifu and defenseman Bryant Molle. Shea (5’11/202) (23), who hails from Harrison Township, Michigan, joined the Royals on March 22, 2013, when he was signed to an Amateur Tryout Agreement upon the completion of his senior season at Bowling Green State University. Shea played four regular season games with the Royals, recording an assist and registering seventeen penalty minutes, which included his first tilt as a pro—in Toledo, Ohio (just a few miles up the road from Bowling Green) in his second game as a Royal on March 23 against the Stephon Thorne of the Toledo Walleye. The Royals then signed Shea to an ECHL contract on April 1 and named him to the team’s Playoff Roster. Shea played in fifteen of the twenty-two post-season games that it took for Reading to win the Kelly Cup. Shea’s first goal as a pro was a big one—to say the least. In Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cincinnati Cyclones, it was Shea who bagged the double-overtime game winner—89:37 after the opening face-off—to complete the come-from-behind win for the Royals. That game also proved to be his first multi-point game as a pro, as Shea assisted on the ‘miracle’ game-tying goal in that game (off an inadvertent deflection of a desperation dump-in) with just 1:30 remaining in regulation. Actually, Shea did even more in that game—he recorded the only ‘Gordie Howe Hat-Trick’ of the post-season for Reading, as he took on Cincinnati’s David MacDonald in one of three playoff fights he had to lead all players in the post-season in that category. Shea also scored the Royals’ first goal in Game Two of that ECF against Cincinnati—which also proved an OT victory for Reading. Prior to joining the Royals, Shea completed his senior season at BGSU, where he led defensemen on the team with twenty points (4g-16a) and fifty-six penalty minutes and was selected to the All-CCHA Conference Second Team. Shea, who led the Falcons in penalty minutes in all four seasons he played at BGSU, registered 36 points (9g-27a) and 239 penalty minutes in 139 total collegiate games. On March 14, 2013, Shea was one of three players nominated for the CCHA’s Defensive Defenseman of the Year Award. Walch (6’1/211) (22), who hails from Saginaw, Michigan, signed an ECHL contract with the Royals last season, but did not play due to injury. In 2011-12, he led all defensemen on the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League with twenty-three points (5g-18a) and a plus-21 (+21) ratio in sixty-eight regular season games. Walch, who was selected as the team’s best defenseman, added ten points (1g-9a) in twelve post-season games for the Spirit. Walch then got a taste of pro, playing two playoff games for the Missouri Mavericks of the Central Hockey League. The only player from the Saginaw area to play for the OHL’s Spirit in the team’s history, Walch established a franchise record in his four seasons with Saginaw by playing a total of 303 regular season and playoff games. 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.