The ECHL's Reading Royals, who have a hat trick of Alaska connections, advanced to the Eastern Conference finals tonight with a 4-1 victory over visiting Florida, the defending Kelly Cup champion, in Game 7 of their conference semifinal series.
Former Alaska Aces center Ethan Cox was +1 for Reading, as was defenseman Bryant Molle of Anchorage, who played at UAF and briefly two seasons ago for the Aces. Also, former Aces defenseman Brock Shelgren furnished the Royals an assist tonight.
Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals -- the Royals own home-ice advantage against the Cincinnati Cyclones -- is set for Friday night in Reading. Game 2 is Sunday in Reading.
So, we're down to the final four. In the Western Conference, Idaho entertains Stockton in Game 1 Friday night in Boise.