Positively wild opener in the ECHL Kelly Cup Finals tonight, with each team scoring in the final minute of regulation -- and as part of six combined third-period goals, three for each club -- and Reading's Nikita Kashirsky bagged the OT strike nearly 10 minutes into extra time to give the homestanding Reading Royals a 6-5 win over the Stockton Thunder.
Reading's Alex Berry scored on the power play with just 48 seconds left in regulation to grab a 5-4 lead, but Stockton's Ryan Hayes scored an extra attacker goal just 26 seconds later to force OT.
Kashirsky, who won a Kelly Cup with the South Carolina Stingrays in 2009, when they beat the Alaska Aces in Game 7, racked two goals and a helper.
Former Aces center Ethan Cox of Reading, who won the Cup with Alaska in 2011, furnished one goal and was -1. Former Aces defenseman Patrick Wellar, a two-time Cup winner (Alaska 2006, South Carolina 2009) had an assist and went -1 for Reading. Former Aces defenseman Brock Shelgren was even for the Royals and former Aces and UAF defenseman Bryant Molle of Anchorage was +2 for Reading.