Royals Receive Four From Hershey
Alex Berry, Who Played for Reading in 2009-10, Among Three Forwards and One Defenseman Assigned to Reading
October 8, 2012
Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League and the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, today announced that the following four players have been assigned to Reading from Hershey: (i) forward Alex Berry; (ii) forward Joel Champagne; (iii) defenseman Brett Flemming; and (iv) forward T.J. Syner. In a separate transaction, the Royals have placed defenseman Derrick LaPoint, who has indicated to the team that he intends to leave professional hockey, on the suspended list.
Last season, Berry (6’2/217), who hails from Danvers, Massachusetts, sustained a season ending injury during training camp with the Portland Pirates of the AHL. Berry underwent emergency surgery when he suffered a compound fracture of his arm after an open-ice collision with former Royal, Dean Arsene. Berry, who was a fifth round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2005, was cleared to return to action in April. In his last season of action, 2010-11, Berry registered thirty-four points (14g-20a) and picked up 150 penalty minutes in seventy-five games for the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL. That season, Berry was nominated by the Admirals for the AHL’s IOA/American Specialty Man of the Year Award. In his first full season of pro, 2009-10, Berry began the year with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL, where he recorded seven points (3g-4a) and ninety-seven penalty minutes in fifty-five games. Late in the season, Berry was assigned to the Royals and promptly registered five assists in five games with Reading, which included a three-assist performance in a 6-2 win over the Elmira Jackals on March 19, 2010. Berry was also an integral part of teh longest playoff run in the organization’s history, scoring two goals and adding four assists in the 2010 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs. Prior to turning pro, Berry played collegiately at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he registered sixty-two points (29g-33a) and 213 penalty minutes in 124 total college games.
In his rookie year last season, Champagne (6’4/217) (22), who hails from LaSalle, Quebec, registered twelve points (6g-6a) and twenty penalty minutes in fifty-five games with the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. Champagne also bagged a goal in five of the six games he played with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL, racking up a total of eight points (5g-3a) in those games. Prior to turning pro, Champagne, a fifth round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2008, registered 284 total points (110g-174a) in 317 total games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In his final season in the QMJHL, Champagne had a team leading fifty eight assists (24g-58a=82pts) and played to a plus-thirty-one (+31) (second best on the team) in sixty-eight regular season games with the Telus East Division champion Quebec Remparts. In playoffs, Champagne was the Remparts second leading scorer (11g-9a=20pts) in eighteen post-season contests, as Quebec advanced to the QMJHL semi-finals where they were knocked out by the Gatineau Olympiques.
Last season, Flemming (5’11/189) (21), who hails from Regina, Saskatchewan, began the season in Hershey and registered four points (2g-2a) and thirty-one penalty minutes in twenty-one games with the Bears before being assigned to the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL. In forty-one games with the Stingrays, Flemming scored three goals and assisted on ten others (thirteen points) and picked up fifty-five penalty minutes. Flemming’s first goal in the ECHL came against the Royals at the Sovereign Center on January 16, 2012, when he bagged the game-tying goal (at two) in the second period and then assisted on the third-period game winner with just over five minutes left in regulation. In nine playoff games with the Stingrays, Flemming, a fifth round pick of the Capitals in 2009, led all defensemen on the team with five points (2g-3a). Flemming played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors. In 2010-11, he led defensemen on the team with forty-three points (4g-39a) in sixty-eight games—and he led d-men in the entire league with a plus-60 (+60) plus-minus rating—as he helped Mississauga get the Memorial Cup Finals where they were knocked off by the Saint John Seadogs. In 247 total OHL games, Flemming registered 105 points (9g-96a) and 288 penalty minutes.
Last season, Syner (5’9/187) (23) scored thirteen goals and assisted on twenty-four others to lead the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with thirty-seven points in thirty-six games for the Minutemen. Syner, who was selected as UMass-Amherst’s Most Valuable Player, also led the team with sixty-one penalty minutes. After the conclusion of his senior season with the Minutemen, Syner registered an assist in ten games with Hershey. Syner, who earned an honorable mention for the Hockey East All-Star team last year, registered ninety-seven points (37g-60a) and 113 penalty minutes in 135 total games at UMass-Amherst.
The Royals open the 2012-13 regular season in Elmira, New York, on Friday, October 12, 2012, when the team will take on the Elmira Jackals at 7:05 pm. The next night, Saturday, October 13, 2012, the Royals open the home season when the Titans visit the Sovereign Center at 7:05 pm. Season Tickets for the 2012-13 Reading Royals are currently available. Call 610-898-7825 or visit www.royalshockey.com for more information.