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Hershey Bears
City: Hershey, Pennsylvania
League: American Hockey League
Conference: Eastern Conference
Division: East Division
Founded: 1932 (T-SHL/EAHL);
1938 (I-AHL/AHL)
Home Arena: GIANT Center
Colors: Burgundy, black, gold, white, silver

                        

Owner(s): Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company (HERCO)
General Manager: Flag of the United States Doug Yingst
Head Coach: Flag of Canada Bob Woods
Captain: Flag of Canada Bryan Helmer
Media: The Patriot-News
WHTM-TV (abc27)
WHP-TV (CBS21)
WGAL-TV (NBC8)
WPMT-TV (FOX43)
Affiliates: Washington Capitals (NHL), South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL)
Franchise history
1932 to 1933: Hershey B'ars
1933 to 1934: Hershey Chocolate B'ars
1934 to 1936: Hershey B'ars
1936 to present: Hershey Bears
Championships
Regular Season Titles: 7 1942-43, 1957-58,
1980-81, 1985-86, 1987-88, 2006-07, 2008-09
Division Championships: 15 1938-39, 1943-44,
1946-47, 1951-52, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1975-76, 1980-81, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1993-94, 2006-07, 2008-09
Conference Championships: 4 1996-97, 2005-06,
2006-07,
2008-09
Calder Cups: 10 1946-47, 1957-58,
1958-59, 1968-69, 1973-74, 1979-80, 1987-88, 1996-97, 2005-06, 2008-09

The Hershey Bears are a professional ice hockey team playing in the American Hockey League. The team is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA. Home games are played at the GIANT Center. Hershey is the longest-existing member club in the AHL, joining the league in 1938, and played their 5,000th game December 20, 2006.

The Hershey Bears hockey club is owned by the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company (HE&R), formerly known as Hershey Estates, an entity wholly owned and administered by the Hershey Trust Company.

Contents

Team history

From B'ars to Bears

The history of the Hershey Bears hockey club goes back to a series of amateur hockey matches played in Hershey between college teams beginning in early 1931. The first such formal hockey game ever played in Hershey took place on February 18, 1931, when Penn A.C. and Villanova University faced off in the 1,900-seat Hershey Ice Palace. Nine months after that successful inaugural contest, Swarthmore Athletic Club moved into the Ice Palace, where they played their first game on November 19, 1931 against Crescent A.C. of New York City. (In the lineup that night for Crescent was a 23 year-old center named Lloyd S. Blinco, a native of Grand Mere, Quebec. He came to Hershey the next season and would remain continuously associated with Hershey hockey for a half century as a player, coach, and manager).

The popularity of these amateur hockey matches prompted chocolate-maker and amusement park-operator, Milton S. Hershey, and his long-time entertainment and amusements chief, John B. Sollenberger, to sponsor a permanent team in 1932-1933 called the Hershey B'ars. The club joined the newly formed Tri-State Hockey League with teams from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Atlantic City. After one season, that circuit reformed itself into a larger, seven-club loop called the Eastern Amateur Hockey League in which Hershey played first as the "Chocolate B'ars" (1933-1934), then again as the "B'ars" (1934-1936), and finally in 1936 as the "Hershey Bears," a name they adopted in response to criticism levied by New York sportswriters and the league that the "B'ars" moniker was too commercial. (These writers had already informally dubbed the club as the "Bears from Penn's Woods" when they visited Madison Square Garden to play the New York Rovers.)

On December 19, 1936, the newly renamed Bears also moved from the confines of the Ice Palace (where they had to play on a small, 60x170-foot rink) into the newly constructed 7,286-seat Hersheypark Arena (then known as the "Hershey Sports Arena") built immediately adjacent to the older venue. Over the next sixty-six seasons, the Bears played a remarkable total of 2,280 regular season and playoff games at the Hersheypark Arena, which served as their home from 1936 to 2002.

In 1938-1939, the Bears became the eighth member of the newly formed International-American Hockey League (renamed the American Hockey League in 1940) which was created on the June 28, 1938, by the formal merger of the International and the Canadian-American (Can-Am) Hockey Leagues, after those two smaller circuits had played interlocking schedules over the previous two seasons. Although four of the seven other IAHL charter-member cities (Springfield, Syracuse, Providence, and Philadelphia) are also represented in the AHL today (2006-2007), only the Bears have played in the league without interruption since that inaugural 1938-1939 IAHL season.

In the mid-1950s, the Hershey Bears signed Don Cherry, a young high-schooler playing in the Ontario Hockey Association. Cherry's first National Hockey League game was in the 1954-1955 season, when the Boston Bruins called him up for a playoff game. He went on playing for another 20 seasons before becoming a coach, and eventually, a comentator for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Hockey Night in Canada television broadcast. During the three seasons Cherry played for the Bears, from 1954 to 1957, he earned 424 penalty minutes, 15 goals, and 55 assists.

Modern era

The Washington Capitals returned as the Bears NHL parent club in 2005 after a 21-year span with the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Colorado Avalanche. (The club has also had earlier NHL affiliations with the Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Buffalo Sabres). The Bears are presently tied with the original Cleveland Barons for the most Calder Cup championships (9). Their most recent championship was in 2005-2006 versus the Milwaukee Admirals.

On December 20, 2006, the Bears played their 5,000th regular season game at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. The Bears scored seven times en route to a 7-4 win versus the Albany River Rats.

In 2008, the Bears set a club record of 11 straight wins, besting their previous record of 10, set in 2002. Over the stretch from November into December, the Bears outscored their opponents for an impressive 54-15 record.

On May 2, 2007, the Bears played their 500th Calder Cup playoff game in franchise history at the GIANT Center. The Bears played the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and won 4-3.

Hershey has tied an AHL mark for consecutive playoff series victories, with seven wins in a row. The record is shared with the 2005-2007 Bears and the 1990-1992 Springfield Indians.

2006 Calder Cup championship

In 2006 the Hershey Bears, with new head coach Bruce Boudreau, returned to the playoffs after a two-year absence. The team came off with a strong start by winning their first two series, against the Norfolk Admirals and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, in four games each. In the Eastern Conference finals, the Bears played the Portland Pirates. The Bears quickly took a 2-0 series lead, but then lost the third game. The Bears then rebounded and won game four, to take a 3-1 series lead. However the Bears were unable to finish the job and were forced back to the GIANT Center for game seven. The Bears trailed throughout the game, but managed to tie it with a goal from Graham Mink just over two minutes remaining. In overtime, the Bears finished with a goal by Eric Fehr, to win the series 4-3. On June 15, 2006, The Bears won the Calder Cup by a series mark of 4-2, defeating the Milwaukee Admirals. This marked the ninth time the franchise had won the Calder Cup, which tied Hershey with the original Cleveland Barons for the highest number of AHL playoff titles.

The Hershey Bears' longtime logo
Hershey Bears' current tertiary logo

Logos and uniforms

The colors of the Hershey Bears are burgundy, black, gold, and silver, a reference to the colors used by The Hershey Company to brand its products. The primary logo is a maroon bear, outlined in black, swatting a hockey puck centered below the Hershey Bears wordmark. The wordmark is a horizontal gradient using gold and burgundy outlined in black, with the Hershey part centered on a rectangular outline designed to resemble a Hershey's candy bar. The alternate logo consists of a bear's head in burgundy and black with the initials "HB."

Before their move to the GIANT Center in 2002, the Hershey Bears wore simpler uniforms with the colors of chocolate brown and white. The previous logo used a silhouette of a skating bear with a hockey stick in brown centered in a white, ovular shield outlined in brown.

In the advent of the 2007-2008 season, all of the teams of the American Hockey League unveiled newly designed Reebok EDGE uniforms, including the Hershey Bears. The home uniform includes a white jersey with black side panels, maroon trim around the collar, black piping outlining the shoulders, and striping around the cuffs in the colors burgundy, black, and gold. The word "Bears" is centered on the front of the jersey in a traditional, descending formation in black, capital letters outlined in gold. The shoulder logos include the Washington Capitals logo and the retro-styled, secondary logo. The away jersey is burgundy with black side panels, black piping outlining the shoulders, white trim around the collar, white sleeve stripes, and black cuffs. The chest includes the word "Hershey" in the traditional, descending formation in white, capital letters outlined in black. For the 2008-2009 season, the Bears introduced a third jersey that is white with black shoulders. The striping primarily features the colors of black and silver, with some minor touches of burgundy. The word "Bears" is centered across the jersey in a descending formation in black and silver.

Mascot

The Hershey Bears' official mascot is a Brown Bear named Coco. He wears the team's home jersey with a white hockey helmet. Coco the Bear debuted on October 14, 1978 at the Hersheypark Arena. His name alludes to the cocoa bean, from which Hershey's chocolate is derived.


This article uses material from the "Hershey Bears" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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