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 Hershey Bears

Calder Cup Finals Game 1 Preview: Bears vs. Firebirds, 7 p.m.

June 14, 2024 - American Hockey League (AHL)
Hershey Bears News Release

(Hershey, PA) - The Hershey Bears take the ice tonight for Game 1 of the best-of-seven 2024 Calder Cup Finals against the Coachella Valley Firebirds, in a rematch of last year's championship round for American Hockey League playoff supremacy.

Hershey Bears (10-4) vs. Coachella Valley Firebirds (10-2)

June 14, 2024 | 7 p.m. | GIANT Center | Series tied, 0-0

Referees: Beau Halkidis (48), Justin Kea (44)

Linespersons: Brandon Grillo (79), Mitchell Hunt (62)

Broadcast Information

Voice of the Bears, Zack Fisch, former Bears captain Garrett Mitchell, and FOX43's Todd Sadowski and Ryan Ye on the call

TELEVISION: Antenna TV (WPMT FOX 43.2, Xfinity Ch. 247 and 1178, Verizon FiOS Ch. 463, Blue Ridge Ephrata Ch. 91, and Blue Ridge Newberry/Duncannon Ch. 88); Monumental Sports Network (Washington, D.C. market), NHL Network

RADIO: WFVY-100.1 FM, Fox Sports 1460-AM, Capitals Radio, In-Arena on 88.9 FM


LISTEN LIVE: Fox Sports AM-1460 Stream, Caps Radio 24/7

Radio pre-game coverage starts at 6:30 p.m., Television coverage starts at 7 p.m.


Hershey faced the Cleveland Monsters in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday. After falling behind 1-0 late in the first period on a Trey Fix-Wolansky goal, Logan Day tied the game for the Bears at 19:41. Pierrick Dubé gave Hershey its first lead with a goal on the man advantage at 4:14 of the second period, but James Malatesta tied the game at 14:08 of the third to send the game to overtime, where Garrett Roe gave Hershey a 3-2 victory when he scored at 7:38 of sudden death. The Firebirds defeated the Milwaukee Admirals last Saturday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals to advance, as John Hayden scored twice in the opening frame as part of a four-goal first period for Coachella Valley, then added a shorthanded goal late in the second to complete the hat trick and power the Firebirds to a 5-1 victory.


Hendrix Lapierre is tied for first in league playoff scoring with Milwaukee's Zach L'Heureux with 15 points (4g, 11a), and leads all playoff performers in assists (11), power-play assists (7), and power-play points (8). The sophomore pro was held to one goal in last year's Calder Cup Finals against Coachella Valley, but it was the crucial game-tying score in Game 7 that forced overtime before Mike Vecchione's sudden-death tally clinched Hershey's 12th championship.


Hershey and Coachella Valley will square off in the Calder Cup Finals for the second straight year, joining the Maine Mariners and New Haven Nighthawks (1978-79), Rochester Americans and Maine Mariners (1983-84), and Springfield Indians and Rochester Americans (1990-91).


Hershey will look to defend its 2023 Calder Cup title (its league-leading 12th championship) and become the 10th team in the history of the AHL to repeat as Calder Cup champions, joining the Buffalo Bisons (1943-44), Cleveland Barons (1953-54), Hershey Bears (1958-59; 2009-10), Springfield Indians (1960-61-62; 1990-91), Rochester Americans (1965-66), Nova Scotia Voyageurs (1976-77), and Maine Mariners (1978-79).


Chase Priskie leads all league defensemen in playoff scoring with 12 points (2g, 10a)...Hershey is 7-1 when scoring first, while Coachella Valley is 7-0...Hershey is a lifetime 11-13 in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals, and holds an 8-3 series record in years in which it has won the opening match...In the 85 times the Calder Cup has been contested, the winning team of Game 1 has gone on to win the Cup 63 times (74.1%)...Bears vice president of hockey operations Bryan Helmer is in his fifth finals with Hershey, captaining the team in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010, serving as an assistant coach in 2016, and in his current role last season...Coachella Valley leads the league with 3.58 goals scored per game, while Hershey is third with 3.43...Both teams are an identical 9-0 when leading after two periods.


June 14, 2010 - The Bears claimed their 11th Calder Cup championship, beating the Texas Stars 4-0 in Game 6 on home ice in front of a club-record playoff crowd of 11,002 at GIANT Center. It was Hershey's first Calder Cup title won on home ice in 30 years. Patrick McNeill had two goals in the victory and Chris Bourque was named the recipient of the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP with 27 postseason points.

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