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Hershey Bears Hockey Team

Team History 

Based in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the Hershey Bears are a renowned American professional ice hockey team that plays in the American Hockey League. The team has played in the league since the 1938-39 season, a fact that makes it the league’s longest continuously operating club member that still plays the sport in its original city. The history of the team dates back to the early 1930s with a series of amateur hockey matches that college teams played with each other in Hershey. The 18th of February, 1931 marks the very first formal hockey game played in Hershey where Villanova University took on Penn A.C. in the Hershey Ice Palace with a sitting capacity of 1,900.

Several other games followed this initial match and these amateur hockey matches grew in popularity really fast. The popularity of the matches motivated Milton Hershey and John B. Sollenberger to bring to Hershey pro hockey by providing sponsorship to a permanent team. This led to the establishment of Hershey Hockey Club which was later renamed to Hershey Bears Hockey Club.

Owners of the Team

The Hershey Bears Hockey Club is a sub-division of the Hershey Entertainment and Resort Company. The company has two main divisions, the Hershey Entertainment Group and Hershey Resort Group. The Hershey bears falls under the Hershey Entertainment Group alongside other divisions such as Hersheypark, Hersheypark Arena, Hersheypark Stadium among several others.

Stadium/Arena they Play in

Between the years 1936 and 2002, the Hershey Bears played its AHL regular season and playoff games at the Hersheypark Arena. Throughout the time, the arena served as the home to Hershey’s hockey. Post 2002 however, the Hershey Bears have used the Hersheypark Arena for practice only.

The home arena for the Hershey Bears is currently the Giant Center. It has been their home stadium since the year 2002. Located in the Harrisburg metropolitan area, the Giant Center is a multi-purpose arena with a sitting capacity of 10,500. Ownership of the Giant Center belongs to the Derry Township Industrial and Commercial Development Authority while its operations are run by Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. The naming rights are on the other hand owned by the Carlisle, Pennsylvania based Giant Carlisle grocery store chain.

Aside from the Hershey Bear games, the Giant Center also hosted Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain’s Road to Victory Rally. It has also hosted a number of other concerts and events.

Local Community of Hershey, PA

Hershey Bears Hockey Team commands the support of the Hershey, PA local community. The team in return gives back to the community through various programs as well as partnerships that are designed to encourage health, literacy, wellness and charity in the Hershey community.

The Team’s Success over the Years

The Hershey Bears have been pretty successful in the sport. They have taken part in several games and managed to win a considerable number of cups they have Regular Season 7 Titles, Division Championships. Conference Championships as well as Calder Cups. The team has also produced players who have won notable awards.

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Hershey Bears Schedule

Things To Do In Hershey PA

Hershey Bears Hockey

The Pennsylvania based Hershey Bears are a minor pro ice hockey team that has actively taken part in the American Hockey League beginning 1938-39 season. Following the 2005-06 season, The Hershey Bears has been serving as Washington Capitals’ primary development club. The club plays its home games at the Giant Center which is located a short distance from the Hersheypark Arena. One of the notable achievements of the club is that it has bagged eleven Calder Cups making it the club with the highest number of the title in AHL. Their most recent win was in 2010.  The Capitals just won the Stanley Cup so clearly the team has been doing a great job of helping develop and refine players for the Washington Capitals.

Results of the 2017 Season

In the 2017-18 season, the Hershey Bears played a total of 76 games. Out of the 76, the club managed to win 30 but lost 37. The Hershey Bears did not qualify for the playoffs given their poor performance during the season. They commenced their 2017-18 season with a match against Lehigh Valley Phantoms to which they lost 7 to 2 on October 7, 2017. They lost three subsequent games after their first defeat but redeemed their reputation with a win against Grand Rapids Griffins on October 21, 2017. Between October 22, 2017 and November 26, 2017, the Hershey Bears payed 16 matches in which they won eight and lost eight. In December of the same year, they played 14 games going against clubs such as Providence Bruins, Binghamton Devils, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. They suffered eight loses and managed to secure only six wins.

The Hershey Bears’ performance in 2018 was not any better. Between January 6, 2018 and January 27, 2018, they played 10 matches, eight of which they lost. Their only wins within the period were against Charlotte Checkers. Between February 2 and February 25, Hershey Bears played 12 matches out of which they won six. They played 14 games in March, out of which they lost eight. They only played five games in April and had only one win against Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

It was a challenging year overall for the Hershey Bears.  The Hershey Bears know they need to work thigs out on both ends of the ice.  They need to be smoother on offense, get better at killing penalties, and more efficiently clear the puck out of the neutral zone.  Goaltending can improve as well.  With some new faces and regulars returning the team can definitely step forward and have an exciting season.

Top Performers

Riley Barber

Riley is among the top Hershey Bears top performers. A son of Don Barber, a retired NHL player, Riley has had 20 goals and 18 assists throughout his career at the club. He is a Washington Capitals prospect for the NHL – National Hockey League.

Mathias Bau Hansen

Danish Mathias is another notable role in Hershey Bears. Just like Riley, he is a Washington Capitals prospect. He agreed to a one year contract to play in the AHL after a stunning performance at Frederikshavn White Hawks for three seasons. After 58 games with the Bears, Bau recorded 13 goals with 10 assists.

Grant Besse

Born in July of 1994, Grant is an exceptional member of the Hershey Bear club. Throughout his career as a hockey player, Besse has been an outstanding player. He has even been honored with the Minnesota Mr. Hockey title. He entered into a one-year contract with the Hershey Bears to play in the AHL on 23 August, 2018. He recorded one goal and six assists during the 2017=18 season. 

The Coach

Spencer Carbery was announced coach of the Hershey Bears by the club’s vice president Bryan Helmer. The Canadian retired left-winger joined the American Hockey League as head coach of the club. The British Columbia born pro ice hockey player attended Alaska Anchorage University in 2002. Taking part in more than 26 games, Spencer bagged 3 points both in goals and assists. Between 2003 and 2006, he was at the St. Norbert College where he concluded his career in the NCCA bagging 103 points during the regular season. Some of the teams that Spencer played for during his ice hockey career include Tulsa Oilers, Frenso Falcons, Bakersfield Condors, South Carolina Stingrays and Stockton Thunder. His professional playing career lasted between 2006 and 2010. He commenced his coaching career in 2010 and moved to the AHL in June of 2018 as Hershey Bears coach.

Restaurants Near the Giant Center

Home to the Hershey Bears, Giant Center is a popular arena located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. There are quite a number of outstanding restaurants located near the Giant Center. The Union Canal House Restaurant, Tumbleweeds Taco and The Mill in Hershey are examples of restaurants serving incredible meals near the stadium. Other restaurants are Duck Donuts, Iberian Lounge, Smoked Bar & Grill as well as Penn Hotel Sports and Raw Bar.

Hershey Bears fans tend to have a great time before and after games eating at these establishments and enjoying some drinks.  Restaurants near the Giant Center like The Union Canal House, Iberian Lounge, and Penn Hotel Sports and Raw Bar are an exciting and lively spot for fans to gather and cheer on the Hershey Bears.   

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