Now that 2010 has officially come a close, we here at SHOE thought we would present our Top 11 Hershey Bear moments of the 2010 calandar year. Why eleven? Well… think about it.
#11: John Carlson returns from the World Junior Championships
Captian America returned to Hershey in the second week of January after becoming a hero at the 2010 World Junior Championships. Carlson scored the OTGWG for Team USA in the Title Game and killed Team Canada’s dreams of winning their sixth straight gold medal. When John returned home, Hershey had a pre-game celebration where they showed video of the goal and a photo of him posing with his new gold medal on the jumbotron. The crowd gave him a roaring standing ovation, in what would be one of many proud moments in 2010 for Bears Fans. Read More >>
#10 (obviously): Andrew Gordon scores his first NHL goal, 12/10/2010
Bears’ Fan favorite Andrew Gordon scored his first NHL goal in early December on future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur. It proved to be good timing. Andrew’s special night was profiled on HBO’s third episode of 24/7, where he was also awarded the team’s hardhat by Mathieu Perreault. When the reaction of his goal is put into comparison with Mathieu Perreault’s and Jay Beagle’s, it was obvious that his made the biggest impact. The first Hershey game after Gordo scored, he was featured in the “Who am I” scoreboard game for that night and received a very nice cheer. Read More >>
#9: Hershey awarded 2011 AHL All-Star game, 4/3/2010
April 3rd was a night that many Hershey fans will remember forever. On that night, the Bears hosted the Syracuse Crunch and won their 58th game of the season. The win set an all-time AHL record and it also allowed the Bears to capture the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy as the American Hockey League’s 2009-10 regular-season points champion. In an on-ice ceremony during the first intermission, Dave Andrews, the league’s president and CEO, also confirmed the much-speculated rumor that Giant Center would host the 2011 All-Star Game in celebration of the league’s historic 75th season. Read More >>
#8: Ring Night, 10/16/2010
On Opening Night, we got to relive the 2009-10 season one last time as the players received their rings for winning the 2010 AHL championship. Since last year’s Bears club became the first Hershey team to win a Calder Cup on home ice in 30 years, the organization invited members of the 1979-80 class back to Giant Center to hand out the bling. The night also included a lengthy pregame montage, the dropping of the 2009-10 Championship Banner, and the thrilling announcement that Mitch Lamoureuxwas going to be inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame. And thanks to our readers, we had plenty of awesome photos and video to document the night. Read more >>
#7: Keith Aucoin named AHL MVP, 4/9/2010
In a year where the Bears lead in almost every team and individual statistical category, Keith Aucoin beat out two of his own teammates and won the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s MVP for 2009-10. The 5-9, 187-pounder finished the season with 31 multiple-point games, 35 goals, and 106 points. He also had a stretch where he recorded an assist in 16 straight games. Aucoin was the sixth Hershey player to win the award, joining the likes of Alexandre Giroux (2008-09), George Sullivan (1953-54), Mike Nykoluk (1966-67), Tim Tookey (1986-87) and J.F. Labbe (1996-97). When word of the MVP award reached the team, Bears defenseman Greg Amadio picked up Aucoin and carried him upside-down around the locker room. Read more >>
#6: NHL All-Star Sheldon Souray loaned to the Bears, 10/6/2010
With Patrick McNeill lost to injury at the start of the year and the Capitals’ Organization lacking depth at defense, the Bears and its parent organization reached a deal with the Edmonton Oilers to have Three-Time NHL All-Star Sheldon Souray and his 100 mph slapshot loaned to Hershey. In his first press conference as a Bear, Souray said to the media, “Although I really don’t follow the AHL much, you follow who’s winning and Hershey has been at the top for the past five years.” Souray has provided ample leadership in the lockerroom and – suffice to say – has been fully committed to helping the team win. Read more >>
#5: Chris Bourque returns to the Bears, 12/5/2009
We know what you’re saying: “Chris Bourque came back to the Bears in 2009! This doesn’t count!” Well, you’re wrong. It totally does on this list. In December, the Caps reclaimed their prospect winger from Pittsburgh and in January, Bourque’s production exploded. In fact, his production didn’t stop until he officially signed with the KHL’s Atlant last summer. In 49 games with the Bears, the second line stalwart managed to have 22 goals, 48 assists and 70 points. Yes, he averaged nearly 2 points per game. He also scored a clutch goal in the Eastern Conference Finals, and was named MVP of the AHL Playoffs. Without Bourque, the Bears would have never won the cup. You know we’re right.
#4: Bears Re-Write AHL Record Books
Between their 12-game winning streak, their 24 straight home victories, and their 60 wins overall, the 2009-10 Bears were a winning machine. The Bears would break the AHL record for consecutive home victories with win #20 in Febuary and would keep winning over the NHL’s Olympic break, until the RMNB curse set in. To put that in a proper perspective, Hershey went without a loss at Giant Center from November 29, 2009 to March 19, 2010. Hershey also managed to set the AHL mark for consecutive playoff series victories (8), overall wins (60), and points (123). Expectations for this club going into the season were sky-high, and we believe these records and winning-streaks helped keep the team focused all the way through June.
#3: Boyd Kane sends the Bears to the Calder Cup Finals, 5/22/2010
In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Boyd Kane scored what he referred to post-game as the biggest goal of his career. The captain of the Bears’ 2006 Calder Cup title team put home a rebound in front of the net and sent the Bears back to the Calder Cup Finals. Kane’s tally gave Hershey a 3-2 victory over Manchester at Giant Center, and completed a crazy rally back from a 2-0 deficit after two periods. At that point, Kane was the 7th Bear to score in OT that playoff year. Hershey won the Eastern Conference Finals series 4-2 – winning each of the last two games in overtime. Read more >>
#2: Alexandre Giroux OT Goal gives Bears 3-2 lead in the Finals, 6/12/2010
The Bears lost the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals at Giant Center to the Texas Stars and would have to win two of three games in Dallas to even return home to Hershey for a Game 6. History was not on their side either. No team had ever lost games one and two at home in the finals and then gone on to win the Championship. Game 3 started off terribly as the Bears took a 3-1 deficit into the first intermission. But something magical happened that night in the lockerroom. Hershey came out for the second period determined. The team simplified their game, turned up the heat, and played desperate. Andrew Gordon scored two goals, and the Bears outscored the Stars 5-2 in the final two periods. Hershey wins Game 3, 6-3. The momentum had officially shifted. Hershey then wins Game 4, 4-2, riding John Carlson’s GWG. That my friends set-up Alexandre Giroux’s overtime heroics in Game 5. The Bears rifled 37 shots towards Matt Clime through three periods of play and could only get one puck through. After 15 minutes of Overtime, the 2008-09 AHL MVP pounced on a rebound and whacked it powerfullly through Clime’s pads. The Bears had done the impossible! They swept all three games in Texas and could now clinch back-to-back titles at home in Game 6. Read more >>
#1: The Hershey Bears win their 11th Calder Cup Championship, 6/15/2010
Additional reporting by Kyle Mace