Tonight the long hockey journey begins for the Hershey Bears. It begins with great anticipation. When the Bears take to the ice tonight for their home opener Bears fans will be watching a new era in Hershey hockey. A new coach, new players and a new style that is likely to erase the memory of the last two seasons. 18 of the 31 players on the opening night roster played all or part of last season in Hershey.
“We’ve got a lot of depth,” coach Mike Haviland told abc27. “We’ve got a lot of guys who can play at this level and higher. I think Doug (Yingst) did a great job of putting this team together and putting the puzzle together. I like the way we get up and pressure the puck and finish checks. A lot of positive things went on last weekend.”
It was a weekend where the Bears won two of three pre-season games and scored 12 goals in those two victories.
“We’ve got a great group of guys,” said Bears left wing Derek Whitmore. “Everyone is very confident and excited to get the season going on Saturday night. We have a pretty solid team, top to bottom, from our goalies to our D to our forwards. Anytime you’re with a group like this, you are setting yourself up for a successful season.”
As the first puck drop gets closer, Haviland is as excited as his players. “Right now, these are the guys I want to go to war with. So far so good. We’ll see when we get going on Saturday.”
Face-off 7pm tonight at Giant Center against Adirondack.