Monday morning might be the final time some Bears players ever walk though Giant Center as a Bear. As the 2013-14 season comes to a close, the Bears players took some time to reflect on their season as they cleaned out their lockers. It was a surreal moment for all as Hershey missed the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.
As the 2014 season has come to a close, us here at Sweetest Hockey on Earth came up with a new idea. As the Bears hold their awards each season, we decided to hold our own awards, but for things you might not think would normally get awards. We have come up with eight categories for you fans to vote on.
The award ceremony at the end of each regular season is normally a kick off to the playoffs for the Hershey Bears, but this season it’s a bit different. This year the Bears are out of the 2014 playoff race for time in eight seasons. Despite the disappointing end to the season, the Chocolate and White thanked the Giant Center crowd with a win Saturday night.
Saturday night was the final night in the Hershey Bears season after being eliminated from playoff contention Friday night. With other Bears players banged up, Joel Rechlicz got back into the line up for his first game since March 23rd. And as Rechlicz skated with linemate Chris Brown for the final game of the season, the “Recker” did something he hasn’t done since December 18th, 2011: score.
It was a perfect cap to the end of a season. With a crowd of 10,964 in attendance and the Chocolate and White out of the playoffs, Hershey would go on to beat Adirondack by a score of 2-1 in the season finale of the 2013-14 season.
All great things must come to an end. It’s an old, cliche saying, but it is also 100 percent true and fitting of the occasion. In a 3-1 loss to the Norfolk Admirals, the Bears’ eight season playoff streak has come to a crashing end. The Providence Bruins and Norfolk Admirals will grab the seventh and eighth seeds in the Eastern Conference.
The last time the Chocolate and White missed the postseason, it was the final year of the Colorado Avalanche affiliation.
As the Hershey Bears left South Central Pennsylvania Tuesday morning for Hampton Roads Virginia, they knew they were heading down south for arguably the two biggest games of their season against the Norfolk Admirals. The Admirals were tied in points with Hershey coming into Wednesday night’s game, but Hershey had the first tiebreaker, giving them the control of their destiny, but after the game, Norfolk now controls the final spot in the Eastern Conference as they topped Hershey, 5-3.
In minor league hockey, what exactly are the factors needed to create a classic? Obviously good officiating is always appreciated at the American Hockey League level, leading to a fast paced, open, end-to-end hockey game. But in addition, how about a great atmosphere inside arena? Or even a game that may decide a team’s future postseason fate?
All those factors came into play and meshed perfectly on Sunday evening, which built-ed towards a 1-0 overtime win over the Binghamton Senators.
While “X” marked the spot in Wilkes-Barre Township with the Penguins celebrating a playoff berth, the Hershey Bears aimed to inch closer in a battle against the Springfield Falcons.
65 minutes was not enough for either side, leading to Hershey’s 12th skills competition of the 2013-14 campaign. Ryan Stoa became the AHL leader in shootout goals, but the Bears dropped a 4-3 decision in five rounds.
Photo via @washcaps
While the Washington Capitals’ playoff hopes for 2014 has come to a halt, the organization’s attention now turns to the future. That future will include Chandler Stephenson, who recently has agreed to a three year entry level contract with the Capitals’ organization.