The setting was perfect. The weather was flawless as well. The Outdoor Classic weekend kicked off with an Alumni game between the Bears and Penguins at Hersheypark Stadium. The competitive spirit of both teams showed, but the Penguins had a younger average age. and came up with a 9-5 victory.
HERSHEY, PA – Two of the three co-coaches, Ralph Keller (center) and Willie Marshall speak to Doug Yingst at the Hershey Bears Hall of Fame induction ceremony back in December (Kyle Mace – Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Earlier this morning, the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced their rosters for the alumni game on January 19th. Headlined by Bears greats Tim Tookey and Mitch Lamoureux, 21 Bears (with four goalies) are scheduled to play in the game. The list also includes former Bears tough guys Louis Robitaille and Dennis Bonvie (who will be playing for Wilkes-Barre.) Bears greats Ralph Keller, Willie Marshall and Mike Nykoluk will serve as co-coaches for the game.
Just over one year after the Bears released their pump-up/promotional video “NO REST,” the Bears have dropped a new video. This commercial video is entitled “We Will ROAR” which includes awesome video from some of the best moments of the 75 years of Hershey Bears hockey. Some of the players you might recognize in the video include Mitch Lamoureux, Doug Gibson, Glen Seabrooke, Bob Bilodeau, Bryan Helmer, and many more. I don’t think you can watch this video and not be proud of how amazing of an organization we get to follow and watch.
Aside from a new logo, uniform and a fuzzy mascot being released to Bears Nation on a few weeks ago, the ceremony also gave the opportunity to reflect on how great the Hershey Bears fan base is. On a randomly chosen work and school night, several weeks before hockey season, a season ticket holder crowd of nearly 3,000 rushed through the Giant Center doors to see the start of what is advertised as a new chapter in Hershey Bears history.
With one game left before the All-Star break, the Bears had one more chance to start their break by snapping their losing skid against the Norfolk Admirals.
Unlike last night, both teams scored power play goals to start the game off. Ryan Potulny scored the first goal of the game. The Admirals countered with a power play goal from Tyler Johnson a few minutes later. Tie game after one period.
Last year we brought you the Top 11 Moments of 2010. This year we are doing the same list, but we got your input on our Facebook and Twitter pages this year. (Which if you do not like/follow, you should.) So without further adieu, here are the Top 11 moments of the 2011 calendar year (in no particular order)…
Earlier this evening David de Kastrozza and Maxime Lacroix attended a charity event to raise money for the Four Diamonds Foundation. Also in attendance was former Bear and AHL Hall of Famer Mitch Lamoureux. The boys were on a team of celebrities who played donkey basketball against the Palmyra School District staff.
The evening started out with 4 teams of students playing against each other in two different games. The rules weren’t too complicated. The game was seven minutes long. To shoot or block you had to be on your donkey. When passing at least one person had to be on their donkey. Seems simple enough, right? In theory, yes. Some of the donkeys proved to be a little more willing to play along than others.
Then it was time for the celebrity vs. faculty game. As they were being introduced, the announcer said that neither de Kastrozza nor Lacroix knew that they would be riding donkeys. They thought they were coming to play a charity basketball game. I’m thinking that they might have had a couple comments for Lamoureux when they arrived and found out. When it came time to play, de Kastrozza didn’t seem to have any issues getting on his mount. Conversely, I’m not sure that Lacroix ever was able to make it on his. Baskets were hard to come by all night as you can imagine. The Palmyra faculty had the shot of the night. They sunk a shot from well outside the three point line. Remember you had to be ON the donkey to be able to shoot!
In the end, the Palmyra faculty won the game. Of course the big winner of the night was the Four Diamonds Fund. The total raised wasn’t known at the time of this writing, but any money raised is going to a good cause.
After the game I was able to catch up to Lacroix and de Kastrozza and ask them about the experience.
Photo by Bridget Samuels / wikimedia.org
Here is your weekly round up of Bears news and events.
John Walton was on the bus to Norfolk for the Old Barn Hockey Show. Filing in was Greg Mace. [OBHS]
- Part 1: Greg talks about Jean Hebert’s officiating, the weekend games and Bears injuries/news.
- Part 2: Mitch Lamoureux joins in with NHL talk.
- Part 3: Mitch talks about the Bears, the NHL and what’s wrong with the Caps.
Of the “50 Most Loved Former Pittsburgh Penguins”, Mitch Lamoureux grabs the number 48 spot. [BleacherReport]
Patrick Harbolick takes a look at the Capitals’ 2006 draft class. [Hockey's Future]
“Bear Tracks” by Dan Sernoffsky is out. Lots of injury and player updates this week. [LDN]
Welcome back, Jay Beagle. We know you would like to have stayed where you were, but we like you, too. [Caps]
And congratulations to Patrick McNeill. PMac was recalled by the Caps and looks to play his first NHL game tonight. [Caps]
Also a big congratulations to Jared DeMichiel for his first win as a Bear! [SHoE]
David de Kastrozza is getting some attention in the Bears organization and across the AHL. [PennLive]
Josh Godfrey is back up with the Bears. [ECHL]
Last Saturday the Giant Center hosted the PIAA State Wrestling Championships. There was precious little time to transform the GC back to a hockey rink. Brad Wilson of The Express-Times gives his take on it describing how poorly it was handled by GC staff. In his article he states “It was a bit rich of the meet announcer, though, to ask fans to beat it because of an ‘important’ Hershey Bears game coming up. There has never been an ‘important’ minor-league hockey game.” I beg to differ. [LehighValleyLive]
Michael Sedor of the Patriot News is also covering the change from wrestling to hockey. [PennLive]