The HERSHEY BEARS announced today in conjunction with the American Hockey League that the club will open the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals with back-to-back home games at the Giant Center. The BEARS will face either the Worcester Sharks or the Manchester Monarchs in the next round, with the full schedule to be announced either Friday or Saturday evening, depending on when the 2010 Atlantic Division Finals comes to a conclusion. The announcement was made today by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.
HERSHEY will open the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday, May 12 at 7:00 p.m. against either Worcester or Manchester, and will play Game 2 of the best-of-seven series on Saturday, May 15. Both games will be played at Giant Center at 7:00 p.m. By virtue of recording the AHL’s best regular season record in 2009-10, the BEARS have home-ice advantage throughout the 2010 Calder Cup playoffs.
Tickets for Game 1 and Game 2 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals at GIANT Center are on sale now at the GIANT Center box office or by phone at (717) 534-3911. The appearance marks the fourth time in the last five years that the BEARS have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, winning two Calder Cups and participating in three Calder Cup Finals.
COMMENT: WNST.NET (yours truly) will be covering game 1 next Wednesday and providing a blog with analysis and quotes afterwards. Hershey is loaded with talent and have several players who have already spent time with the Capitals as well as some other potential prospects. The cream of the crop are defensemen John Carlson and Karl Alzner. In net, Caps draftees Michal Neuvirth (2nd round 2006) and Braden Holtby (4th round) have bright futures and if Jose Theodore is not back in DC next year (he is an unrestricted free agent) then there is a chance that Neuvirth could be in Washington with Semyon Varlamov. Up front, forward Chris Bourque is having an outstanding season and will get another shot to make the Capitals at training camp in September. Center Mathieu Perreault will also get a long look at Kettler Iceplex next fall as a possible pivot man for the big club. Andrew Gordon, Francois Bouchard, and 2009-10 AHL MVP, Keith Aucoin, are also up front on a powerful Bears roster.