After losing the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals at home, the Hershey Bears are now one win away from raising the Calder Cup for the eleventh time in club history, and in back-to-back years. Holy Schnikes!!
But despite Hershey’s 3 game sweep of Texas at Cedar Park Center, the Stars can still draw confidence off Games 1 and 2 where they frustrated the AHL’s highest scoring team. Which Bears team will show up Monday for Game 6? The one that tried to play fancy, stick around the perimeter and let it’s emotions get the best of them, or the one that played simple, went hard to the net and kept its cool?
Today, Hershey held a 45-60 minute practice at Giant Center and Bears first line center Keith Aucoin hoped it was the latter:
“The main thing is we need to keep our heads into it. We know what we have to do, and we know we have to play the same. We kept it simple on the road, and we’ve got to make sure we play the same way and not be to cute. We can’t get too wrapped up into stuff. We’ve got to take care of business one period at a time, one shift at a time, and go from there.”
Meanwhile, it’s fair to say that the Bears were, uhhh, a bit loose after practice. Kyle observed a few of the guys playfully screaming and ribbing each other during interviews, and some players – who we dare not name – decided to blast Justin Bieber in the lockerroom while changing. Is this a sign of a team that got its swagger back?
Chris Bourque just thinks his teammates are giddy to finish what they started:
“I think the guys are excited for tomorrow night. We’ve got a chance to clinch in front of our fans and it’s an exciting thing. We want to stay up-beat and positive and everybody is looking forward to tomorrow.”
Awesome. Well since we’re in a giving mood, here are a few other Hershey-related tidbits to get you by until tomorrow’s night game.
I. History Could Be Made
If the Bears manage to win tomorrow or Wednesday night, Hershey will be the first team in AHL History to lose their first two home games of the Calder Cup Finals and come back and win the series. But let’s revel in the past shall we? Thanks to youtube user puckgodz, we can relive Alexandre Giroux’s epic Game 5 OT winner which is masterfully called by John Walton.
II. Fan Painted Shirts
Friend of the blog, Christine B. (who some of you may know as itsabeta on twitter), is going all out for Game 6. Not only will she be making the drive from DC, she will be wearing this sweet shirt she painted herself. Christine explains the inspiration below:
Why did I make the shirt? Well, I just made a pact with myself that if the Bears won game 5 then I would do something special for Game 6. So I decided to make myself a homemade “King Karl” shirt. I just wanted to do something fun for the finals and Karl Alzner is my favorite Bear (though Braden Holtby is a close second). The response I’ve gotten thus far has been pretty fantastic. I might have to make a few more! Though hopefully with a 27… and in red. I’ll be wearing the shirt tailgating tomorrow, so if any of you see me, please come say hi and shout a loud “let’s go Bears!!!” at me!
III. Japers’ Rink Discusses Gordo’s Take
Japers’s Rink contributor Your Nation’s Capital wrote about our collaboration with Andrew Gordon during this year’s Calder Cup Finals and discusses the narrative that has unfolded throughout his posts. It’s a great read.
Well, don’t forget that tomorrow night’s game 6 will be shown on ABC27′s digital channel 27.2, Comcast 246, Verizon 461, CSN Mid-Atlantic, and the NHL Network. We’ll see you on Twitter with all our funny musings at 7pm tomorrow night. I’ll be at Peter’s house in Frederick. Should be fun! (The last time I was there THIS happened.)