You can easily count the Calder Cups the Hershey Bears have won, unless you're missing a finger or two. The Bears have won 10 Cups and are looking to win their 11th one in June.
The Hershey Bears square off against the up-start Texas Stars for the 2009-10 American Hockey League Calder Cup on June 3.
The primary Affiliate of the Washington Capitals, the Bears have a Chocolate vat full of prospects to go along with some of the American League's best vets.
It's no wonder the Bears have been successful this season. Their up-and- coming players in the organization have stepped up to play big roles for the team.
Bears Defenceman Karl Alzner, who split time between Hershey and the parent Capitals last season, has played some brilliant hockey for the Bears, not unlike rookie defenceman John Carlson who joined the club after the Capitals were eliminated in the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Montreal Canadians.
These two have been steady on the back end.
Bears Forward Chris Bourque has been one of the top leading scorers in the AHL playoffs. The son of the Hall of Famer Ray, Chris was drafted by the Capitals only to be selected on waivers by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Needless to say the Capitals used a waiver selection on him to get him back and his solid play this season could have him in line for a promotion next season.
Goaltending has been solid with Michael Neuvirth handling the load.
Other notable rookies getting some playing time are Stefan Della Rovere and Zach Miskovic. The AHL is a great place to start your pro career, why not during the playoffs.
Veterans like Keith Aucoin and team Captain Bryan Helmer provide the steady leadership that the Bears rely on.
The Washington Capitals have done a good job of drafting and adding great role players for their developing players in Hershey. GM Doug Yingst is one of the best in the AHL and his addition of players like Helmer and Boyd Kane have paid off.
The Bears beat a very good Manchester Monarchs hockey club to reach the Calder Cup finals, lets see how far they go against the Texas Stars.
This should be one heck of a series.