An Incredible Season: Hershey Bears Win 11th Calder Cup
An incredible season...
The Hershey Bears capped off what could very well be one of the most incredible seasons in pro hockey history.
After winning the Calder Cup last season, the Bears won 60 games during the 2009-10 regular season. Over the 74-year history of the American Hockey League, no team had ever won 60 regular season games. Counting the 2010 playoffs, the Bears won 43 of them at home this season.
No team in AHL history had ever come back to win the Cup after being down 2-0 in the Calder Cup Finals.
The picture was set for Giant Center in Hershey last night as over 11,000 fans—screaming fans—cheered on the chocolate and white as they came back from a 2-0 series deficit against the Texas Stars.
Game Six: Bears 4, Stars 0
Ironically, it was this same Texas team that broke Hershey's streak of being undefeated at home during these playoffs last week by winning Games One and Two of the 2010 Calder Cup Finals in Hershey—to the shock of the Bears faithful.
Hershey travelled to Austin, TX for Games Three, Four, and Five—winning all three and coming back home to Giant Center to win it all.
It was almost as if it was planned that way, in terms of winning the Calder Cup on home ice for the first time in 30 years.
Hours before the 7 pm Eastern Time game start, Hershey fans tailgated and waved flags and dressed in chocolate and white...a sight for sure.
Game Six started off with Texas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan making a switch in goal. Matt Climie, who had played great in these playoffs and made some great saves in Game Five alone, was pulled in favour of Brett Krahn, the former first round selection of the Calgary Flames.
The Bears got all their scoring from the D-men.
John Carlson, Karl Alzner, and two from Patrick McNeill would seal the fate of the Stars.
Carlson's goal and McNeill's first score were off rebounds in the slot. Alzner scored a beautiful goal as the puck came off the boards, and he rifled a slap shot past Krahn's short side. McNeill's second goal came off a screen in front of the Texas goal.
Bears goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves for the win and shutout.
Chris Bourque was named the Jack Butterfield Award winner. The award is for the Calder Cup playoff MVP.
Hershey won their third Cup in the last five seasons, became the first AHL team to repeat as league champions since the Springfield Indians did it in the 1989-91 seasons.
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