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Rock the Brock: Second Season

Capital Blue Cross AHL Outdoor Classic-The showcase event of the AHL this year was held this past weekend in Hersheypark Stadium just across the parking lot from the Ice Palace and Hersheypark Arena where the Hershey B’ars/Bears had played from 1932 to 2002. Over 2 years of planning had gone into building an outdoor rink at Hersheypark Stadium. Saturday the Hershey Alumni played the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Alumni before Sunday’s regular season matchup between the Bears and Pens. The Bears would strike first in the second period but the Baby Pens tied the game and scored on a breakaway on OT to steal the game at 2-1. The game result was the only thing that went wrong for the Bears faithful all weekend long through a great series of events provided by Hershey.  The Bears have games Friday vs St. John’s at home and Saturday vs Binghamton at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena to help the team move on from Sunday’s loss on the big stage. 17,311 packed the stadium with an international audience watching on television in HD.

The Hershey Bears take to the ice at the 2013 Capital Blue Cross AHL Outdoor Classic.

The Hershey Bears take to the ice at the 2013 Capital Blue Cross AHL Outdoor Classic. Photo Courtesy of Old Barn Hockey Show.


Tomas Kundratek-A whirlwind of a week in Kundy’s world as he was selected to the AHL Eastern All Stars on Thursday night during the Bears family skate on the outdoor rink. Then on Sunday, Kundratek scored the only Bears goal of the AHL Outdoor Classic on a slapshot in the second period. This goal is his team leading 13th of the year and a new AHL career high for goals. His 26 points this year are also an AHL career best. Monday threw a wrench into his All Star plans as he was called up to the Washington Capitals to fill in for an injured Jack Hillen. Hillen is listed as week to week, so Hershey will most likely need another AHL All Star representative. I am sure Kundratek isn’t crying over it. UPDATE: Jeff Taffe will be headed to the AHL All Star game in Kundratek’s absence.


Second Season-With the start of the NHL and the number of call ups that have accompanied it, the AHL and ECHL might as well start over again. The playoffs this year might as well be called third season. The rosters of so many teams have been picked up, shaken about, and placed in the washing machine for a tumble or two. The Hershey Bears will really only lose Holtby along with other recalls due to injuries. Capitals injuries will play a crucial role in the Bears season with so many NHL games in such a compressed time period and an improper length of time to prepare and rest. Hershey will hope to fair better against other AHL teams the second half of the year with many of them incurring multiple roster losses due to the NHL lockout ending.

Red Rockers, Becca and Michelle M., stop for a photo with Rock the Brock at Giant Center. Photo Courtesy of Old Barn Hockey Show.

Red Rockers-The Red Rockers and Slapshot visited the Giant Center on January 12th. Red Rockers, Becca and Michelle M., found me in the elevator and we had a great conversation about how the Red Rockers are great community ambassadors for the Washington Capitals and hockey.  They were extremely kind and mentioned they were readers here as well. They were certainly mobbed and loved by all the Hershey fans that caught sight of them on the concourse with their Capitals giveaway goodies. Slapshot was also entertaining to the crowd and seemed to pair better with the more energetic Coco introduced this year. With how conservative Hershey is, I still wonder if we will ever see a cheer group in Chocolatetown for the Bears.

Go Bears.