Hershey head coach Troy Mann has repeatedly said he believes that 95 points will earn you a spot in the AHL playoffs. This year, Hershey got that 95, but the Bears win over Providence Saturday night pushed them past the Bruins in the standings with 97 points to head into the playoffs as the third seed in the Atlantic Division.

For a team that had a rocky road to playoffs after a tough January, the Bears fought back after many had written them off. “I think throughout every season you have your ups and downs,” said Chris Bourque. “January was definitely a month that we would like to forget about, but I think that made us stronger, made us want the playoffs more.”

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It took 75 games and some help from the Springfield Thunderbirds, but the Hershey Bears can finally say they are playoff bound after taking a 2-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday night. Hershey faces Providence tomorrow with a chance to alter their first round opponent, which currently is the same Penguins team they faced tonight. A win would have them facing Lehigh Valley.

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Since the announcement made Monday afternoon by the National Hockey League that they will not include a stoppage in their 2017-18 season for the 2018 Olympics, speculation has begun on how national teams will fill their rosters for the twenty-third winter Olympiad. Many eyes have turned to the American Hockey League, the second highest level of professional hockey in the entire world.

With thirty teams, the league provides a developmental territory for players heading to the NHL, along with a place for veterans of the game to continue to play at a high level in North America.

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Photo courtesy: JustSports Photography

After a disappointing beginning to the 2017 calendar year, the Hershey Bears finished off the month of January strong with points in three straight. After almost a week off for the All-Star break, the picked right back up where they left off, beating the Binghamton Senators 5-3 Friday night.

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Wednesday morning EA Sports announced they have released a special Chris Bourque card in NHL 17 Hockey Ultimate Team in honor of his performance at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic.

Bourque, who was captain of the AHL All-Star team’s Eastern Conference squad, posted one goal and four assists in the game. The Atlantic Divison lost to the Central Divison in a shootout after not losing a game in their first three games.

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Hershey Bears Have Epic Shootout During Practice

On January 4, 2017, in Video, by Kyle Mace

When I went to Bears practice, I was just planning on watching and getting a few quotes for a story we’ll be publishing Thursday. What ended up happening was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen at a Bears practice.

At the end of the day’s skate, Troy Mann split the team into two squads: Black and White jerseys. Each team member took one shot on goal, trying to win bragging rights (and the chance to miss out on the forever popular suicide skate), for their team. At the end of each player shooting, the score was tied 3-3, meaning they head to overtime.

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Chris Bourque has now become the seventh player in Hershey Bears history to score 500 points as a Hershey Bear, joining Mike Nykoluk, Tim Tookey, Arnie Kullman, Gil Gilbert, Willie Marshall, and Dunc Fisher as the only players to accomplish the feat. In honor of this major accomplishment, we take a look back at some of Bourque’s earliest points as a Bear in GIF form.

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VIDEO: Hershey Bears Soccer Challenges

On December 22, 2016, in Video, by Kyle Mace

Last week, Riliegh McHugh and I invited a few of the Hershey Bears to try some soccer challenges with us at In the Net in Palmyra. Six players accepted and we split them up into two teams. Team Riliegh: Garrett Mitchell, Christan Djoos, and Ryan Bourque; and Team Kyle: Chris Bourque, Joe Cannata, and Stan Galiev.

Huge thanks to Healthy You Cafe for providing us with food for the video shoot!

Chris Bourque Selected as 2017 AHL All-Star Classic Captain

On December 20, 2016, in News, by Chocolate Hockey

On Monday morning, American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews announced he had selected Bears forward Chris Bourque to represent the Eastern Conference as their captain in the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic.

The selection marks Bourque’s fifth all-star game appearance and his fourth with Hershey. The 30-year-old currently leads all active AHL players with 604 points in 610 games and is two points away from 500 as a Hershey Bear. Last season, Bourque was named AHL MVP after winning the AHL scoring title for the second time in his career.

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hershey bears toronto marlies game two-37

Any Hershey Bears fan would be able to recognize their favorite player if they encountered them off the ice, right? There is no other way to picture the athletes than as hockey players. As for people who have never attended a Bears game? They wouldn’t have any idea that the guy standing in line behind them is a professional ice hockey player.

I asked high school students who don’t know anything about the Bears what they believe their occupations are. The students were given head shots of eleven players with the jerseys cropped out. They did not know anything about the project being conducted. These are their answers:

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