10/08/2008 - The HERSHEY BEARS officially begin its 71st season in the American Hockey League Wednesday night, with a game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton against the Penguins. Face-off at Wachovia Arena is at 7:05 p.m.
The BEARS enter the regular season after a perfect 3-0 exhibition slate, outscoring its competition 16-8. HERSHEY most recently scored six power play goals en route to an 8-2 win over the Penguins at GIANT Center Sunday.
Perhaps the most stirring moment of Wednesday's regular season opener will be the official return of Graham Mink to HERSHEY'S lineup. Mink last stepped on the ice for the BEARS on June 13, 2006, the night the Chocolate and White clinched the team's ninth Calder Cup. Mink's return coincides with the debut of veteran center Keith Aucoin, who played last season with Carolina (NHL) and notched 99 points two years ago with Albany. Daren Machesney is expected to draw his first opening night start Wednesday.
Wednesday's game can be heard via the BEARS Radio Network (100.1 FM, 1490 AM, Sportsjuice.com) beginning with the pregame shoe at 6:45 p.m. John Walton, in his seventh season behind the microphone for the BEARS, provides play-by-play. The game is the beginning of a season opening four-game road trip, with the team's 71st home opener set for Saturday, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the game are on sale now at the GIANT Center box office, or by calling (717) 534-3911.