The BEARS will conclude the 2008-09 regular season Sunday with a home game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Face-off is at 6:00 p.m., with the team's on-ice pregame awards ceremony slated to start approximately 15 minutes prior.
HERSHEY claimed its second division title in three years on Saturday night, by winning at home and getting help from the Norfolk Admirals. Kyle Wilson scored two goals and Staffan Kronwall scored the game-winner in the third period as the BEARS downed the Philadelphia Phantoms 3-2 to clinch the East Division title. The victory was HERSHEY'S 49th of the season, leaving the team two wins shy of a franchise record for most victories in a single season with one game left in the regular season. The game was also the final time the BEARS and Phantoms will meet in regular season play. The two teams will however meet in the 2009 East Division semi-finals starting next week. It will mark the first time since 2000 that HERSHEY and Philadelphia will meet in postseason play.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was in contention for an East Division title themselves going into play on Saturday night, but the Penguins lost a 4-3 decision to the Norfolk Admirals at Wachovia Arena. It proved to be a costly loss, because not only did the Pens miss out on a chance to win the East Division today, they also lost home ice in the first round. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will finish third in the division, and play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the other East Division Semi-Final series.
The BEARS and Phantoms will meet in the 2009 East Division Semi-Finals coming up later this week, but dates and times have not been announced yet due to building uncertainty in Philadelphia. The Flyers will have to complete their regular season this evening before the games can be announced. Listen to John Walton's postgame show tonight on 100.1 FM for the official announcement, or log onto www.HersheyBears.com later this evening for all the dates and times.
Sunday's game can be heard via the BEARS Radio Network (100.1 FM, 1490 AM, Sportsjuice.com, AHLLive.com) beginning with the pregame show at 5:40 p.m. John Walton and Ed Coffey have the call of the action. Tickets are on sale now for the first two Calder Cup playoff games at GIANT Center, dates and times to be determined. Call the GIANT Center box office for ticket information at (717) 534-3911.