HERSHEY, Pa. – The HERSHEY BEARS announced today a special Alumni Game to be played as part of the 2013 Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic weekend of events. The announcement was made by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.
“As we continue to work toward making the Outdoor Classic a reality, we are thrilled to welcome back some of the most famous players in HERSHEY BEARS history for a special Alumni Game,” Yingst said. “This will be another exciting event for our fans, young and old, to enjoy and remember for a long time to come.”
The HERSHEY BEARS Alumni will face off against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Alumni on Saturday, January 19 at 3:00 PM at HERSHEYPARK Stadium.
Several BEARS players, many of which helped etch fond fan memories in their former home at nearby HERSHEYPARK Arena, are expected to return to Chocolatetown to participate. The HERSHEY Alumni roster, with the player’s Calder Cup championship year in parentheses, is as follows and is subject to change and addition:
GOALTENDERS: Frederic Cassivi (2006), Marc D’Amour, Dave Parro (1980)
DEFENSEMEN: Jeff Chychrun (1988), Dave Fenyves (1988), Mike Gaul
FORWARDS: Don Biggs (1980), Brian Dobbin (1988), Lou Franceschetti (1980), Mark Lofthouse (1980 and 1988), Christian Matte (1997), Louis Robitaille (2006), Tim Tookey
Other HERSHEY Alumni, whose numbers hang retired in the HERSHEYPARK Arena and GIANT Center rafters, are also expected to attend the weekend festivities. The list includes Ralph Keller, a Calder Cup champion in 1969 and 1974, whose 737 career games played ranks third all-time in BEARS history. Keller’s 408 points (103 goals, 305 assists) stand as the highest total ever posted by a HERSHEY defenseman, and ranks tenth in overall BEARS scoring. Keller also ranks third in overall BEARS penalty minutes with 1,175.
Mike Nykoluk, HERSHEY’s all-time leader in games played (972), assists (636) and points (808), is also expected to return. Nykoluk celebrated championships in 1959 and 1969, and claimed the AHL’s Les Cunningham Award as most valuable player of the 1966-67 campaign – his fourth season of 12 in HERSHEY. He was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2007.
Finally, two-time Calder Cup champion Willie Marshall is slated to appear. A 2006 AHL Hall of Fame inductee and the league’s all-time leading scorer, Marshall won consecutive championships in Chocolatetown, claiming the title in 1958 and celebrating as a teammate of Nykoluk’s in 1959. Marshall posted four separate seasons with 90 or more points during his BEARS tenure, and went on to amass 570 points (226 goals, 344 assists) in 439 career games in HERSHEY. His 104-point season in 1957-58 earned him the John B. Sollenberger trophy as the AHL’s leading scorer.
The roster of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Alumni currently expected to participate is as follows, a list which is also subject to change: Dennis Bonvie, Greg Crozier, Jonathan Filewich, Casey Harris, Chris Kelleher, Jim Leger, Peter Ratchuk and Andy Schneider. Additions to this roster will be announced at a later date.
The Alumni Game precedes the 2013 Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic, which will feature the HERSHEY BEARS hosting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at HERSHEYPARK Stadium.