Washington Capitals: Hershey Bears are ready to take next step forward

Now hockey fans can really start planning their fall and winter months. The Hershey Bears, Washington Capitals AHL affiliates, schedule is out.

The Hershey Bears open the season against their biggest rivals up the state of Pennsylvania and I-81, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday, Oct. 5 with a 7 p.m. puck drop. A rivalry once again renewed. The Bears will finish the opening weekend with a Sunday evening contest at 5 p.m. against the Providence Bruins. Washington Capitals fans are encouraged to make the drive up to Hershey and check out a game at Giant Center.

The Hershey Bears and AHL announced the full 2019-20 regular season schedule. The Bears are at home just four times in the month of October and will see the Baby Pens once again on the 13th. The Bears will play 13 times in November, seven of which are at home while the other six are on the road.

One big game to look forward to that month is their home game against Providence the night before Thanksgiving on Nov. 27.

But there could be an even bigger stretch at the mid-way mark of November. After a road contest in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Nov. 13, the Bears will host games on two straight night’s on the 15th and 16th against the Charlotte Checkers. Payback will be on the Bears mind after their season came to an end in the second round.

When the calendar shifts to December, there won’t be any midweek games. In fact, all Bears home games that month will be on a Saturday or a Sunday but anticipate one of those games featuring the annual Teddy Bear toss.

This annual event features fans throwing stuffed animals on the ice after the Bears score their first goal of the game. The stuffed toys then get gathered and donated to local charities.

Last season, the Bears and their fans set a new world record with 34,798 teddy bears getting thrown across the ice. Will the record be broken once again this season? Maybe it’ll get to 40,000! Stay tuned for when the promotional calendar gets announced.

The Bears will play 14 games in January, their biggest month of the season in terms of on-ice action. At the tail end of February, the Bears will take part in a rare contest on Feb. 29- the leap day of the 2020 calendar. According to the Bears media release that came when the schedule dropped, it is just the ninth time in Franchise history they’ve played on Feb. 29 and the first home game since 2004.

All of these and more are reasons to look forward to an exciting season in Hershey. After rallying from dead last with the worst league record in the AHL just days before Christmas, the Bears went on a franchise record 17-game point streak going a remarkable 16-0-0-1). In the second half, the Bears went 27-5-4-1, a .789 points percentage in those final 38 games.

The Bears carried that momentum into the first round series against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers that came down to a decisive Game 5 overtime win thanks to Brian Pinho. They’re hungry for their first Calder Cup championship since 2010. Click here to view the full Hershey Bears schedule.