Hershey Bears Secure 12th AHL Title with Victory over Coachella Valley

The Hershey Bears clinched their 12th American Hockey League (AHL) championship by defeating the Coachella Valley Firebirds 3-2 in a thrilling Game 7 of the Calder Cup final.

Michael Vecchione’s overtime goal at 16:19 sealed the victory for the Bears, solidifying their status as one of the league’s most dominant teams.

Hershey’s Remarkable Comeback

Trailing by a 2-0 scoreline, the Hershey Bears demonstrated their resilience and determination, staging a remarkable comeback in the second period.

Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre spearheaded the team’s offensive surge, finding the back of the net and leveling the game.

The Washington Capitals’ top affiliate showcased their prowess, outmatching the expansion team and cementing their place as AHL champions.

Stellar Performance by Hershey Goalie

In the face of intense pressure from the Coachella Valley Firebirds, Hershey’s goaltender, Hunter Shepard, delivered a heroic performance.

With 45 saves to his name, Shepard proved to be an impenetrable force, denying the Firebirds’ offensive onslaught and keeping his team in contention for the title.

Coach Todd Nelson’s Triumph

Celebrating his second Calder Cup victory, coach Todd Nelson added another accolade to his illustrious career.

Having previously guided the Grand Rapids team to the 2017 title, Nelson now joins an elite group of head coaches who have clinched the Calder Cup with two different teams.

Bun Cook and John Paddock stand as the only other accomplished coaches to achieve this remarkable feat.

Coachella Valley’s Admirable Debut Season

Although falling short in the final, the Coachella Valley Firebirds showcased their exceptional talent and determination throughout their debut season.

Defenseman Ryker Evans and captain Max McCormick made valuable contributions, netting goals for their team. Goaltender Joey Daccord displayed his skills, making 35 saves in a commendable effort.

The Firebirds’ achievement of reaching the final in their inaugural season since the 2010 Texas Stars is an impressive testament to their capabilities.

Key Moments in the Game

The opening goal came early in the first period when Ryker Evans capitalized on an excellent pass from Andrew Poturalski, beating Shepard with a wrist shot from the slot.

This early lead set the tone for Coachella Valley’s confident start to the game.

Max McCormick extended the Firebirds’ advantage to 2-0 in the second period, receiving a precise cross-ice feed from Kole Lind and converting it into a goal.

McCormick’s ability to find the back of the net showcased his scoring prowess, further solidifying his reputation as a key player for Coachella Valley.

However, Hershey mounted a spirited comeback, capitalizing on a power play opportunity when Connor McMichael scored to bring his team within one goal.

The Bears’ determination paid off as Hendrix Lapierre redirected a powerful shot from Vincent Iorio, equalizing the score just before the end of the second period.


The Hershey Bears’ victory in the Calder Cup final against the Coachella Valley Firebirds was a testament to their resilience, skill, and unwavering determination.

Led by coach Todd Nelson, the Bears overcame a 2-0 deficit, displaying their championship pedigree.

Although Coachella Valley fell short in their inaugural season, their impressive journey to the final highlights their potential for future success in the AHL.

The clash between these two teams captivated fans and showcased

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