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Firebirds, Hershey Bears set to clash in historic Calder Cup Finals

The stage is set for the 2023 Calder Cup Finals between the Coachella Valley Firebirds and Hershey Bears.

This matchup features the oldest AHL franchise in the Bears against the newest AHL franchise in the Firebirds.

The Bears have played in 23 Calder Cups and have won 11 of them. Meanwhile, the Firebirds are playing in their first-ever season.

It's the "Best in the West" versus "Beast in the East" for the 2023 Calder Cup.

"It's something you work for all year and you build for," said Firebirds head coach Dan Bylsma. "And we have the opportunity to do it. It's the best time of year to be playing hockey. Open toed shoe, sun is out, it's June, and it's the best time to play."

"We have to enjoy the moment. It doesn't happen that often and I think that is the message for both teams," said Bears head coach Todd Nelson. "I can't speak for Danny, but for our team just making sure they are prepared and after that it is up to the guys in the room."

Hershey Bears HC Todd Nelson

"A lot of hockey passionate people that love the Hershey Bears. It is a storied franchise and a lot of people have been going to the games since they were kids," said Firebirds defensemen Eddie Wittchow. "Their grandparents went to the games. It is a really cool environment and it's what we are trying to build here as well."

Eddie Wittchow


The Firebirds will take on the Hershey Bears in a best-of-seven series. The Bears are the oldest and most successful franchise in the AHL.

For the road games, the Coachella Valley Firebirds will host FREE watch parties at Spotlight 29 Casino.

The series could return to the Coachella Valley for Games 6 & 7, if necessary.

Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.

Article Topic Follows: Sports

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Bailey Arredondo

Bailey Arredondo is a Sports Anchor/Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. He joined the Desert’s News Leader in January 2022 here.

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Blake Arthur

Sports Director Blake Arthur joined the KESQ/CBS Local 2 team in August of 2015. Learn more about Blake here.


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