The stage is set for the 2023 Calder Cup Finals between the Coachella Valley Firebirds and Hershey Bears.
AHL Calder Cup Finals Preview ⬇️ 🏒 🎙 @KESQ @Firebirds vs. @TheHersheyBears— Bailey Arredondo (@BaileyKESQ) June 8, 2023
🐻 - HC Todd Nelson / Sam Anas / Aaron Ness
🔥 - HC Dan Bylsma / Eddie Wittchow (former Hershey Bear) @BlakeArthur24 @Qassignmentdesk @Tarp1969 @pwilliamsAHL pic.twitter.com/TncVxgMdX6
This matchup features the oldest AHL franchise in the Bears against the newest AHL franchise in the Firebirds.
Initial thoughts/reaction from @Firebirds on matchup with @TheHersheyBears in Calder Cup finals. Should be a heck of a series between oldest AHL franchise and newest.— Blake Arthur (@BlakeArthur24) June 7, 2023
🐻 Bears originated in 1938
🐦 Birds originated in 2022@KESQ @Tarp1969 @allieberube @zackfisch @BaileyKESQ pic.twitter.com/IlDmM13Wua
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."
"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."
CALDER CUP SCHEDULE
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.