HERSHEY, Pa. – The Hershey Bears, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, released their 2021-22 schedule last Friday afternoon. The Bears get back to a full 76 game schedule, along with a number of familiar aspects to regular season play. The 2021-22 season for Hershey kicks off the season on October 16 against the Charlotte Checkers at Giant Center and will conclude April 24 at home against the Syracuse Crunch.
Hershey will play 11 Saturday games, 17 Sunday games, nine Wednesday games, and one Tuesday game at Giant Center during the upcoming regular season. The schedule is a bit front-loaded, as Hershey will only play 11 home games from February to April.
The schedule reveal also highlights three preseason games: October 8 in Wilkes-Barre, a home game against Lehigh Valley on October 10, and the preseason finale in Lehigh Valley on October 13.
The Bears will play every team in the AHL’s Eastern Conference at least once, both home and away. They will be seeing quite a bit of the Phantoms as they will face each other 14 times. Filling out the schedule, the Bears will face the Penguins 12 times, Charlotte Checkers eight times, and Bridgeport, Hartford, Providence, and Springfield six times. Cleveland and Syracuse will play Hershey four times each, while the rest of the North Division will be two times each.
Early highlights of the calendar for Bears fans are the return of the Thanksgiving Eve showdown with the Providence Bruins and the early anticipated date of the Teddy Bear Toss, which normally takes place the first Sunday in December and appears to be a 3:00 PM start against the Penguins. In addition, Hershey plays the day after the New Year rings in with a matchup against Bridgeport, and the lone Tuesday game is a matchup on January 25 against Wilkes-Barre. Hershey also plays an Easter Sunday game at home against Providence on April 17.
IT'S HERE! We've released our 76-game regular season schedule for the 2021-22 campaign. The puck drops on Oct. 16 at GIANT Center!
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) July 23, 2021
One surprising aspect is that although the infamous three-in-three returns this season, there are only seven such weekends the Bears will play three games in a row. Hershey will play five separate road trips of three games or more. The longest trip being March 25 through April 8 for five games against their Atlantic Division foes, including an unusual 10:30 AM start on Tuesday, April 5, versus Bridgeport.
Another unusual set of games takes place at the end of November and into December when the Bears play three games straight against the Phantoms followed by the Penguins in mini-playoff series sure to help get the rivalries going. Hershey’s longest home stand is January 8 through January 15, featuring four games at Giant Center.
Bears fans will no doubt appreciate the variety of opponents to start the season, with Charlotte, Syracuse, Cleveland, Providence, and Springfield highlighting the early list of teams to visit the Giant Center in October and November. The season extends out a little longer than usual, with the April 24 finale date later than usual due to the later start date for the season. Most games move back to the 7:00 PM start time on Saturdays and 5:00 PM on Sundays, but there are a few 3:00 start times for Sunday games.
Tickets will go on sale at a later date, as well as the reveal for the promotional calendar.
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