The Hershey Bears will kick off the 2023 Calder Cup finals on the road in Coachella Valley as Game One against the Firebirds is on Thursday at Acrisure Arena.
The Bears had one final practice at home on Tuesday before they’re set to jump on a plane to head out west. At that practice, defenseman Vincent Iorio shed the bright red, non-contact sweater he has been wearing for almost two weeks in favor of a regular black jesey.
Iorio has not played since Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals.
One final skate before liftoff 😄 pic.twitter.com/5TOflyv7mb
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) June 6, 2023
Iorio has been listed as “day-to-day” by the Bears since leaving the lineup and joined Mike Sgarbossa on the shelf for the final four games of Hershey’s matchup with the Rochester Americans.
The talented prospect was replaced by Jake Massie on the team’s third pairing with Lucas Johansen. Johansen also flipped to the right side to accommodate the change.
Game 3 projected lineup: Mo moves up the line chart!
Catch tonight's broadcast coverage 👇
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) May 27, 2023
Iorio has four points (1g, 3a) in nine playoff games during this run. He scored his first career AHL playoff goal in Game Three of Hershey’s three-game sweep of the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Massie has filled in admirably for Iorio, particularly establishing a nice role on the team’s penalty kill. It was his blocked shot and clear that helped Hershey kill off a lengthy Rochester five-on-three in the Bears’ 1-0 Game Six victory that now has them playing for the franchise’s 12th Calder Cup.
Game One in Thousand Palms, California on Thursday has a 10 pm ET puck drop.
Headline photo: Tori Hartman/Hershey Bears
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