The Hershey Bears won the franchise’s twelfth Calder Cup on June 21. Three weeks later, players began officially holding their Cup Days. The first Bears’ player to have that opportunity was outgoing forward Shane Gersich on July 13, 2023.
The Capitals’ 2014 draft pick scored Hershey’s series-winning goal in the Eastern Conference Finals, eliminating the Rochester Americans, and contributed 23 points (9g, 14a) in 53 regular-season games. After the Bears’ closed out the Coachella Valley Firebirds in overtime of Game Seven, Gersich became one of five known players to win an NCAA title, the Calder Cup, and Stanley Cup in his career.
A day after the Bears’ won their championship, Gersich signed a one-year contract with Västerås IK of the Swedish Hockeyallsvenskan. With Västerås’s slate of preseason games to begin on August 15 and Gersich scheduled to fly out on July 28, the Bears gave him the earliest date possible with the AHL’s championship trophy.
“I took the Calder Cup on Lake Minnetonka with some of my buddies from back home,” Gersich said to RMNB. “I hung out with my family for part of the day and then I took it to a sushi restaurant with some more buddies at night. It was a great day to share with my close friends and family. It meant a lot to me to have everyone together.”
Gersich shared photos of the highlights of his day with RMNB and the Hershey Bears.
Gersich took pics with his family including his brother Cade, mom Shar, and dad Frank and his longtime girlfriend, Bridget Olsen.
Gersich also snapped a pic of the Cup with his family’s golden retriever, Danny.
The product of the University of North Dakota brought the Calder Cup to his longtime personal trainer, Jayme Pantekoek, of FAST Athletics.
“I’ve been working with Jayme for about 15 years,” Gersich said. “He’s help me so much every summer with the off ice training. I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at without him.”
Gersich took the Cup out on Lake Minnetonka, where several former teammates who are still playing joined him on a boat.
He then went to dinner at Sushi Fix where he snapped a photo with the excited chefs.
“They were all pretty pumped to see the Calder Cup,” Gersich said. “It was definitely just more of a chill day hanging with my family and friends. A couple beer chugs out of the Cup but besides that just hanging out and having a good time.”
The day closed out a magical span for Gersich as a player in the Capitals organization after winning three championships at three different levels over a period of seven years.
“It was just such an awesome year with such a close group,” Gersich said of the 2022-23 Bears. “It felt like we had something special in the room from the start of the year and to go out on top was something that will keep this group together forever.”
Photos: Shane Gersich
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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