HERSHEY, PA — The Hershey Bears celebrated the franchise’s twelfth Calder Cup championship at Giant Center on Saturday afternoon. The event marked the first public event fans could attend since the Bears lifted the AHL’s championship trophy in Southern California early Thursday morning. Alternate captain and inventor of the ROAR, Mike Vecchione, scored on a rebound to in overtime of Game 7 to eliminate the first-year Coachella Valley Firebirds in thrilling fashion.
The championship ceremony began at 3 pm and was open to the public. There were so many Bears fans in attendance, many of the players, who had barely slept since winning the championship days before, stayed hours after they were scheduled to leave so no one left empty-handed.
Nothing about the celebration or the fan support felt minor league.