The Hershey Bears Hockey Hall of Fame will be inducting its inaugural class on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. The Hershey Bear Hockey Hall of Fame, which will be located in the Giant Center, has been in the works for many years and many fans have likely been looking forward to seeing it. The seven inductees include Lloyd Blinco, Arthur Fausnacht, Ralph Keller, Willie Marshall, Frank Mathers, Mike Nykoluk and John Sollenberger. The ceremony will also honor Milton Hershey. Hershey was a founder of the Bears and an important figure in the Hershey community.
Lloyd Blinco spent more than 40 years with the Bears and performed on ice, acted as coach and served as an executive. The 1932-1933 season was the first season for the team. Like Blinco, Mathers spent nearly 30 years in a variety of roles with the team. He has not only coached the most games in AHL history, but he also had the most wins of any coach for the Hershey Bears. Fausnacht, who graduated from Hershey Vocational School, was involved on and off the ice in the American Hockey League for almost 50 years. Sollenberger was also instrumental to the foundation of the Bears. The John B. Sollenberger Trophy is named in his honor and is awarded to the top scorer in the AHL every year.
Keller is one of the top players for the Bears in the history of the team. Though he only spent approximately 10 years with the team, he still holds the records for games played as a defender and points scored as a defender. Marshall, who was with the Bears for approximately seven years, holds several records in the AHL. He holds records for the number of games played, points, assists and goals. Nykoluk holds multiple team records including the record for the most games played, the most points earned and the most assists.
Currently, the Bears are not doing well in the standings. Luckily, the season has just started and there is plenty of time for the team to improve. The Bears are currently in the middle of the East Division of the Eastern Conference of the AHL. The team has won just three games of the seven played so far. One of the losses was in overtime. The team will be playing two games this weekend. To start the weekend, the team will be traveling to face the Springfield Falcons on Friday, November 2. On Saturday, the team will be traveling once again to face the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.