Hockey season’s not over yet

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … Hockey season’s not over yet.

While more than two dozen American Hockey League alumni are celebrating their Stanley Cup championship as members of the Chicago Blackhawks, the best-of-seven 2010 Calder Cup Finals between the Hershey Bears and the Texas Stars are knotted up at two games apiece with Game 5 scheduled for the Cedar Park Center in Cedar Park, Texas, on Friday night. Game 6 will be Monday and Game 7 (if necessary) will be Wednesday at Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

The Bears are in the Finals for the fourth time in five years since becoming the top development team of the NHL’s Washington Capitals in 2005. Hershey, which is trying to become the first team to repeat as AHL champions since the Springfield Indians in 1991, set an all-time league record with 60 regular-season wins and went 12-3 through their first three playoff rounds, but dropped Games 1 and 2 of the Finals on home ice after having lost just one of their previous 38 home games. The Bears evened the series with a pair of road victories, coming from behind to win Games 3 and 4 in Cedar Park earlier this week.

Texas, top affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, has reached the championship round in its first season of play in the AHL. The Stars earned 99 points in the regular season and went on to win the Western Conference championship in dramatic fashion, pulling out Game 7 road victories over the Chicago Wolves and the Hamilton Bulldogs in the last two rounds.

The first four games of the series have all been played in front of capacity crowds, including a Hershey franchise record (10,872) in Game 2 and Texas franchise records in Games 3 (7,014) and 4 (7,032).

Friday’s Game 5 of the 2010 Calder Cup Finals will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic (DirecTV 642, Dish Network 424) and on WHTM-TV (ABC-27) locally in the Harrisburg area. The game can also be heard live on the all-hockey NHL Home Ice channel on XM Satellite Radio (XM 204, Sirius 208).

2010 Calder Cup Finals – Series “O” (best-of-7)
E1-Hershey Bears vs. W2-Texas Stars
Game 1 – Thu., June 3 – Texas 2, HERSHEY 1
Game 2 – Sat., June 5 – Texas 4, HERSHEY 3
Game 3 – Mon., June 7 – Hershey 6, TEXAS 3
Game 4 – Wed., June 9 – Hershey 4, TEXAS 2
Game 5 – Fri., June 11 – Hershey at Texas, 8:30 ET
Game 6 – Mon., June 14 – Texas at Hershey, 7:00 ET
Game 7 – Wed., June 16 – Texas at Hershey, 7:00 ET (if necessary)