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"To be honest, and not to dumb it down, I think our focus is the first shift of the game. I don't...

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"To be honest, and not to dumb it down, I think our focus is the first shift of the game. I don't think it goes any further than that. We've got Game 1 staring us in the face, we obviously want to win that game, but our thoughts are not going to go past the first shift. As you look at a series, there's always, I call them, defining moments, and we have to make sure we're making the right decisions at those defining moment areas. We have been, through the playoffs so far. "This series will take shape and personality, and we'll have to adjust. Our guys will have to be positive and not get frustrated with it. At the end of the day, we'll be the team we are and play the style we have to play."

Hershey head coach Mark French shares a little of his coaching philosophy on the eve of his first Calder Cup Final game as bench boss.

"It was a tough series for us to play," Bears head coach Mark French said. "We played against a...

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"It was a tough series for us to play," Bears head coach Mark French said. "We played against a team that was very committed defensively and didn’t really care what they generated offensively. Some of our key players -- and our team in general -- had trouble accepting how you have to play against these guys to be successful."

Hershey Bears head coach Mark French Questions for discussion - what did Coach French advise his team to do and how did he get "our key players - and our team in general" to buy in? Did the team buy in, or did they just get lucky?

That's basically just me being a weird goalie...

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That's basically just me being a weird goalie...

Braden Holtby on The Old Barn Hockey Show. Excellent interviews with Holtby and with Zach Miscovic this week. I am once again reminded why I am a hockey fan -- these guys are just so down to earth and likeable.

DEFENSEMAN BRYAN HELMER RETURNS TO HERSHEY FOR 2009-10 SEASON CAPTAIN OF HERSHEY’S 2009 CALDER CUP ...

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DEFENSEMAN BRYAN HELMER RETURNS TO HERSHEY FOR 2009-10 SEASON CAPTAIN OF HERSHEY’S 2009 CALDER CUP CHAMPION SQUAD BACK IN A CHOCOLATE AND WHITE SWEATER FOR THE UPCOMING CAMPAIGN HERSHEY – The 2009 Calder Cup Champion HERSHEY BEARS announced today the signing of defenseman Bryan Helmer to a contract for the upcoming 2009-10 season. The announcement was made today by BEARS President/GM Doug Yingst.

Helmer staying with the Bears, via Walton

"I learned a lot. I learned how important it is to finish every single check. A lot of our success...

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"I learned a lot. I learned how important it is to finish every single check. A lot of our success was simply wearing guys down. We were able to take more punishment than they were. I also learned how important every player is — every man — all 20 guys on the roster. We had guys who had maybe five points in the regular season and yet they'd come through with a big goal in the playoffs. That gives you an edge. It doesn't even have to be points. Whatever your job is, and that might be blocking shots in a key situation, you do it and that contributes to why the team wins."

- Andrew Gordon reflecting on a championship season in Hershey (h/t IC)

"It was an awesome year. Between playing in my first All-Star game and winning the Calder Cup,...

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"It was an awesome year. Between playing in my first All-Star game and winning the Calder Cup, there were so many different things that happened that I'll never forget. ... "I'll take some time off here and hope to sign a new contract, but we'll see what happens. I don't feel like I have too much to worry about."

- Restricted Free Agent-to-be Chris Bourque

"[Former Bears President and GM Frank] Mathers believed in the Rule of 6 — six veterans, six depth p...

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"[Former Bears President and GM Frank] Mathers believed in the Rule of 6 — six veterans, six depth players and six prospects — as the basis upon which to build a team. By working with the NHL teams Hershey has been affiliated with since he took over, Yingst has done much the same. "That was evident with the latest Calder Cup championship, a team that included veterans Giroux, Aucoin, Mink, Helmer, Laing and Arsene; depth players like Bourque, Wilson, Sloan, Kronwall, Reid and Lepisto; prospects like Osala, Neuvirth, Perreault, Bouchard, Alzner and Carlson."

- Lebanon Daily News

"We don't hang up division championships. We don't hang up conference championships. The only thing...

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"We don't hang up division championships. We don't hang up conference championships. The only thing you're going to see hanging are [AHL] championships."

- Hershey Bears head coach Bob Woods (h/t Peerless)

When I was 16 and I was a rookie in the Finnish second league, we went to the Finals. Then last...

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When I was 16 and I was a rookie in the Finnish second league, we went to the Finals. Then last year when I was a rookie in Finland, my first year in the Finnish elite league, we went to the Finals. And now when I'm a rookie here in the AHL, we're in the Finals.

Call this man up!

"I think it is great that he came back here from overseas and he's got a taste of [North American]...

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"I think it is great that he came back here from overseas and he's got a taste of [North American] pro hockey and what it is all about. He knows what he's got to do, and he got a little taste up there in Washington. He's got all the tools. He's got to get the mindset that [Washington] is where he wants to be, and if he has a good summer and a good camp and he comes in with the conditioning he had last year, I think they will have to take a serious look at him."

- Hershey bench boss Bob Woods on Oskar Osala
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