Celebrating the Latest...Remembering the First
A Scrapbook Memory - 1946 to1947
Hershey Bears Calder Cup Champions - 1969
Did You Know?
Ten years before the Bears won their first championship, on April 15, 1947, the Calder Cup was awarded for the first time to the Syracuse Stars. The trophy is named after Frank Calder, the inaugural president of the National Hockey League.
Celebrating the 12th Championship for the Bears (2023), HHC volunteer Diane "Bunny" Yorty (nee Blinco) holds the Calder Cup, with the image of her dad, the first icon of the Bears franchise Lloyd Blinco, pictured second on the left.
Lloyd "Bull" Blinco
Many things get old...but something that never does, is bringing home "the Cup"!
Several who wore the chocolate and white in the earliest years of Hershey Hockey Club's existence created an atmosphere and set the stage for what would become the AHL's most successful franchise. One such individual who would play in the 1930s, later go on to coach, and serve as general manager and president of the Bears was Lloyd "Bull" Blinco. His contributions to hockey were recognized by his being the first hockey player inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and in the inaugural class of the Bears HOF.
From the hoisting of that first Calder Cup on April 15, 1947 to number twelve 76 years later, Hershey has established an unequalled level of success and accomplishment in the American Hockey League.
Hershey swept Cleveland 4-0 in the opening round outscoring the Barons 24 to 3. In the finals, Hershey shut out Pittsburgh 4 - 0 in game one before losing the next 3. Then, facing elimination, the Bears, with superb goal-tending from Gordie Henry, came back to win the final 3 games and clinch their first of 12 Calder Cups.
In those final 3 games, Henry shutdown the Hornets offense with shutouts in games 5 and 7 while the Chocolate and White outscored their opponents 10 to 1.
Amazingly, Hershey shut out their opponents in 5 of their 11 post-season games. A second truly remarkable feat occurred in that 1947 Calder Cup run when another Gordie, left-winger Gordie Bruce, went into game 7 of the finals playing with as many cracked ribs as goals he had scored in the finals - 3.
It looks like Gino Rozzini #20 (front row - 2nd from left) took a puck, stick, or fist to his right eye.
Actually, newspaper reports of a game on March 2, 1947 against the Providence Reds state that, "Midway in the second period Eddie Bush of the Reds was banished from the game and charged with deliberately injuring Gino Rozzini in a wild scramble behind the Providence net. Rozzini was pushed into the wire screen and suffered a deep gash around the right eye."
Gordie Henry (1948)