Hershey Bears' season starts Oct. 13

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There will be hockey starting in October, even if the NHL has a lockout. In the Hershey Bears, Washington Capitals fans have an American Hockey League team to pay attention to in the event of a work stoppage.

The Bears open the AHL season Oct. 13 at the Syracuse Crunch. Their home opener at Giant Center is Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. the Rochester Americans.

Hershey plays the Norfolk Admirals at Verizon Center Dec. 1. It hosts the AHL Outdoor Classic at Hersheypark Stadium Jan. 20 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

If the NHL season does not start on time, the Bears could have a few Capitals players on their roster. Guys on entry-level deals, like goaltender Braden Holtby, defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Marcus Johansson could play for Hershey if the Caps choose to let them.

Teams around the AHL could be stacked with NHL-caliber talent. But even having Orlov, Holtby and Johansson isn’t something Hershey coach Mark French wants, given what it would mean at the NHL level.

“I don’t think it’s a benefit to anybody if there’s a work stoppage. I think the NHL’s made some great strides and I think it would be tough. And it would be a little bit of an unknown to how that would affect them,” he said last month. “There certainly would be a psychological [advantage], I think, for a Dmitry Orlov. I think it’s somewhat easier to come down knowing that there’s a work stoppage.

“But at the same time they would have to be very mature in their approach knowing that they’re not playing at the NHL level. But the sell might be that there might be more NHL-caliber players playing at the American League level. So the quality of play would be better, but there would be certain things that you would have to deal with as a coach.”

Here’s the full schedule, courtesy of the Bears. Home games capitalized:

Saturday, October 13, 2012  7:30 PM  at Syracuse
Friday, October 19, 2012  7:05 PM  at Binghamton
Saturday, October 20, 2012  7:00 PM  ROCHESTER
Sunday, October 21, 2012  5:00 PM  BINGHAMTON
Friday, October 26, 2012  7:00 PM  at Connecticut
Saturday, October 27, 2012  7:00 PM  ALBANY
Sunday, October 28, 2012  5:00 PM  W-B/SCRANTON
Friday, November 2, 2012  7:00 PM  at Springfield
Saturday, November 3, 2012  7:00 PM  at Bridgeport
Friday, November 9, 2012  7:05 PM  at W-B/Scranton
Saturday, November 10, 2012  7:00 PM  ST. JOHN’S
Sunday, November 11, 2012  5:00 PM  PORTLAND
Friday, November 16, 2012  7:30 PM  at Syracuse
Saturday, November 17, 2012  7:00 PM  W-B/SCRANTON
Sunday, November 18, 2012  5:00 PM  SYRACUSE
Wednesday, November 21, 2012  7:00 PM  W-B/SCRANTON
Saturday, November 24, 2012  7:00 PM  at Adirondack
Sunday, November 25, 2012  5:00 PM  TORONTO
Wednesday, November 28, 2012  7:15 PM  at Norfolk
Friday, November 30, 2012  7:00 PM  BRIDGEPORT
Saturday, December 1, 2012  7:00 PM  NORFOLK
Thursday, December 6, 2012  7:00 PM  at Norfolk *
Friday, December 7, 2012  7:05 PM  at W-B/Scranton
Saturday, December 8, 2012  7:00 PM  HAMILTON
Tuesday, December 11, 2012  6:00 PM  at St. John’s
Wednesday, December 12, 2012  6:00 PM  at St. John’s
Saturday, December 15, 2012  7:00 PM  WORCESTER
Wednesday, December 19, 2012  7:00 PM  NORFOLK
Saturday, December 22, 2012  7:00 PM  SPRINGFIELD
Wednesday, December 26, 2012  7:00 PM  W-B/SCRANTON
Thursday, December 27, 2012  7:05 PM  at W-B/Scranton
Saturday, December 29, 2012  7:00 PM  ALBANY
Saturday, January 5, 2013  7:00 PM  BINGHAMTON
Sunday, January 6, 2013   5:00 PM  WORCESTER
Tuesday, January 8, 2013  7:00 PM  at Bridgeport
Friday, January 11, 2013  7:05 PM  at W-B/Scranton
Saturday, January 12, 2013  7:00 PM  CONNECTICUT
Sunday, January 13, 2013  5:00 PM  CONNECTICUT
Wednesday, January 16, 2013  7:00 PM  at Worcester
Friday, January 18, 2013  7:00 PM  LAKE ERIE
Sunday, January 20, 2013  5:00 PM  W-B/SCRANTON #
Friday, January 25, 2013  7:00 PM  ST. JOHN’S
Saturday, January 26, 2013  7:05 PM  at Binghamton
Saturday, February 2, 2013  7:00 PM  MANCHESTER
Sunday, February 3, 2013  2:00 PM  W-B/SCRANTON
Tuesday, February 5, 2013  7:00 PM  at Lake Erie
Saturday, February 9, 2013  7:00 PM  BINGHAMTON
Sunday, February 10, 2013  5:00 PM  NORFOLK
Friday, February 15, 2013  7:30 PM  at Hamilton
Saturday, February 16, 2013  3:00 PM  at Toronto
Sunday, February 17, 2013  3:05 PM  at Rochester
Friday, February, 22, 2013  7:05 PM  at Binghamton
Saturday, February 23, 2013  7:00 PM  ADIRONDACK
Sunday, February 24, 2013  4:00 PM  at Albany &
Friday, March 1, 2013   7:05 PM  at W-B/Scranton
Saturday, March 2, 2013   7:00 PM  NORFOLK
Sunday, March 3, 2013   5:00 PM  SYRACUSE
Friday, March 8, 2013   7:30 PM  at Norfolk
Saturday, March 9, 2013   7:15 PM  at Norfolk
Sunday, March 10, 2013   5:00 PM  BINGHAMTON
Saturday, March 16, 2013  7:00 PM  BRIDGEPORT
Sunday, March 17, 2013   5:00 PM  ADIRONDACK
Friday, March 22, 2013   7:00 PM  at Connecticut
Saturday, March 23, 2013  7:00 PM  at Manchester
Sunday, March 24, 2013   3:00 PM  at Worcester
Friday, March 29, 2013   7:00 PM  at Albany
Saturday, March 30, 2013  7:00 PM  PROVIDENCE
Friday, April 5, 2013   7:30 PM  at Syracuse
Saturday, April 6, 2013   7:00 PM  SYRACUSE
Sunday, April 7, 2013   3:05 PM  at W-B/Scranton
Friday, April 12, 2013   7:05 PM  at Providence
Saturday, April 13, 2013  7:00 PM  at Manchester
Sunday, April 14, 2013   4:00 PM  at Portland
Friday, April 19, 2013   7:00 PM  at Adirondack
Saturday, April 20, 2013  7:05 PM  at Binghamton
Sunday, April 21, 2013   5:00 PM  MANCHESTER

* at Verizon Center
# Capital BlueCross AHL Outdoor Classic at HERSHEYPARK Stadium, Hershey, PA
& at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

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