The Hershey Bears got in a little extra ice time on Tuesday afternoon, sticking around after practice to play with a pair of local American Special Hockey Association teams.
York’s Polar Bears and the Hershey Heroes hung around to skate, shoot, and meet with a few members of the Bears team, and the team sported the special autism awareness jerseys that they will be wearing for their home game on March 16.
“(We) Got to meet some really cool kids,” said defenseman Beck Malenstyn. “Any chance we get to give back to the community is really important to me individually and, as a group, we love it, so any chance we get to come out here and joke around is great.”
The experience was a nostalgic one for Malenstyn.
“We know that we’re people in the community that the kids look up to,” he explained. “I mean as a kid, I watched a lot of hockey games — any chance you can get to get out there with players was huge, so I’ve always enjoyed being able to come out here and give back any little bit that I can.”
The Bears take the ice next on Wednesday at GIANT Center to host the Springfield Thunderbirds.