PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (WHTM) — The Hershey Bears are in California for the start of the 2023 Calder Cup Finals against the Coachella Valley Firebirds.

The Bears will look to win their 12th Calder Cup in the 24th Finals appearance.

Hershey made the trip to California on Tuesday, will practice Wednesday afternoon ahead of Thursday’s Game 1. Coachella Valley plays at Acrisure Arena outside of Palm Springs, California.

The Firebirds will host the first two games of the Calder Cup Finals on Thursday and Saturday, before the series returns to Hershey for Games 3, 4 and if necessary, 5.

Hershey is the oldest and most successful franchise in the American Hockey League, with 11 Calder Cup victories. This will be the Hershey Bears 24th Calder Cup Finals appearance.

Coachella Valley is the newest team in the AHL, joining the league in 2022 in their inaugral season. The Firebirds are the AHL affiliate of the NHL expansion team the Seattle Kraken.

The Bears were the second-best team in the Atlantic Division with a 44-19-5-4 record. The Firebirds posted a 48-17-5-2 record in the regular season, also good for second in their division (Pacific).

The Hershey Bears defeated Charlotte 3-1 in the Atlantic Division Semifinals; swept Hartford 3-0 in the Division Finals; then outlasted Rochester 4-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Coachella Valley defeated Tucson 2-1 in the Pacific Division first round; took down Colorado 3-2 in the Pacific Division Semifinals; beat Calgary 3-2 in the Division Finals; then took care of Milwaukee 4-2 in the Western Conference Finals.

The Calder Cup Finals will begin in Thousand Palms, California on Thursday, June 8.