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February 25, 2017

Hershey Bears and Lehigh Valley Phantoms set to play outdoor game in 2018

Hockey AHL

Two of Pennsylvania's minor league hockey teams will play each other in an outdoor matchup at the beginning of 2018.

Shortly before the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins were set to play at Heinz Field Saturday night as part of the NHL's ongoing Stadium Series, the Hershey Bears announced they'll square off against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Hersheypark Stadium.

The AHL, the NHL's highest level of minor league hockey, first started hosting outdoor games in 2010. Since then, two have been held in Pennsylvania: one in 2012 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia between the Bear and the Phantoms — who were based in Glens Falls, New York, at the time — and one in Hershey in 2013 between the Bears and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The game in Philadelphia was held in front of an AHL-record 45,653 fans. For the first game held at Hersheypark Stadium, used mainly for football, 17,311 fans showed up.

This will be the first time the Phantoms, the Flyers' AHL affiliate, have played in an outdoor game since moving to the Lehigh Valley in 2014.

Hershey Bears season ticket holders will have first dibs on tickets. The date for public ticket sales will be announced on an unspecified later date.

The game will mark the AHL's 80th anniversary.