Coachella Valley Firebirds ask fans to stop eating chocolate while team faces Hershey Bears

Teams will do whatever it takes to win a championship. The American Hockey League’s Coachella Valley Firebirds are taking that mantra to a completely different level.

According to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, the Firebirds are actually asking their fans to give up all forms of chocolate while the team is facing the Hershey Bears in the Calder Cup Final. The team called for “a boycott and removal of all chocolate in the Coachella Valley, including chocolate bars, chocolate milk, chocolate ice cream, chocolate donuts, and chocolate chip cookies.”

The Bears, who are the AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals are from Hershey, Penn., which is the home of the popular Hershey candy company. As a result of the Bears calling “Chocolatetown USA” home, the Firebirds decided to come up with a campaign in which they’ve asked the team’s fanbase to stay away from the sugary treats for a few weeks.

“Our fans have been fantastic all year in terms of buying in and kind of doing whatever we kind of ask of them. So we were thinking of something to get a little rivalry going with the Hershey Bears,” Firebirds director of broadcast and communications Evan Pivnick said. “We knew there was going to be one on the ice. So we settled on a chocolate boycott in the Coachella Valley off the ice. Don’t buy any. Don’t eat any. Just one of those old school little [gimmicks] to keep it fun and light.”

Chocolate of course isn’t literally banned, as fans can still purchase the sweet treat at Coachella Valley home games. However, the team made a rather hilarious statement on social media regarding Hershey chocolate.

In a video that was posted to Coachella Valley’s Twitter account prior to the series getting underway, the team’s mascot, Fuego, was shown destroying some chocolate. Fuego could be seen throwing some of the chocolate in the trash, but there was one small problem. Some of the candy included M&Ms, which are made by Mars — not Hershey.

PSA: no chocolate allowed 🔥 #FiredUp

— x – Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) June 7, 2023
Since the Firebirds can’t exactly ban chocolate, they’ve also put together a chocolate exchange program. If fans bring chocolate to the arena, they’ll receive a bag of Brandini Toffee popcorn, which is made in nearby Rancho Mirage, Calif.

The chocolate ban was thought to be working in the early going of the series. The Firebirds outscored the Bears 9-0 in the opening two games of the Calder Cup Final and took a 2-0 series lead.

However, once the series shifted to Hershey, the Bears’ fortunes seemed to change. The Bears rallied to win Game 3, 5-4, in overtime thanks to a game-winning goal from forward Riley Sutter. Hershey continued to climb back into the Calder Cup Final in Game 4 as they earned a 3-2 win over the Firebirds thanks to a two-goal performance from forward Mike Vecchione.

The Calder Cup Final is currently tied at 2-2 with the Bears set to host the Firebirds in Game 5 in Hershey before the series moves back to Coachella Valley.

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