The Rochester Americans announced today their regular season schedule for the 2013-14 American Hockey League season. The Amerks will open their 58th AHL season – and 32nd as the affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres – at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4 versus the defending Calder Cup Champion Grand Rapids Griffins at The Blue Cross Arena.
All AHL teams will again play a 76-game regular season schedule, including 38 home games and 38 road games. Head Coach Chadd Cassidy and the Amerks will play the majority of their home games on weekends, with 19 Friday home games, three Saturday home dates and two Sunday home outings. The team will also host 13 games on Wednesdays and one Monday game.
The start times for Amerk home games will stay consistent with last season. All games will all start at 7:05 p.m., with the exception of the Sunday games, which will begin at 3:05 p.m. (Feb. 16 vs. Texas) or 5:05 p.m. (Mar. 9 vs. Oklahoma City), and the lone Monday game, which takes place on Veterans Day (Nov. 11 vs. Lake Erie) and will start at 3:05 p.m. Another change from last year’s schedule is a reduced number of three-games-in-three-nights sets for the Amerks. Rochester will play just three sets of back-to-back-to-back games this season after playing six such sets last season and 10 sets the year before that.
The Amerks, who will remain in the North Division of the Western Conference, will play 16 of the AHL’s other 29 teams over the course of the 2013-14 season. While Rochester will once again be joined in the North Division by the Hamilton Bulldogs, Lake Erie Monsters and Toronto Marlies, the new Utica Comets franchise will replace the Abbotsford Heat as members of the North this season. As for divisional play, the Amerks will face Lake Erie 10 times (five home, five road), Toronto 10 times (five home, five road), Utica 10 times (five home, five road) and Hamilton eight times (four home, four road).
In addition to squaring off with its North Division rivals a total of 38 times, Rochester will also play against Syracuse eight times (four home, four road), Binghamton eight times (four home, four road), Grand Rapids four times (two home, two road), and twice each (one home, one road) versus Chicago, Hershey, Iowa, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Rockford, San Antonio, Texas and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Chicago and Rockford will be making their first appearances in Rochester since the 2008-09 season, while Milwaukee has not skated at The Blue Cross Arena since 2006-07. Iowa, meanwhile, will be based in Des Moines after moving from Houston during the off-season.
Some highlights of Rochester’s schedule include the first-ever outdoor game in franchise history on Friday, Dec. 13 at Frontier Field versus Lake Erie as part of the “Frozen Frontier presented by Rochester Area Honda Dealers” festivities, as well as a home game at Buffalo’s First Niagara Center against Grand Rapids on Saturday, Feb. 8 (a change from the previously announced date of Wednesday, Oct. 30).
Other home games of interest include the first-ever visit from the Utica Comets on Friday, Oct. 11; a Veterans Day matinee against Lake Erie on Monday, Nov. 11 at 3:05 p.m.; another date with the Monsters the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 29), the return of the Chicago Wolves to Rochester (Wednesday, Jan. 29); and the renewal of the AHL’s oldest rivalry when the Hershey Bears come to Rochester on Friday, Feb. 7. The home schedule is also dotted with visits from some more unfamiliar opponents, including Rockford (Friday, Jan. 31); the first-ever visit from the Iowa Wild (Wednesday, Feb. 19); and Milwaukee (Wednesday, March 26). The regular season home finale is slated for Friday, Apr. 18 against Syracuse.
Rochester’s longest road trip is a six-game trek that begins in Hamilton on Jan. 11, continues to Texas on Jan. 15, then takes the Amerks through Oklahoma City (Jan. 17), San Antonio (Jan. 18) and Lake Erie (Jan. 23) before concluding in Binghamton (Jan. 25).
Rochester’s busiest month of the season will be November when the team plays 14 games, including seven at home and seven on the road. February features a heavy home schedule, with eight of the Amerks’ 12 games during the month taking place at The Blue Cross Arena. The schedule will also see the Amerks play seven games (four home, three road) in the month of October, nine games (five home, four road) in December, 12 games (four home, eight road) in January, 13 games (six home, seven road) in March, and nine games (four home, five road) in April. In addition to the AHL regular season, the Amerks will also travel to Davos, Switzerland, from December 26-31 for the prestigious Spengler Cup tournament.
Amerks Full-Season, Half-Season, Freedom Packs and 12-Game ticket packages for the 2013-14 season are now on sale. For more information, visit www.amerks.com or call 1-855-GO-AMERKS.