With the 2013-14 AHL Season quickly approaching, every fan has several important games highlighted on their calendar. We will now take a look at several important games that no doubt many fans will keep a close eye on.
No doubt, there is no game as important as opening night in the AHL. On October 4th, 10 teams will take to the ice to begin the season. If teams want to get off on the right foot, here is their chance to set the tone early, and to portray just what talents they will bring to the upcoming season.
On April 20th, the Manchester Monarchs and the Portland Pirates will close out the regular season in a matinee matchup. This past season, 3-teams missed the playoffs by only 2-points, and this is a fine indication of just how important big games are down the stretch, and the same could prove true with this late divisional matchup.
Two new AHL teams will take to the ice to impress hometown fans this season. The Iowa Stars, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild will play their first game at home against the Oklahoma City Barons on October 12th. Meanwhile, the Utica Comets, AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks will face square off against the Albany Devils in front of hometown fans on October 23rd.
New Team Faceoff
On Sunday, March 30th, both the Iowa Stars and Utica Comets will face off in New York in a battle of the two new franchises to prove which team is the best. This is the only meeting this season between the two clubs.
The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins will seek revenge after losing in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Syracuse Crunch last season when the team hosts the Crunch on October 13th. The Oklahoma City Barons will also seek revenge when the face off against the Grand Rapids Griffins on February 21st in the first meeting between the two clubs since their Western crown battle.
A Summer Of Waiting
Last season, the Hershey Bears claimed 8th in the East, sitting two points ahead of the Norfolk Admirals. On October 27th the two clubs will faceoff to decide who really deserved the 8th place position. As well, in the West, the same situation will prevail for the Milwaukee Admirals and the Rockford IceHogs, as the two clubs square off on November 1st. Last season, Milwaukee finished 2 points ahead of the IceHogs, eliminating them from the playoffs.
There are two occasions this season in which all 30 AHL teams are in action. Saturday, January 11th is the first time, as well, February 22nd all 30 teams will hit the ice.
Taking It Outdoors
The AHL will see two outdoor contests this season. The Rochester Americans will battle the Lake Erie Monsters at Frontier Field on December 13th. As well, on December 30th, the Grand Rapids Griffins will face the Toronto Marlies at the Comerica Park in Detroit.
The 2014 AHL All-Star Classic will be held February 11th and 12th this season, although there are no details available on the event yet, they will be released shortly.
Favourite Team Faceoff
Finally, one of my favourite games this season will no doubt be on October 4th, as my St. John’s IceCaps open the season at home for the first time in franchise history in a big divisional tilt against the Providence Bruins. Puck drop is 7:30 Newfoundland time, and it will be the first opening faceoff in the AHL this season to kick off what is sure to be a great AHL season!
No doubt, there are many different games which fans are looking forward to, but hopefully we've covered most of the important games this season. Either way, with just over a month until the new season begins, there are more than enough reasons to be excited for the new season to begin!