FORMER MINNESOTA UNIVERSITY goaltender Adam Wilcox will be back for a second season with the Rochester Americans.
Photo courtesy of the Rochester Americans
ROCHESTER – The Rochester Americans have announced their 2018-19 American Hockey League regular-season schedule. The Amerks will open their 63rd AHL season – and 37th as an affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres –Friday, Oct. 5 at 7:05 p.m. against the Charlotte Checkers at The Blue Cross Arena.
The opener is part of a three-game homestand for Rochester, which will host the Checkers again in a Saturday, Oct. 6 rematch before hosting North Division rival Syracuse Crunch Wednesday, Oct. 10.
The Amerks, who play in the North Division of the Eastern Conference, will again contest a 76-game regular-season schedule (38 home and 38 away) against 15 of the AHL’s 31 teams. Second-year head coach Chris Taylor’s squad will play 27 home games on weekends, with 20 Friday home games, four Saturdays and three Sundays. They will also host 11 Wednesday games, two more than last season.
For a third straight year, Rochester will play all 76 games solely against Eastern Conference opponents, with 54 against North Division rivals and 22 versus teams from the Atlantic Division. The North Division expands to eight teams in 2018-19 by welcoming the Cleveland Monsters, who played in the Central Division the two previous campaigns. The North Division includes the Belleville Senators, Binghamton Devils, Laval Rocket, Syracuse, Toronto Marlies and Utica Comets.
As in 2017-18, Rochester faces Syracuse more than any other team as the Amerks and Crunch are set to meet 12 times (six home, six road). The Amerks will play Binghamton and Utica 10 times each (five home, five road) and will face-off against Cleveland, the top developmental team of the Columbus Blue Jackets, eight times (four home, four road). Rochester’s remaining Divisional matchups also include six (three home, three road) against the defending Calder Cup champion Toronto Marlies, and four each (two home, two road) against Belleville and Laval.
The Amerks will again play the entire Atlantic Division this coming season, with four matchups (two home, two road) each against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolf Pack and Charlotte Checkers, who joined the Eastern Conference prior to the 2017-18 campaign. They will also face the Providence Bruins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins twice (one home, one road), while also playing the Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Springfield Thunderbirds for a pair of meetings (one home, one road).
The AHL has expanded to an all-time high 31 teams with the Colorado Eagles set to make their franchise debut. The Eagles, who spent the last seven seasons competing in the ECHL, as well as eight in the Central Hockey League before that, will serve as the top developmental team for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and will become the seventh team in the Pacific Division.
All home games will start at 7:05 p.m. this season, except for the three Sunday games, which will see the faceoff at 3:05 p.m. The only other exclusion will be Rochester’s game on Saturday, Dec. 22 against Hartford, which is scheduled for a 5:05 p.m. start before the team heads into the Christmas break.
For the eighth straight year, the Amerks will play a game at Buffalo’s KeyBank Center when they host the Cleveland Monsters Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 7:05 p.m. Rochester is 5-2-0-0 while playing in Buffalo since the Sabres and Amerks renewed their affiliation prior to the 2011-12 campaign.
The Amerks’ busiest month of the season is March, when the team plays a total of 14 times. They skate seven times at home and on the road, including a busy stretch of eight games over the final 15 days to conclude the month. Rochester spends the most time at home in December with eight games within The Blue Cross Arena. Four of which come over the team’s final six contests to close out the 2018 calendar year. The team will play three-straight at home – highlighted by a back-to-back set against Hartford Friday, Dec. 21 and Saturday, Dec. 22. February and March have the Amerks playing the most road games in any month with seven each, including three separate trips to Utica over a three-week span to close out February.
Rochester’s longest homestand of the 2018-19 campaign is three games, occurring three different times, including the first trio of games in early October. The second comes just weeks later, beginning Friday, Oct. 26 against Utica and concluding Friday, Nov. 2 with the first half of a home-and-home series against the Hershey Bears. Rochester’s longest string of road games this coming season is also three games, which will happen on four separate occasions.
Rochester has five “three-in-three” situations on the schedule, up from four last season. The Amerks will be in action three straight nights when they embark on their annual weekend trek through the Atlantic Division with stops in Springfield Friday, Nov. 16, Providence Saturday, Nov. 17 and Hartford Sunday, Nov. 18. The Amerks will also have another three-in-three stretch in February, two in March and one over the final weekend in April to close out the regular season.
Information on promotional and annual theme nights will be announced at later dates.
Amerks 2018-19 season ticket memberships, which start as low as $12 per game, are on-sale now. Full-season ticket member benefits include, but are not limited to, Riverside Club VIP Room access with Amerks Alumni, family meet and greet and annual Skate with the Players event, an exclusive preseason Ice Breaker Party and Chalk Talk with the Amerks coaching staff, a season ticket member ID and discount card and much more. For additional information, visit www.amerks.com/ seasontickets or call 1-855-GO-AMERKS.