The Rochester Americans announced today their schedule for the 2016-17 American Hockey League regular season. The Amerks will open their 61st AHL season – and 35th as the affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres – at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 14 versus the Hershey Bears at The Blue Cross Arena.
The Amerks, who remain in the North Division of the Eastern Conference, will again play a 76-game regular season schedule (38 home games and 38 road games). Head Coach Dan Lambert and the Amerks will play 26 of their 38 home games on weekends, with 20 Friday home games, three Saturday home dates and three Sunday home outings. The team will also host 10 games on Wednesdays and two Monday games.
Rochester will play all 76 of its games against Eastern Conference opponents this season, with 52 coming against their North Division rivals and 24 versus teams from the Atlantic Division. The breakdown of North Division games includes 10 (five home, five road) against the Syracuse Crunch and Toronto Marlies, and eight games apiece (four home, four road) against the Albany Devils, Binghamton Senators, St. John’s IceCaps and Utica Comets.
The remaining 24 games against Atlantic Division teams includes four each (two home, two road) versus the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Springfield Thunderbirds. The Amerks round out the schedule with two games (one home, one road) against both the Providence Bruins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
All home games will start at 7:05 p.m. this season, with the exception of the three Sunday games, which will begin at 3:05 p.m. or 5:05 p.m.
For the fifth straight year, the Amerks will host a game at Buffalo’s First Niagara Center when they face-off against Utica on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7:05 p.m.
Some other home games of interest and annual promotional dates include games the day before Thanksgiving (Wednesday, Nov. 23 vs. Providence) as well as Black Friday (Friday, Nov. 25 vs. Utica); the Kid’s Day game against Binghamton on Sunday, Feb. 19; Irish Night on Friday, Mar. 10 when the Amerks host St. John’s; the second visit of the season from Hershey on Friday, Apr. 7; and Fan Appreciation Night on Friday, Apr. 14 against Albany. Information on additional promotional nights will be announced at later dates.
Rochester’s longest homestand of the 2016-17 campaign is a five-game stretch beginning Saturday, Dec. 17 and concluding Friday, Dec. 30 as the Amerks stay home for the holidays. The longest string of road games is four games, which occurs two different times. Rochester has a total of 10 “three-in-three” situations on the docket.