The have three back-to-back games with the same team. The first with St. Johns, last season’s Manitoba Moose, on the road November 12 and 13 and then in Norfolk on January 13 and 14. They get a pair with Portland at home on March 18 and 23.
The Whale will also take part in two 11am starting times. The first in Bridgeport against the Sound Tigers on November 2nd and then at the XL Center on February 28th against the Worcester Sharks.
But here’s the interesting parts of the schedule as we see it… Lots of long spans of road games for the New York Rangers’ AHL affiliates.
Opening night is October 8th on the road in Adirondack with the Phantoms. That starts a run of 15 of the first 23 games on the bus. spanning until December 3rd.
The home opener is coming on October 14th when the team’s biggest rivals, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers come to the XL Center.
After finishing that much time on the road, the Whale will relax a bit in the final month of 2011 by playing the next 7-of-9 in Hartford before doing the next 7-of-9 on the road.
The Whale will play Springfield with a 5pm start on New Year’s Eve at the XL Center and then start the new year in Portland, Maine against the Pirates as the matinee game at 1pm to the Rangers’ Winter Classic in Philadelphia.
After The Whale have 6-of-7 at home between January 20th and February 7th, followed by another long run of road games 7-of-11 ending March 4th.
That run is followed by the span that is likely to make or break the Whale season. Mark it down on your calendar’s. From March 9 through April 6th the Whale have 11-of-13 games at home. If the team needs to make up points, or put a lock on a division, this will be when it happens. It could also bury them if they can’t come out with a strong home run…pardon the baseball pun.
The season ends much like it began with 4-of-the-final-5 on the road with the home season ending April 13th against Manchester and then coming to a close the next night in Syracuse.
Here’s the official release from the team:
WHALE ANNOUNCE 2011-12 GAME SCHEDULE
* * * *
Home Opener Saturday October 15th against State Rival Bridgeport
Fan Friendly Schedule has 32 Friday, Saturday or Sunday Games
HARTFORD, August 18, 2011: Whalers Sports and Entertainment today announced the Connecticut Whale’s schedule of games for the upcoming 2011-12 American Hockey League season. Hartford’s 15th season of AHL hockey, and the CT Whale’s first full season, commences with the road opener at the Glens Falls Civic Center Saturday, October 8 vs. the Adirondack Phantoms.
The Whale will play their festive home opener on Saturday, October 15 vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the XL Center, the first of 12 Saturday home games this season. Faceoff is at 7:00 PM. The Whale will also play 16 Friday-night home games and four Sunday home contests.
The rest of the home schedule consists of three Wednesday nights, including November 23rd (day before Thanksgiving), and three Tuesday games, among them a Tuesday, December 27th Holiday Week game and a special New Year’s Eve game at 5:00 PM.
“Through the combined efforts of the NY Rangers, AEG and our staff, we are thrilled to be able to offer our fans a schedule that is truly fan friendly,” said Whalers Sports and Entertainment president and COO Howard Baldwin, Jr. “We continue our quest to return Hartford to hockey supremacy and this schedule is an important tool for us to further our campaign.”
Faceoff for all non-Sunday home games is 7:00 PM, with the exclusion of Saturday, December 31, which will be a 5:00 PM start vs. the Springfield Falcons, and Tuesday, February 28, which will be an 11:00 AM start vs. the Worcester Sharks. Sunday home dates will all face off at 3:00 PM.
Once again this year, the Whale’s schedule is tailored to highlight their strong New England rivalries with familiar Northeast-Division opponents. The Whale will defend their GEICO Connecticut Cup title against the Sound Tigers 10 times (five home and five away) during the season, and will play I-91 rival Springfield 12 times. The Whale will play the rest of the Northeast Division, Adirondack and Albany, four times each (two home, two away), as well as traditional rivals Portland and Providence eight times each (four home, four away).
Season tickets for the Whale’s 2011-12 AHL season are on sale now. For information on season seats, and all of the Whale’s many ticketing options, visit www.ctwhale.com, or call the CT Whale ticket office at (860) 728-3366 to talk with an account executive today.