SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 regular-season schedule was announced by the American Hockey League on Tuesday. The Thunderbirds will play their second year at the MassMutual Center.
“We’re excited to be able to release our schedule much earlier in the summer than in years past for our fans,” said Thunderbirds Executive Vice President Nathan Costa in a news release. “We are especially excited about having two more Friday home games than we had in 2016-17 to provide our fans more marquee weekend dates. Between those dates and having three fewer three-game weekends, we look forward to providing our hockey team an even bigger home-ice advantage inside the MassMutual Center.”
Major Schedule Highlights
The Thunderbirds will kickoff the 2017-18 campaign with back-to-back games against the Providence Bruins on Saturday, October 7 and Friday, October 13 at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The Bruins will make their first appearance of the year in Springfield on Friday, October 20.
The 2017-18 home opener for the Thunderbirds will take place on Saturday, October 14 when they take on their I-91 rival, the Hartford Wolf Pack. It will be the first of 12 meetings between the two clubs. The Thunderbirds will play the Wolf Pack twice at home before heading to the XL Center on November 5.
The Thunderbirds will play the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the first time during the 2017-18 year at Webster Bank Arena on Saturday, November 4. The Sound Tigers will play in Springfield for the first time of the year on December 9.
The Thunderbirds will welcome three new teams as the Belleville Senators will come to town on Sunday, October 22 for an afternoon drop of the puck at 3:05 pm. The Laval Rocket will come to Springfield on Saturday night November 11 at 7:05 pm. The Binghamton Devils will head make their maiden voyage to Springfield on Friday, January 19.
The Thunderbirds will host their first-ever school day on Wednesday, November 15 against the Charlotte Checkers with a 10:30 am puck drop. The Checkers will be here for back-to-back games as it will be their first appearance in franchise history against the Thunderbirds. Thunderbirds Head Coach Geordie Kinnear was an assistant coach with the Checkers from 2010-16.
The Thunderbirds will have two five-game homestands, with the first one beginning on November 8-17 and the second one going from December 15-29.
The longest road trip for the Thunderbirds will be five-game trip beginning on March 17 going until 28, where they will visit Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Rochester, Toronto, and Hartford.
Games In Division
The entire 76-game slate for the Thunderbirds will be played against teams from the AHL Eastern Conference. Sixty of the 76 games will be played in the Atlantic Division (an even split of home and away games) with the remaining games against teams in the north division.
Belleville Senators – 2 games (1H, 1A)
Binghamton Devils – 2 games (1H, 1A)
Bridgeport Sound Tigers – 10 games (5H, 5A)
Charlotte Checkers – 8 games (4 H, 4A)
Hartford Wolf Pack- 12 games (6H, 6A)
Hershey Bears – 6 games (3H, 3A)
Laval Rocket – 2 games (1H, 1A)
Lehigh Valley Phantoms – 6 games (3H, 3A)
Providence Bruins – 13 games (7H, 6A)
Rochester Americans – 2 games (1H, 1A)
Syracuse Crunch – 2 games (1H, 1A)
Toronto Marlies- 2 games (1H, 1A)
Utica Comets – 4 games (2H, 2A)
W-B/Scranton Penguins – 3 games (2H, 1A)
October- 10 games (5H, 5A)
November- 13 games (8H, 5A)
December- 12 games (7H, 5A)
January- 12 games (6H, 6A)
February – 9 games (4H, 5A)
March- 14 games (6H, 8A)
April – 6 games (2H, 4A)
Weekday Games: Monday-Thursday (5H, 7A)
Weekend Games: Friday-Sunday (33H, 31A)
All home games will be at 7:05 pm Monday through Saturday except for November 15 and January 15 which will be at 10:30 am and a 1:05 pm puck drop. Games on Sunday afternoons will start at 3:05 pm.