For the first time ever, the St. John’s IceCaps’ season-opening and home-opening games will be on the same day.
On Monday, the IceCaps announced they will start their 2013-14 American Hockey League season on Oct. 4 at Mile One against a yet-to-be-named opponent. It is the first time in the team’s three-year history that it will begin its schedule at home.
When teams start with away games — as St. John’s did in 2012 and 2013 — coaches often cite the advantage of early team bonding that the road brings. However, IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge is more than pleased his team’s schedule will commence at home.
“We spend enough time on the road so we’ll have lots of opportunity for bonding,” said McCambridge of the well-travelled IceCaps.
“The past two years, our fans have had to wait patiently to see our teams. Now, we’re finally starting at home, so the fans will be excited, we’re excited and everyone gets to share in that excitement.
“It should be great.”
Oct. 4 will be the starting date league-wide. That’s about one week earlier than last season.
A complete, detailed AHL schedule is expected be released later soon. Traditionally, the league has had to wait on the finalization of the National Basketball Association schedule so as to avoid conflicting dates in cities where AHL and NBA teams share the same building (Milwaukee, Charlotte, San Antonio and Lake Erie/Cleveland).
But AHL teams often announce a limited number of home dates in advance of the release of the full schedule.
The Oct. 4 game (Molson Canadian Opening Night), is among six home-game dates pre-confirmed by the IceCaps. The others are Saturday, Oct. 5; Friday, Nov. 8 (Rogers Special Event Night); Saturday, Nov. 9 (Remembrance Day ceremonies); Friday, Dec. 6 (NTV Teddy Toss); and Saturday, Dec. 7 (Purolator Shut Out Hunger Food Drive).