League action at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton. Bulldogs’ defenceman Greg Pateryn is too late with a check on Klingberg. The IceCaps and Bulldogs are expected to hook up in
an AHL pre-season exhibition series in Newfoundland in early October, with one game to be played in Grand Falls-Windsor. — File photo/Hamilton Bulldogs
It seems the St. John’s IceCaps will begin their 2014-15 American Hockey League season on the road.
The IceCaps haven’t released their schedule for the upcoming season, but on Tuesday, the team did reveal eight guaranteed home dates, including their home-opener on Oct. 17 at Mile One Centre.
With the AHL season set to begin the week of Oct. 10, that means the IceCaps appear set to open their campaign with a short road trip, much like they did in their inaugural season, 2011-12, when the team played its first-ever game in Providence, R.I., against the Bruins, and followed up with a game against the Manchester Monarchs before heading back to St. John’s for its first homestand.
The full AHL schedule is expected to be released within a week, and while the IceCaps’ opponent for their 2014-15 home-opener hasn’t been formally announced, word is that it will be the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
While Wilkes-Barre isn’t a divisional opponent for St. John’s, it can be seen as somewhat of an arch-rival, given two hard-fought playoff series between the teams, including the Eastern Conference final won by the IceCaps this past spring.
It would also mean St. John’s would raise its conference championship banner in the presence of the team it defeated for that honour.
Meanwhile, the IceCaps have yet to detail their plans for training camp, although it is known it will start on the weekend of Sept. 28. As well, Matt Molloy of the Grand Falls Advertiser/TC Media has learned the IceCaps are booking Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor for an Oct. 2 exhibition game against the Hamilton Bulldogs.
That’s a pretty good indication the Bulldogs, the AHL farm club of the Montreal Canadiens, will be the IceCaps’ opponents in the preseason Mary’s Cup tourney, traditionally a three-game series. In years past, the farm teams of the Tampa Bay Lightning have provided the Mary’s Cup opposition for the IceCaps.
Note: The IceCaps’ Other confirmed home dates are Saturday, Oct. 18; Friday, Jan. 9; Saturday, Jan. 10; Friday, Jan.16; Saturday, Jan. 17; Friday, March 13, and Saturday, March 14