There’s not much else hockey-related going on in mid-July, so what better time is there to release next season’s schedule? The AHL did so today, meaning we get our first look at when and where Vancouver’s affiliate, the Utica Comets, will be playing their 76 American League games next season.
The 2017-18 schedule is out!
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) July 11, 2017
Here are some notes on the schedule:
- The Comets’ season kicks off October 7th in Toronto, where they’ll play back-to-back games against the Marlies.
- Utica will play more games over the next three and a half weeks before they finally play their home opener, set to go November 1st against the Rochester Americans.
- The Comets will play 14 back-to-backs, with eight of those containing travel in between (though in upstate New York, the travel is usually minimal).
- They play an additional five sets of three games in three nights, down from eight last season. However, four of the five three-in-three’s will take place in three different cities, with the remaining three-in-three still requiring traveling twice (an game in Belleville wrapped by two home games).
- Utica will also have 11 occasions on which it plays three games in four nights.
Here are also some extra notes on opponents:
- The Charlotte Checkers (CAR) will make their first ever appearance in the AUD on November 8th. The Comets and Checkers will face off four times next season after moving from the Western Conference to the East.
- The Comets will play the Laval Rocket (MTL), the Belleville Senators (OTT), and the Binghamton Devils (NJD) for the first time after each franchise relocates in the off season.
- The Comets and their archnemesis, the Syracuse Crunch will play 12 times next season, the most of any opponent. They’ll also play the Americans 10 times, and the Marlies, Devils, and Rocket eight times apiece.
- As in previous years, they will not play any games against the Western Conference, making Charlotte, North Carolina their Westernmost destination at 80° W.
Only 88 days until Comets hockey is back underway!