2016-17 Regular Season Schedule UnveiledAug 22, 2016
Springfield, MA – The Springfield Thunderbirds, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, released their full 2016-17 season schedule on Monday.
The Thunderbirds will compete in the Atlantic Division. The AHL will now feature 14 Eastern Conference teams following the movement of the Tucson Roadrunners franchise to the 16-team Western Conference.
The 76-game regular-season schedule includes 38 home and 38 away games, each against Eastern Conference opponents. The Thunderbirds begin the next era of AHL hockey in Springfield when they take to the road against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Thunderbirds will play each of their first three games away from home before returning to the MassMutual Center for the home opener on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:05 p.m. ET against the St. John’s Ice Caps. The home debut marks the first of three straight contests on home ice for Springfield, as they will welcome the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Friday, Oct. 28 and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday, Oct. 29. Both games will be a 7:05 p.m. ET start.
Springfield will play a total of 52 games against Atlantic Division rivals, including 26 at the MassMutual Center. The Providence Bruins make their first visit to the MassMutual Center on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Thunderbirds will also host the Bruins in Springfield for games on Dec. 3, Jan. 7, Jan. 14, April 1, and April 12.
The Hartford Wolf Pack pays its first visit to the MassMutual Center on Friday, Dec. 30 at 7:05 p.m. ET. Additionally, the Thunderbirds will play host to the Wolf Pack in Springfield on Feb. 10, Feb. 25, March 11, and April 15.
Other first-time matchups in Springfield include tangles with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (Friday, Oct. 28, 7:05 p.m. ET) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Saturday, Oct. 29, 7:05 p.m. ET).
The Hershey Bears, the defending Eastern Conference champions, will make their first trip to the MassMutual Center on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:05 p.m. ET.
In addition to games against their Atlantic Division foes, the Thunderbirds will also skate in 24 games (12 home, 12 road) against teams from the AHL’s North Division. Included in those matchups is a trio of games north of the border. Springfield will play in St. John’s on Dec. 9-10 against the Ice Caps, and then they will travel to Toronto on March 25 for a contest against the Marlies.
Prior to those Canadian trips, Springfield will play host to three North Division teams over an eight-day stretch from Sunday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 13, with games against the Binghamton Senators, Ice Caps, and Rochester Americans respectively.
The Thunderbirds will end their season with a three-game homestand, which ties for the longest such stretch of the season, with three games in four nights from Wednesday, April 12 through Saturday, April 15. Springfield’s two longest road swings are each four-game trips in the month of December. The first will see the Thunderbirds play four games between Sunday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 10 against Providence, Hartford and twice against St. John’s. After a brief stop at home on Friday, Dec. 16 against the Binghamton Senators, the Thunderbirds will hit the road once again for four games between Saturday, Dec. 17 and Wednesday, Dec. 28. The road trip will also be split up by the AHL holiday break.
Springfield Thunderbirds 2016-17 Schedule Breakdown:
Start Times at Home:
Mondays: 1:05 p.m. ET (Jan. 16 vs. LV: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
Tuesday - Saturday: 7:05 p.m. ET
Sundays: 3:05 p.m. ET (four times), 5:05 p.m. ET (Nov. 6 vs. BNG)
Total Weekend Games (Friday - Sunday) Home/Away: 33/30
Total Weekday Games (Monday - Thursday) Home/Away: 5/8
Atlantic Division Games Home/Away: 52 total - 26/26
North Division Games Home/Away: 24 total - 12/12
Monthly breakdown Home/Away: Oct. 7 total - 3/4, Nov. 11 total - 6/5, Dec. 12 total - 4/8, Jan. 13 total - 9/4, Feb. 12 total - 6/6, Mar. 14 total - 6/8, Apr. 7 total - 4/3
Three-games-in-three nights - 12
First 38 Games Home/Away – 19/19
Last 38 Games Home/Away – 19/19
Prior to the regular season, the Thunderbirds will host a pair of preseason games at the MassMutual Center on Friday, Oct. 7 against the Providence Bruins and Saturday, Oct. 8 against the Hartford Wolf Pack. Both games are set for 7:05 p.m. ET puck drops.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages start at $12 per game and feature the most benefits, including an exclusive commemorative jersey. For more information, fans may call the Thunderbirds ticket office at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).