T-Birds Unveil 2018-19 ScheduleJul 11, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – On Wednesday, the Springfield Thunderbirds, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, released their full schedule for the 2018-19 regular season, presented by MGM Springfield. The Thunderbirds will also be the proud hosts of the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic, presented by MGM Springfield, taking place Jan. 27-28 at the MassMutual Center.
The Thunderbirds will compete in the AHL’s Atlantic Division, which will see no change in layout from the 2017-18 season. However, the North Division of the Eastern Conference will now feature the Cleveland Monsters, who move to the East to account for the addition of the expansion Colorado Eagles in the Western Conference. For the first time in AHL history, the league will be comprised of 31 teams. Springfield will face every Eastern Conference team at least twice during the 2018-19 regular season, excluding Cleveland and the Belleville Senators.
The 76-game regular season schedule includes 38 home and 38 away games. The Thunderbirds will open the new season on the road in Wilkes-Barre against the Penguins on Sat., Oct. 6 at 7:05 p.m.
The Thunderbirds will face the Providence Bruins on home ice seven times in 2018-19, the most of any opponent on the team’s schedule. Matchups will take place on Sun., Oct. 14 at 3:05 p.m., and at 7:05 p.m. on each of the following nights: Sat., Oct. 27; Sat., Dec. 22; Sat., Jan. 5; Sat., Jan. 12; Sat., March 2; and Sat., April 13.
After starting the season in Wilkes-Barre, the Thunderbirds will visit the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Fri., Oct. 12 to begin a home-and-home series with their division rivals. Springfield hosts the Phantoms for the home opener at the MassMutual Center on Sat., Oct. 13 at the MassMutual Center at 7:05 p.m., which could mark the return of winger Paul Thompson as he begins his second stint with the Florida Panthers organization.
Springfield will play a total of 56 games against Atlantic Division opponents, including 28 at the MassMutual Center. In addition to the seven matchups with the Providence Bruins, the Thunderbirds will host the I-91 rival Hartford Wolf Pack on five occasions at the MassMutual Center: on Sun., Oct. 28 at 3:05 p.m., and at 7:05 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 1; Fri., March 1; Sat., March 9; and Weds., April 3.
For a second straight season, the Thunderbirds will play host to a School Day Game in the month of November, hosting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Weds., Nov. 14 at 10:35 a.m. for the clubs' first meeting in Springfield during the 2018-19 season. Springfield will face the Penguins three times on home ice by season’s end. The Thunderbirds will also be hosts to division opponents Bridgeport (five times), Hershey (three times), Lehigh Valley (three times), and Charlotte (twice).
The Thunderbirds will play 20 games (10 home, 10 road) against teams from the AHL’s North Division, including more frequent matchups with the Laval Rocket, Syracuse Crunch, Binghamton Devils, and Utica Comets – all of whom Springfield will host twice at the MassMutual Center. New Thunderbirds defenseman Jacob MacDonald, a reigning AHL All-Star, could face his former Devils teammates for the first time on Sun, Dec. 9 on home ice for a 3:05 p.m. puck drop.
The Thunderbirds will look to carry on the momentum from a successful 2017-18 season on home ice, which saw the team win 19 games and post a .553 points percentage at their home venue. In their two-year history, the Thunderbirds hold a winning record of 38-31-5-2 at the MassMutual Center.
Springfield Thunderbirds 2018-19 Schedule Breakdown:
Start Times at Home:
Mondays: 1:05 p.m. ET (Jan. 21 vs. LAV: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
Wednesdays: 10:35 a.m. ET (Nov. 14 vs. WBS: School Day Game); 7:05 p.m. ET on all other occasions
Fridays/Saturdays: 7:05 p.m. ET
Sundays: 3:05 p.m. ET
Total Weekend Games (Friday - Sunday) Home/Away: 31/35
Total Weekday Games (Monday - Thursday) Home/Away: 7/3
Atlantic Division Games Home/Away: 56 total – 28/28
North Division Games Home/Away: 20 total – 10/10
Monthly breakdown Home/Away: Oct. 8 total - 4/4, Nov. 11 total - 7/4, Dec. 14 total - 9/5, Jan. 13 total- 5/8, Feb. 10 total - 5/5, Mar. 14 total - 5/9, Apr. 6 total – 3/3
Three-games-in-three nights - 11
First 38 Games Home/Away – 24/14
Last 38 Games Home/Away – 14/24
In addition to the Thunderbirds’ regular season highlights, the AHL’s best will meet in Springfield on Jan. 27-28 for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. The weekend will begin with the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 27, featuring the following events: Puck Control Relay, Fastest Skater, Rapid Fire, Hardest Shot, Accuracy Shooting, Pass and Score, and Breakaway Relay.
The next day, Monday, Jan. 28, will begin with the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony in the morning, with the 2019 AHL All-Star Challenge taking place that evening. The All-Star Challenge consists of a round-robin, 3-on-3 tournament pitting the four AHL divisions against one another.
Tickets for the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic are priced at $39, $49, $59 and $99, and include admission to both the Skills Competition on Jan. 27 and the All-Star Challenge on Jan. 28.
Springfield Thunderbirds fans are encouraged to visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com to learn more about 2018-19 Thunderbirds Season Ticket Memberships. Packages include a wide range of benefits, including the lowest prices for the 2019 AHL All Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. For more information or to order now, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.