Thunderbirds Reveal 2017-18 Regular Season ScheduleJul 11, 2017
Springfield, MA – On Tuesday, the Springfield Thunderbirds, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, released their full schedule for the 2017-18 season, presented by MGM Springfield.
"We're excited to be able to release our schedule much earlier in the summer than in years past for our wonderful fans," said Thunderbirds Executive Vice President Nathan Costa. "We are especially excited about having two more Friday home games than we had in 2016-17 to provide our fans more marquee weekend dates. Between those dates and having three fewer three-game weekends, we look forward to providing our hockey team an even bigger home-ice advantage inside the MassMutual Center."
The Thunderbirds will compete in the new-look Atlantic Division, which welcomes the Charlotte Checkers for the new season. Charlotte’s move to the Eastern Conference means there will be 15 teams each in the Eastern and Western Conferences. First-year teams will also take to the ice in the form of the Binghamton Devils, Laval Rocket, and Belleville Senators, each of which will compete in the North Division of the Eastern Conference.
The 76-game regular season schedule includes 38 home and 38 away games, all of which will take place against Eastern Conference opponents. The Thunderbirds will open their second season on the road in Providence against the Bruins on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7:05 p.m. It is the first of 14 contests between the two rivals, with seven games each inside the MassMutual Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Arena.
Springfield will host the Bruins on the following dates: Friday, Oct. 20 (7:05 p.m. ET), Sunday, Nov. 12 (3:05 p.m. ET), Saturday, Dec. 23 (7:05 p.m. ET), Saturday, Jan. 6 (7:05 p.m. ET), Saturday, Jan. 27 (7:05 p.m. ET), Saturday, Feb. 17 (7:05 p.m. ET), and Saturday, April 14 (7:05 p.m. ET).
After another road meeting with the Bruins on Friday, Oct. 13 (7:05 p.m. ET), the Thunderbirds will return home for a three-game homestand. It kicks off with the Thunderbirds home opener on Saturday, Oct. 14 against the Hartford Wolf Pack at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Thunderbirds will then host the Toronto Marlies on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3:05 p.m. ET before welcoming the Bruins to the MassMutual Center for the first time on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Springfield will play a total of 60 games against Atlantic Division opponents, including 30 at the MassMutual Center. In addition to the seven matchups with the Providence Bruins, the Thunderbirds will also host their I-91 rival Hartford Wolf Pack six times at the MassMutual Center as part of a 12-game season series against the Pack.
Springfield will host Hartford on home opening night on Oct. 14, as well as on Friday, Nov. 3 (7:05 p.m. ET), Sunday, Nov. 26 (3:05 p.m. ET), Saturday, Dec. 16 (7:05 p.m. ET), Monday, Jan. 15 (1:05 p.m. ET), and Friday, March 2 (7:05 p.m. ET).
Thunderbirds head coach Geordie Kinnear will get his first matchup against his former team, the Charlotte Checkers, for a pair of games on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and Friday, Nov. 17. Kinnear was an assistant coach for the Checkers from 2010 until his hiring by the Thunderbirds in 2016. The game on Wednesday, Nov. 15 will be the first school day game in Thunderbirds history, with the puck dropping at 10:30 a.m. ET. The two teams will then reconvene on Nov. 17 for a 7:05 p.m. ET faceoff.
Springfield will host the three newest AHL franchises once each at the MassMutual Center. They will welcome the Belleville Senators on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 3:05 p.m. ET. They will then host the Laval Rocket on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:05 p.m. ET. The Binghamton Devils make their first trip to Springfield on Friday, Jan. 19 at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Including those first-time encounters with the new clubs, the Thunderbirds will play 16 games (eight home, eight road) against teams from the AHL’s North Division. Springfield will go north of the border on three occasions in 2017-18: in Toronto on Sunday, March 25 against the Marlies at 4:00 p.m. ET, in Belleville against the Senators on Wednesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. ET, and in Laval on Friday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET against the Rocket.
The Thunderbirds will look to make the most of home ice early in the season, with three homestands of three games or more before the New Year. The season’s longest homestands are two separate five-game stretches in Springfield from Nov. 8-17 and Dec. 15-29. Springfield’s longest road trip of the 2017-18 season is a five-game swing from March 17 to March 28, with stops in Hershey, Lehigh Valley, Rochester, Toronto, and Hartford respectively.
Springfield Thunderbirds 2017-18 Schedule Breakdown:
Start Times at Home:
Mondays: 1:05 p.m. ET (Jan. 15 vs. HFD: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
Wednesdays: 10:30 a.m. ET (Nov. 15 vs. CHA: School Day Game); 7:05 p.m. ET (Nov. 8 vs. HER, Jan. 17 vs. HER, Feb. 7 vs. WBS)
Sundays: 3:05 p.m. ET (Oct. 15 vs. TOR, Oct. 22 vs. BEL, Nov. 12 vs. PRO, Nov. 26 vs. HFD)
Total Weekend Games (Friday - Sunday) Home/Away: 33/31
Total Weekday Games (Monday - Thursday) Home/Away: 5/7
Atlantic Division Games Home/Away: 60 total – 30/30
North Division Games Home/Away: 16 total – 8/8
Monthly breakdown Home/Away: Oct. 10 total - 5/5, Nov. 13 total - 8/5, Dec. 12 total - 7/5, Jan. 12 total - 6/6, Feb. 9 total - 4/5, Mar. 14 total - 6/8, Apr. 6 total – 2/4
Three-games-in-three nights - 9
First 38 Games Home/Away – 21/17
Last 38 Games Home/Away – 17/21
The best way to secure your place at the Thunderbirds' home opener on Sat., Oct. 14 is by becoming a Thunderbirds ticket package holder. Thunderbirds "10 Flex +2" plans offer ten redeemable ticket vouchers for any 2017-18 regular season home game at the MassMutual Center, in addition to two tickets to Opening Night on Oct. 14 at 7:05 p.m. ET.
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).