The Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League will play a total of four preseason contests this year, the team announced this afternoon. Three of the four games will be played in Connecticut, while the fourth will take place in nearby Springfield, Mass.
The preseason slate kicks off with a game vs. the Albany Devils on Wed., Oct. 1 at Champions Skating Center, 6 Progress Drive, in Cromwell. First puck drops at 7 p.m., and admission is $5. Proceeds from the gate will be used to acquire ice skates for use at the outdoor skating rink at Bushnell Park in Hartford. In addition, Champions Skating Center will be accepting donations of used skates of all sizes for the outdoor rink.
Next up will be a contest against the Worcester Sharks at the TD Bank Sports Center on the campus of Quinnipiac University in Hamden the following evening. Face-off is at 7, and tickets ($5) are available at the TD Bank Sports Center ticket office, by phone at (203) 582-3905, or on-line at www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. Proceeds from the game will benefit Gaylord Specialty Healthcare of Wallingford, CT.
The Wolf Pack and the Sharks will meet again Sat., Oct. 4, at Trinity College’s Koeppel Community Sports Center. Face-off is at 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the door in lieu of admission, benefitting the Ryan Gordon/Hartford Wolf Pack Community Scholars Fund. The fund memorializes young fan Ryan Gordon, who passed away in 2006 and asked that a portion of the monies set aside for his college education be donated to the Hartford Wolf Pack Community Foundation. Suggested donation is $5 per person.
The Wolf Pack then wrap up their preseason slate with a short hop up i-91 where they take on the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Sun., Oct. 5. Game time is 3 p.m., and tickets are $10. Seating is general admission on a first-come, first-serve basis.
This year there will be a few noticeable changes in the AHL. For starters, two teams will have new home bases. The Adirondack Phantoms, the top farm team of the Philadelphia Flyers, will be playing in Allentown, Pa., this season and will be known as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In addition, after the City of Abbotsford (British Columbia) terminated its lease agreement with the Calgary Flames, the former Abbotsford Heat will move 3,000 miles due east and play their home games at the Glens Falls (NY) Civic Center as the Adirondak Flames.
To accommodate the moves, the Phantoms will switch places with the Syracuse Crunch—the Phantoms playing in the East Division and the Crunch in the Northeast Division. In the Western Conference, the Lake Erie (i.e. Cleveland) Monsters will move from the North Division to the Midwest Division, and the Iowa Wild will move from the Midwest to the West Division, taking the place of the Abbotsford Heat/Adirondak Flames.
There will be two rules changes taking effect this season as well. Overtime will be extended from five to seven minutes, with both teams reduced from four to three skaters. Shootouts will adopt the NHL format of three skaters per side.
The Wolf Pack will open their regular-season home schedule on Sat., Oct. 18 at the XL Center. To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451.