SPRINGFIELD, Mass. ... The American Hockey League announced today its composite 2007 preseason schedule, set to begin next week. The schedule comprises 38 games, to be played between Mon., Sept. 17 and Mon., Oct. 1.
The preseason kicks off next Monday when the Philadelphia Phantoms battle the Lowell Devils at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J. The Quad City Flames get the first tune-up before their inaugural season on Sept. 26 when they visit Peoria; the Lake Erie Monsters debut on Sept. 27 against the Milwaukee Admirals; and the Rockford IceHogs hit the ice for the first time on Sept. 28 in Peoria.
The defending Calder Cup champion Hamilton Bulldogs have a three-game preseason slate, taking on North Division foes Toronto and Rochester.
Twenty-three of the 38 games on the AHL's preseason schedule are set to be played at local community and neutral-site rinks. The 2007 preseason will also feature four National Hockey League games played in AHL arenas. That schedule begins on Sept. 19, when the MTS Centre in Winnipeg hosts the Phoenix Coyotes and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Manchester's Verizon Wireless Arena (Sept. 20, New Jersey vs. Boston), Lowell's Tsongas Arena (Sept. 26, N.Y. Islanders vs. New Jersey) and Bridgeport's Arena at Harbor Yard (Sept. 29, New Jersey vs. N.Y. Islanders) will also host NHL preseason action.
The American Hockey League's 72nd regular season begins on Wed., Oct. 3, as 29 teams begin competition for the prestigious Calder Cup.