Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates announce opponents for 2009-’10

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Portland, ME – Portland Pirates fans have been heard loud and clear.

The Pirates announced today their opponents for the 2009-‘10 season which includes the Syracuse Crunch and Rochester Americans.

For the last several years, the Pirates have kept their schedule reduced to the Eastern Conference for various reasons, last playing a Western Conference team (Toronto) in 2006, but adding Rochester and Syracuse to roster will add some variety to the 80-game schedule.

“The fact that we’ve added Rochester and Syracuse to our schedule is very exciting for our fans and our players,” said Greg Glynn Vice President of Communications

Fans for sometime have been asking the Pirates for a change in the schedule after seeing divisional opponents for 118 of 160 games during the last two seasons.

“It’s good to get a little variety in there,” said Andrew Hart, a Pirates’ season-ticket holder. “Getting a chance to see teams that don’t come up to Portland will certainly make it interesting to (watch) a game and not see the same old divisional rival.”

Along with taking into account certain logistic issues that comes with planning the upcoming schedule, the Pirates listened to the fans on wanting to see new opponents and when the chance arose to play other teams, the Pirates jumped at the opportunity.

“We consider all feedback from our fans,” said Glynn. “It was something we can do for our fans that we knew they wanted to see.”

“The fans have always been interested in teams outside the Eastern Conference and to add Rochester builds a bit of a rivalry with a team that at one time had been an affiliate of the Sabres,” said Glynn. “To add Syracuse also made sense with them (moving to the east) to be able to play them when we swing up through Buffalo during the two times this season.”

The Pirates will make their first trip to Rochester since 2001, and will also play the Amerks in Buffalo, NY for one of two home games at HSBC Arena this season.

Syracuse hasn’t been to Portland since 2000.

The Pirates will play 15 opponents this season

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
Bridgeport Sound Tigers (NYI) 4 home/4 away
Hartford Wolf Pack (NYR) 3 home/3 away
Lowell Devils (NJ) 5 home/5 away
Manchester Monarchs (LA) 5 home/5 away
Portland Pirates (BUF)
Providence Bruins (BOS) 4 home/4 away
Springfield Falcons (EDM) 4 home/4 away
Worcester Sharks (SJ) 4 home/4 away

East Division
Adirondack Phantoms (PHI) 1 home/1 away
Albany River Rats (CAR) 2 home/2 away
Binghamton Senators (OTT) 1 home/1 away
Hershey Bears (WSH) 1 home/1 away
Norfolk Admirals (TB) 2 home/2 away
Syracuse Crunch (CBJ) 1 home/1 away
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (PIT) 1 home/1 away

Western Conference
North Division
Abbotsford Heat (CGY)
Grand Rapids Griffins (DET)
Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL)
Lake Erie Monsters (COL)
Manitoba Moose (VAN)
Rochester Americans (FLA) 2 home/2 away
Toronto Marlies (TOR)

West Division
Chicago Wolves (ATL)
Houston Aeros (MIN)
Milwaukee Admirals (NSH)
Peoria Rivermen (STL)
Rockford IceHogs (CHI)
San Antonio Rampage (PHX)
Texas Stars (DAL)

NOTES: The media spoke with Sabres’ GM Darcy Regier today at their prospect camp in Lewiston, NY where he indicated that he plans to sign veterans for the Pirates this season in order to help fill the void due to the loss of Colin Murphy, Tyler Bouck and Mathieu Darche… The AHL announced today that they’ve suspended operations of the Iowa Chops due to violations of the league charter.

“The Iowa franchise has unfortunately been unable to remedy certain violations of the provisions of the league’s Constitution and By-Laws,” said American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews.

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