Marlies, Crunch provide pre-season opposition for AHL Bulldogs

Hockey fans in Oshawa, Woodstock, St. Catharines and Syracuse will get a sneak preview of the 2006-07 Hamilton Bulldogs in game situations before a hometown audience sees the American Hockey League team.

The affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens will play its four pre-season games on the road while tuning up for the new AHL season.

Two of those game – Woodstock and St. Catharines – will likely be considered home games for the Bulldogs. Derek Wills, manager of broadcasting and communications for the Bulldogs, said playing exhibition games in surrounding communities gives the team an opportunity to display its product outside the Hamilton market.

Hamilton will play the Toronto Marlies and Syracuse Crunch twice in the pre-season schedule.

The Bulldogs, who missed the playoffs last year, play their first exhibition game on September 27 against the Toronto Marlies at the Oshawa Civic Centre. Two nights later, the Bulldogs will visit the Crunch for a September 29 game at the Onondaga County War Memorial Ice Rink in Syracuse. Gametime is 7.30 p.m.

The following day will see Hamilton at the Southwood Arena (Woodstock Community Complex) for a 4 p.m. game against the Marlies.

The Bulldogs will wrap up their pre-season schedule against Syracuse in St. Catharines on Sunday, October 1. The 4 p.m. game will be played at the Jack Gatecliff Arena (Garden City Arena Complex).

The Bulldogs have not picked a firm date for the start of training camp, but it is expected to start about a week before the first pre-season game.