Bulldogs welcome IceCaps to start new AHL season

bulldogsThe Hamilton-Toronto rivalry will be front and centre in the American Hockey League this season.

The Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies will face off 12 times in 2013-14. Hamilton will begin its 18th AHL season on Friday, Oct. 11, when they the St. John’s IceCaps visit Copps Coliseum.

The 76-game regular season schedule will include 34 games within the revamped North Division. In addition to the dozen games against the Marlies, Hamilton will face the Lake Erie Monsters 10 times, Rochester Americans eight times, and Utica Comets four times.

The Bulldogs will play four games in National Hockey League arenas this season, including two home games at Bell Centre in Montreal -the home of their National Hockey League affiliate Montreal Canadiens – on Nov. 22 against the Syracuse Crunch and on Feb. 21 against the Binghamton Senators. Hamilton will also play at Air Canada Centre against the Toronto Marlies on Dec. 26 and at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa against the Binghamton Senators on Feb. 8.

Hamilton will have a pair of four-game home stands, the longest home-game stretches of the season. The first will span Nov. 8-15, when they will face the Grand Rapids Griffins, Utica, Rochester, and Lake Erie. The other will run from Jan. 11-24, when they will take on Rochester, Iowa Wild, Utica, and Toronto.

The Bulldogs’ longest road trip will be a nine-game, 16-day run from March 25 to April 9, with games against the Texas Stars twice, San Antonio Rampage twice, Oklahoma City Barons, Grand Rapids Griffins twice, and St. John’s IceCaps twice.