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Reviewing the 2015-16 St. John’s IceCaps Schedule

by Nic Phelan, Lead Correspondent, IceCaps Hockey Report

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ST. JOHN’S, NL. — On Thursday afternoon the AHL released the season schedule for 2015-16, it’s 80th in operation. Given the realignment of the divisions, and relocation of the Habs farm team replacing the Winnipeg Jets regime, there’s a buzz in the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Schedule is as listed below (as per theahl.com):

Game #: Date: Time: Visiting Team:     Home Team:          
10 Sat, Oct 10, 2015 7:00 pm EDT St. John’s at Hartford 7:00 pm EDT
19 Sun, Oct 11, 2015 5:00 pm EDT St. John’s at Bridgeport 5:00 pm EDT
33 Fri, Oct 16, 2015 7:30 pm NDT Rochester at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
43 Sat, Oct 17, 2015 7:30 pm NDT Rochester at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
53 Tue, Oct 20, 2015 7:30 pm NDT Binghamton at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
57 Wed, Oct 21, 2015 7:30 pm NDT Binghamton at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
81 Sat, Oct 24, 2015 7:30 pm NDT Bridgeport at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
90 Sun, Oct 25, 2015 4:00 pm NDT Bridgeport at St. John’s 4:00 pm NDT
92 Wed, Oct 28, 2015 7:05 pm EDT St. John’s at Lehigh Valley 7:05 pm EDT
101 Fri, Oct 30, 2015 7:05 pm EDT St. John’s at Lehigh Valley 7:05 pm EDT
113 Sat, Oct 31, 2015 7:00 pm EDT St. John’s at Hershey 7:00 pm EDT
132 Wed, Nov 4, 2015 7:05 pm EST St. John’s at W-B/Scranton 7:05 pm EST
144 Fri, Nov 6, 2015 7:05 pm EST St. John’s at W-B/Scranton 7:05 pm EST
149 Sat, Nov 7, 2015 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Hershey 7:00 pm EST
182 Fri, Nov 13, 2015 7:30 pm NST Toronto at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
193 Sat, Nov 14, 2015 7:30 pm NST Toronto at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
219 Fri, Nov 20, 2015 7:30 pm NST Syracuse at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
229 Sat, Nov 21, 2015 7:30 pm NST Syracuse at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
262 Fri, Nov 27, 2015 7:05 pm EST St. John’s at Rochester 7:05 pm EST
280 Sat, Nov 28, 2015 2:00 pm EST St. John’s at Toronto 2:00 pm EST
287 Sun, Nov 29, 2015 1:00 pm EST St. John’s at Toronto 1:00 pm EST
289 Wed, Dec 2, 2015 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Albany 7:00 pm EST
305 Fri, Dec 4, 2015 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Utica 7:00 pm EST
308 Sat, Dec 5, 2015 7:05 pm EST St. John’s at Binghamton 7:05 pm EST
345 Fri, Dec 11, 2015 7:30 pm NST Rochester at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
357 Sat, Dec 12, 2015 7:30 pm NST Rochester at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
370 Tue, Dec 15, 2015 7:30 pm NST Albany at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
376 Wed, Dec 16, 2015 7:30 pm NST Albany at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
426 Sat, Dec 26, 2015 3:00 pm EST St. John’s at Toronto 3:00 pm EST
436 Sun, Dec 27, 2015 3:00 pm EST St. John’s at Toronto 3:00 pm EST
449 Wed, Dec 30, 2015 7:05 pm EST St. John’s at Rochester 7:05 pm EST
453 Thu, Dec 31, 2015 6:05 pm EST St. John’s at Binghamton 6:05 pm EST
476 Sat, Jan 2, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Utica 7:00 pm EST
506 Fri, Jan 8, 2016 7:30 pm NST Portland at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
518 Sat, Jan 9, 2016 7:30 pm NST Portland at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
532 Tue, Jan 12, 2016 7:30 pm NST W-B/Scranton at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
538 Wed, Jan 13, 2016 7:30 pm NST W-B/Scranton at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
564 Sat, Jan 16, 2016 7:30 pm NST Toronto at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
574 Sun, Jan 17, 2016 4:00 pm NST Toronto at St. John’s 4:00 pm NST
581 Wed, Jan 20, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Bridgeport 7:00 pm EST
585 Fri, Jan 22, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Albany 7:00 pm EST
597 Sat, Jan 23, 2016 2:00 pm EST St. John’s at Albany 2:00 pm EST
623 Wed, Jan 27, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Portland 7:00 pm EST
636 Fri, Jan 29, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Portland 7:00 pm EST
645 Sat, Jan 30, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Hartford 7:00 pm EST
670 Fri, Feb 5, 2016 7:30 pm NST Utica at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
683 Sat, Feb 6, 2016 7:30 pm NST Utica at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
693 Tue, Feb 9, 2016 7:30 pm NST Syracuse at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
700 Wed, Feb 10, 2016 7:30 pm NST Syracuse at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
720 Sat, Feb 13, 2016 7:30 pm NST Toronto at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
731 Sun, Feb 14, 2016 4:00 pm NST Toronto at St. John’s 4:00 pm NST
742 Wed, Feb 17, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Syracuse 7:00 pm EST
746 Fri, Feb 19, 2016 7:05 pm EST St. John’s at Binghamton 7:05 pm EST
756 Sat, Feb 20, 2016 7:05 pm EST St. John’s at Binghamton 7:05 pm EST
781 Wed, Feb 24, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Albany 7:00 pm EST
800 Fri, Feb 26, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Utica 7:00 pm EST
810 Sat, Feb 27, 2016 7:00 pm EST St. John’s at Syracuse 7:00 pm EST
837 Fri, Mar 4, 2016 7:30 pm NST Albany at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
850 Sat, Mar 5, 2016 7:30 pm NST Albany at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
865 Tue, Mar 8, 2016 7:30 pm NST Binghamton at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
868 Wed, Mar 9, 2016 7:30 pm NST Binghamton at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
891 Sat, Mar 12, 2016 7:30 pm NST Hershey at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
906 Sun, Mar 13, 2016 4:00 pm NDT Hershey at St. John’s 4:00 pm NDT
923 Fri, Mar 18, 2016 7:00 pm EDT St. John’s at Utica 7:00 pm EDT
933 Sat, Mar 19, 2016 7:00 pm EDT St. John’s at Syracuse 7:00 pm EDT
947 Sun, Mar 20, 2016 5:00 pm EDT St. John’s at Syracuse 5:00 pm EDT
958 Wed, Mar 23, 2016 7:05 pm EDT St. John’s at Rochester 7:05 pm EDT
970 Fri, Mar 25, 2016 7:05 pm EDT St. John’s at Rochester 7:05 pm EDT
985 Sat, Mar 26, 2016 2:00 pm EDT St. John’s at Toronto 2:00 pm EDT
994 Tue, Mar 29, 2016 7:00 pm EDT St. John’s at Toronto 7:00 pm EDT
1010 Fri, Apr 1, 2016 7:30 pm NDT Lehigh Valley at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
1024 Sat, Apr 2, 2016 7:30 pm NDT Lehigh Valley at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
1065 Sat, Apr 9, 2016 7:30 pm NDT Utica at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
1076 Sun, Apr 10, 2016 4:00 pm NDT Utica at St. John’s 4:00 pm NDT
1099 Fri, Apr 15, 2016 7:30 pm NDT Hartford at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT
1108 Sat, Apr 16, 2016 7:30 pm NDT Hartford at St. John’s 7:30 pm NDT

 

It is worth noting because of the geographical isolation that is the Island of Newfoundland, all home games are often home stands, consisting or 2 or 3 game series with visiting teams, and multiple teams visit over a 2-3 week period. This season proves to be no different with 6 game home stands in October, December, January, February and March. In November we will see the least home games with a 4 game home stand.

Division Realignment
In an attempt to reduce travel costs and the toll it takes on the players, the AHL overwent its largest overhaul arguably in the modern era as it expanded into California and realigned its divisions to follow suit. Because of this, the IceCaps find themselves in the North Division, which includes Albany Devils (New Jersey), Rochester Americans (Buffalo), Binghamton Senators (Ottawa), Toronto Marlies (Toronto), Utica Comets (Vancouver) and Syracuse Crunch (Tampa).

Series of Significance*

Marlies (Nov 13,14, Jan 16,17, Feb 13,14)
A Marquee rivalry for a number of reasons, anytime the Marlies visit St. John’s you can guarantee Mile One Centre will be sold out. Due to the Maple Leafs farm club calling St. John’s home from the early 90’s thru 2005, there is a strong fanbase for the Leafs in this province. In hopes of carrying over the Bulldogs-Marlies, Habs-Leafs rivalry, you can be sure the IceCaps will be capitalizing on all marketing opportunities to promote this divisional rivalry.

Penguins (Jan 13,14)
There is a long playoff history between the IceCaps and Penguins organizations. Although we have seen a complete turnover in players, you can be sure that the IceCaps organization will build up this series as well. Just as importantly we have an opportunity to see reigning rookie of the year and AHL’s most outstanding goaltender, Matt Murray. Murray is the first real competition for Marc Andre Fleury in Pittsburgh, but it is expected he’ll play the year in the AHL barring any injuries with the parent club.

Rochester Americans (Oct 16,17, Dec 11,12)
The IceCaps home opener takes place October 16 against the Americans. This in itself is enough to make this a series to watch, however the tradition of the Amerks helps build a little buzz. Rochester is the sole franchise within the division which has hung around since the Maple Leafs were based in St. John’s. In fact the franchise is celebrating its 60th anniversary in the AHL, the oldest behind only Hershey Bears (78 years young). In addition to this the Sabres have just drafted highly touted Center Jack Eichel, and key acquisition Center Ryan O’Reilly. This could leave Sam Reinhart off the top 6, and if so, he may take time to develop in Rochester. Fingers Crossed.

By Nic Phelan

Nic has been a Canadiens fan as it was tradition in his family, his earliest memory of the Habs is watching the highlights of 1993 Stanley Cup finals. Originally from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, he is a BBA graduate from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). He is also currently working towards his MBA part-time at MUN, while happily employed full time in the Oil and Gas Industry.

Nic took on this opportunity because of his undying passion for the Montreal Canadiens. An active member of the Canadiens online community, he felt a chance to share his passion and knowledge while interacting with the strongest fan base in sports on a mass scale. His favourite Canadien was Pierre Turgeon, and favourite memory of the Habs is any of his annual father-son trips with his Dad.