The Rochester Americans announced their schedule for the 2023-24 American Hockey League regular season, presented exclusively by Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino. The Amerks will open their 68th AHL season – and 42nd as the primary affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres – on Friday, Oct. 13 at 7:05 p.m. against the Bridgeport Islanders at The Blue Cross Arena in the Home Opener presented by Kinecta Federal Credit Union.
All 32 AHL teams will again play a 72-game regular-season schedule (36 home games and 36 away games) this coming season with the Amerks playing against 14 other teams. Rochester, which embarks on its fourth season under head coach Seth Appert, will play 24 of its 36 home games on weekends, with 18 Friday home games, three Saturday home dates and three Sunday home outings. The team will play the balance of its schedule with a dozen midweek games on Wednesday nights, including a pre-Thanksgiving Day matchup on Wednesday, Nov. 22 against the Laval Rocket and on Wednesday, Dec. 27 against the Syracuse Crunch when the team returns from the annual Christmas break.
For the eighth straight year, the Amerks will play all 72 of their games solely against Eastern Conference opponents this season, with 54 coming against their North Division rivals and 18 versus teams from the Atlantic Division. The Amerks will again remain in the North Division of the Eastern Conference along with the Belleville Senators, Cleveland Monsters, Laval Rocket, Syracuse Crunch, Toronto Marlies and Utica Comets, who enter their third season as the primary affiliate of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils following eight years as the top development club of the Vancouver Canucks.
As in years past, Rochester will face Syracuse and Utica more than any other opponent during its 68th AHL campaign with 12 meetings (six home, six road) each against its intrastate rivals. The Amerks will also have eight matchups (four home, four road) each against Belleville, Cleveland and Laval. Rounding out their Divisional schedule are six encounters (three home, three road) with the Toronto Marlies, including a pair of contests at Scotiabank Arena, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, scheduled for Monday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, March 16.
The Amerks will again play the entire Atlantic Division this coming season with four matchups (two home, two road) against the Charlotte Checkers, culminating with the highly anticipated Queen City Outdoor Classic, presented by Pepsi, on Saturday, Jan. 13 at Truist Field. The event will be the first of its kind in Charlotte and the 12th outdoor game in league history. It will also be the second outdoor game in franchise history for the Amerks, who hosted the Lake Erie Monsters in the premier event of the Frozen Frontier at Rochester’s Innovative Field (formerly Frontier Field), home of the International League’s Rochester Red Wings, on Dec. 13, 2013.
The two teams will meet twice in Rochester, beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at The Blue Cross Arena and again Friday, Dec. 8 in the Amerks’ first home game of the month.
Similar to last season, the Amerks will also face the Providence Bruins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins twice (one home, one road), while also seeing the Bridgeport Islanders, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Springfield Thunderbirds for a pair of meetings (one home, one road) as well. The defending Calder Cup champion Bears, fresh off their 12th AHL championship, make their only visit to Rochester on Friday, Dec. 29 for a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals before the Amerks travel to Giant Center after the New Year on Saturday, Feb. 24.
All home games will start at 7:05 p.m. this season except for the three Saturday matchups that are slated for 5:05 p.m. Rochester’s three Sunday afternoon matinees will begin at 3:05 p.m. or 4:05 p.m.
The Amerks’ busiest month of the season comes in the second half of the year with 13 games in March. After opening the month on the road, Rochester will play six of its next nine games at home, mostly against North Division opponents.
The Amerks’ longest homestand of the season is a four-game stretch, which occurs twice over the course of the season. After facing the Checkers outdoors on Jan. 13, Rochester returns home to close out the remainder of the month by playing five of its next six games at home, including four straight between Jan. 20 and Jan. 31. The team is then home again for four in a row from April 12 to April 19 before concluding the regular season with an afternoon matinee in Utica on April 21.
The Amerks’ longest string of road games is a three-game trek four different times, the first of which takes Rochester north of the border in October, followed by their annual swing through the Atlantic Division in November with stops in Springfield, Hartford and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton over a four-day span.
Rochester spends the most time on home ice in January, February and March, all with six games within the friendly confines of The Blue Cross Arena. The Amerks begin and end the month of January at home, split evenly between North and Atlantic Division opponents.
For the second straight year, the Amerks open the season by playing four of their first seven games in October on the road. All but two games in October are against North Division opponents.
Rochester has only one “three-in-three” weekend on the docket, three fewer from last season. The Amerks will be in action three straight nights during the second weekend of March, beginning with a home-and-home series with Syracuse and ending with a matinee against Utica.
Information on promotional and annual theme nights will be announced at a later date.