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AHL preseason to begin Saturday

ahl06_200.jpgSPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today its composite 2009 preseason schedule, which comprises 41 games to be played between Sat., Sept. 19 and Wed., Sept. 30.

The preseason schedule includes the Hamilton Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies heading to Edinburgh, Scotland, to join the Edinburgh Capitals and the Belfast Giants of the Elite Ice Hockey League to compete for the 2009 Gardiner Cup. The tournament marks a celebration of Scotland’s contributions to the invention of the game of ice hockey.

The 2009 preseason is also the first opportunity for fans in three new AHL cities to see their teams. The Adirondack Phantoms host the Albany River Rats in their debut at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Sept. 25; the Abbotsford Heat play a two-game preseason series with the Manitoba Moose at the Entertainment & Sports Centre on Sept. 25 and 27; and the Texas Stars take to the Cedar Park Center ice to battle the San Antonio Rampage on Sept. 27.

Twenty-four of the 41 games on the AHL’s preseason schedule are set to be played at local community and neutral-site rinks. The 2009 preseason will also feature two games between AHL clubs and their NHL affiliates, as Norfolk hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sept. 25 and Texas entertains the Dallas Stars on Sept. 30.

The American Hockey League’s 74th regular season begins on Fri., Oct. 2, as 29 teams begin competition for the prestigious Calder Cup. In operation since 1936, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 84 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the eighth year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2008-09. 

2009 AHL PRESEASON SCHEDULE
Sat., 9/19W-B/Scranton vs. BinghamtonBroome Community College Ice Center
Binghamton, N.Y.
7:30 ET
    
Sun., 9/20Binghamton vs. W-B/ScrantonWachovia Arena at Casey Plaza
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
5:05 ET
    
Wed., 9/23Worcester vs. HartfordKoeppel Community Sports Center
Hartford, Conn.
7:00 ET
 Springfield vs. ProvidenceNew England Sports Center
Marlborough, Mass.
7:00 ET
 Chicago vs. RockfordCarlson Arctic Ice Arena
Loves Park, Ill.
7:00 CT
    
Thu., 9/24Toronto vs. HamiltonMurrayfield Ice Rink
Edinburgh, Scotland
7:00 pm local/
2:00 pm ET
 Lowell vs. ProvidenceIorio Arena
Walpole, Mass.
6:05 ET
 Texas vs. San AntonioIce Center at Northwoods
San Antonio, Texas
7:30 CT
    
Fri., 9/25Bridgeport vs. HartfordChampions Skating Center
Cromwell, Conn.
7:00 ET
 W-B/Scranton vs. HersheyGiant Center
Hershey, Pa.
7:00 ET
 Binghamton vs. SyracuseCampus Center
Oswego, N.Y.
7:00 ET
 Tampa Bay (NHL) vs. NorfolkScope
Norfolk, Va.
7:00 ET
 Worcester vs. SpringfieldMassMutual Center
Springfield, Mass.
7:30 ET
 Albany vs. AdirondackGlens Falls Civic Center
Glens Falls, N.Y.
7:35 ET
 Chicago vs. MilwaukeeWilson Ice Arena
Milwaukee, Wis.
7:00 CT
 Rockford vs. PeoriaCarver Arena
Peoria, Ill.
7:00 CT
 Manitoba vs. AbbotsfordAbbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
Abbotsford, B.C.
7:30 PT
    
Sat., 9/26Gardiner Cup semifinal:
Toronto vs. Edinburgh (EIHL)
Murrayfield Ice Rink
Edinburgh, Scotland
1:30 pm local/
8:30 am ET
 Gardiner Cup semifinal:
Hamilton vs. Belfast (EIHL)
Murrayfield Ice Rink
Edinburgh, Scotland
5:30 pm local/
12:30 pm ET
 Adirondack vs. AlbanyTimes Union Center
Albany, N.Y.
5:00 ET
 Lowell vs. PortlandPortland Ice Arena
Portland, Maine
5:00 ET
 Hartford vs. BridgeportThe Rinks at Shelton
Shelton, Conn.
7:00 ET
 San Antonio vs. HoustonSugar Land Ice & Sports Center
Sugar Land, Texas
6:00 CT
 Rochester vs. Lake ErieHoover Arena
Strongsville, Ohio
7:00 ET
 Providence vs. SpringfieldMassMutual Center
Springfield, Mass.
7:00 ET
 Hershey vs. W-B/ScrantonWachovia Arena at Casey Plaza
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
7:05 ET
 Syracuse vs. BinghamtonBroome Community College Ice Center
Binghamton, N.Y.
7:30 ET
 Milwaukee vs. ChicagoHoffman Estates Park District Ice Arena
Hoffman Estates, Ill.
7:00 CT
 Peoria vs. RockfordRockford MetroCentre
Rockford, Ill.
7:05 CT
    
Sun., 9/27Gardiner Cup consolationMurrayfield Ice Rink
Edinburgh, Scotland
1:30 pm local/
8:30 am ET
 Gardiner Cup championshipMurrayfield Ice Rink
Edinburgh, Scotland
5:30 pm local/
12:30 pm ET
 Portland vs. ManchesterNotre Dame Arena
Berlin, N.H.
2:00 ET
 Worcester vs. HartfordInternational Skating Center
Simsbury, Conn.
3:00 ET
 San Antonio vs. TexasCedar Park Center
Cedar Park, Texas
3:00 CT
 Norfolk vs. HersheyGiant Center
Hershey, Pa.
5:00 ET
 Syracuse vs. RochesterESL Sports Centre
Rochester, N.Y.
6:00 ET
 Manitoba vs. AbbotsfordAbbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
Abbotsford, B.C.
5:00 PT
    
Mon., 9/28Houston vs. TexasCedar Park Center
Cedar Park, Texas
7:00 CT
    
Tue., 9/29Rochester vs. SyracuseWar Memorial at Oncenter
Syracuse, N.Y.
7:00 ET
    
Wed., 9/30Hamilton vs. TorontoGeneral Motors Centre
Oshawa, Ont.
7:00 ET
 Dallas (NHL) vs. TexasCedar Park Center
Cedar Park, Texas
7:00 CT