The Rochester Amerks have unveiled the schedule for their 63rd season in the AHL, and it includes a game in KeyBank Center for their eighth straight year.
Rochester will meet the Cleveland Monsters, the affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, in Buffalo at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The game is one highlight of the Amerks 37th season in multiple stints as a Sabres affiliate. Rochester is 5-2 in its previous seven games at KeyBank since rejoining the Sabres in 2011.
Cleveland, which played in the Central Division the last two years, moves into the North Division as one of the Amerks' seven divisional opponents. The others are the Belleville Senators, Binghamton Devils, Laval Rocket, Syracuse Crunch, Toronto Marlies and Utica Comets.
As announced Tuesday by the team, the Amerks open the season on Friday, Oct. 5 against Charlotte – one night after the Sabres open their NHL season in Buffalo against the Boston Bruins. The Amerks and Checkers meet again the following night and Rochester completes a three-game homestand to open the season Oct. 10 against Syracuse. Rochester will play 27 of its 38 home games on weekends, including 20 Friday games.
Rochester will play 54 of its 76 games within the division and its other 22 against Atlantic Division foes.
The breakdown of games against the North Division is 12 games vs. Syracuse (six home, six away), 10 each vs. Binghamton and Utica (5-5), eight vs. Cleveland (4-4), six vs. defending Calder Cup champion Toronto (3-3) and four each vs. Belleville and Laval (2-2).
Against the Atlantic, Rochester plays four games each (2-2) vs. Charlotte, Hartford and Bridgeport and two each vs. Providence, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Hershey, Lehigh Valley and Springfield.
The AHL will expand to an all-time high 31 teams as the ECHL champion Colorado Eagles move to the AHL's Pacific Division. They will be the top farm team of the Colorado Avalanche.
All Rochester home games in Blue Cross Arena will start at 7:05 p.m. this season, with the exception of three Sunday games at 3:05 p.m. and a Dec. 22 game against Hartford with a 5:05 p.m. faceoff.
The Amerks’ busiest month of the season is March with 14 games. Their most home games in a month are eight in December. Rochester has five three-games-in-three-days runs scheduled, up from four from last season.