Finally, after waiting nearly a full year, the Syracuse Crunch will soon be getting back to work.
Today the American Hockey League released the official 2020-2021 schedule. And this schedule is definitely not normal, due to the ongoing pandemic.
First, not every team has an even schedule. The number of games range from as low as 24 (Bridgeport and Hartford) to 44 (San Diego), with most teams playing in the 32-38 game range. The Pacific Division, long famous for playing less games than the rest of the league in a normal regular season, will actually see more ice time.
Also, due to current pandemic lockdown protocols in Ontario, the Canadian Division teams—Toronto, Belleville, Manitoba, and Laval—have not released their schedules, but will do so at a later date.
Breaking Down the Crunch Schedule:
The Crunch will play a total of 32 regular season games, 16 home/16 away, against just three teams: Utica (14 games), Rochester (12), and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (6), their three closest opponents in proximity. Binghamton, which is just about an hour’s drive south on Interstate 81, may have been included as an opponent had they not temporarily relocated to the parent Devils’ practice facility in Newark, New Jersey.
Much like the Crunch, Utica will be splitting the prospects between two NHL organizations. Their usual affiliate is the Vancouver Canucks, but they will also host players from the St. Louis Blues. Rochester continues to work closely with the Buffalo Sabres while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is comprised of the Pittsburgh Penguins prospects.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Crunch’s opponents next season make sure to follow @LGA585 (formally Let’s Go Amerks) and @AmerksSinBin for Rochester, @WBSPenguins for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and @UticaComets for Utica.
As previously announced, Syracuse will begin the regular season on Saturday, February 6th, at home against Utica. They will travel to Rochester for their first road match on Wednesday, February 10th.
Last season the Crunch were 3-3-2-1 against Rochester, 1-1 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and 4-3-0-1 against the Comets. Rochester (second in the North) and Utica (third in the North) were both in position to make the playoffs when the 2019-20 AHL season was stopped. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was having a tougher time as they were sixth in the Atlantic.
Games are mostly scheduled on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights, but there are two Monday night contests in Utica: April 19th and May 10th.
The regular season will close out in Rochester on Saturday, May 15th.
The full schedule (home games in bold):
Sat 2/6/21 7:00 PM Utica
Wed 2/10/21 7:05 PM @ Rochester
Sat 2/13/21 7:00 PM W-B/Scranton
Wed 2/17/21 7:00 PM @ Utica
Sat 2/20/21 7:00 PM Rochester
Wed 2/24/21 7:00 PM Rochester
Sat 2/27/21 7:00 PM Utica
Wed 3/3/21 5:00 PM @ W-B/Scranton
Sat 3/6/21 7:00 PM Rochester
Fri 3/12/21 7:00 PM @ Utica
Sat 3/13/21 7:00 PM W-B/Scranton
Wed 3/17/21 7:05 PM @ Rochester
Sat 3/20/21 7:00 PM Utica
Wed 3/24/21 5:00 PM @ W-B/Scranton
Sat 3/27/21 7:00 PM Utica
Wed 3/31/21 7:00 PM @ Utica
Fri 4/2/21 7:05 PM @ Rochester
Sat 4/3/21 7:00 PM Rochester
Wed 4/7/21 7:05 PM @ Rochester
Sat 4/10/21 7:00 PM Utica
Wed 4/14/21 7:00 PM @ Utica
Sat 4/17/21 7:00 PM W-B/Scranton
Mon 4/19/21 7:00 PM Utica
Wed 4/21/21 7:05 PM @ Rochester
Sat 4/24/21 7:00 PM Rochester
Wed 4/28/21 7:00 PM @ Utica
Sat 5/1/21 7:00 PM Rochester
Wed 5/5/21 7:00 PM @ Utica
Sat 5/8/21 7:00 PM Utica
Mon 5/10/21 7:00 PM @ Utica
Wed 5/12/21 7:00 PM @ W-B/Scranton
Sat 5/15/21 7:05 PM @ Rochester
The full AHL slate can be found here.