There may still be a few games left for the Orlando Solar Bears to play in the 2020-21 regular season, but it’s never too early to start looking a few months ahead to the fall.
On Tuesday, the ECHL announced the full 2021-2022 regular season schedule, with all 27 teams—including a new Canadian squad—back on ice after several teams sat out this season due to the pandemic. The season will officially open on Thursday, October 21st, with the expansion Trois-Rivieres team hosting Newfoundland for the first ever ECHL game in Quebec. The other expansion team, Iowa, will host Kansas City for their first ever game on Friday, October 22nd.
As for Orlando, they will begin their campaign at home against Atlanta on Saturday, October 23rd. Their first road game comes on Friday, October 29th, in Atlanta.
A few schedule highlights:
-The team will embark on a six-game road trip prior to the Christmas break, where after visiting Greenville, Atlanta, and Jacksonville, they will take on two non-Eastern Conference opponents for a 3-in-3 weekend: Allen on December 17th and 18th, and Tulsa on December 19th.
-Orlando will head north to Portland, Maine for a 3 in 3 weekend on January 21-23, 2022 to take on the North Division’s Mariners. Maine will also make one appearance at the Amway Center on Saturday, November 20th.
-After returning home from Maine, the Utah Grizzlies will come into the Amway Center for a three-game series on January 27th, 28th, and 30th.
-The regular season ends on April 16th in Jacksonville. Orlando will finish off their home schedule with a 5 game homestand against South Carolina, Florida, and Norfolk, finishing off a 9 in 10 game stretch on home ice.
A deeper dive into the numbers:
-By day: 15 Sunday games, 1 Monday, 4 Tuesday, 9 Wednesday, 6 Thursday, 19 Friday, and 18 Saturday contests. This also includes 10 separate 3-in-3 stretches.
-Orlando will face off against 12 different teams: Florida (15 games), Jacksonville (13), Norfolk (8), South Carolina (8), Greenville (7), Atlanta (6), Maine (4), Wheeling (3), Utah (3), Allen (2), Indy (2), and Tulsa (1). All but 15 games are against South Division opponents.
You can find the full league schedule here. As a reminder, this is a tentative schedule and will be changed once the Orlando Magic’s 2021-22 NBA schedule is determined. Additionally, progress with getting the pandemic further under control could be in play, including travel to Canada, but the goal is to get back to a normal season.