The American Hockey League has finally released their 2011-2012 regular season schedule, with a variety of changes from previous seasons. The AHL has dropped four games from their schedule, going with a 76 game regular season. The league has also dropped the scheduling format that had teams playing four games over a five day stretch.
The WorSharks begin their sixth regular season on October 9th in Providence, with their home opener coming six days later in a October 15th tilt against Albany. Worcester’s home schedule will see ten games on Sunday, six mid-week contests split evenly between Tuesday and Wednesday, nine Friday games, and 12 Saturday night match-ups. The WorSharks’ road tilts are also weekend heavy with 26 of their 36 games away from the DCU Center taking place on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
The WorSharks still have ten three game in three night sets, and three result in some long bus trips between Saturday night’s contest and Sunday afternoon’s early starts. One road set in mid-December, which closes out an eight game road trip, sees Worcester playing at Albany and Binghamton, NY before a mad dash to Manchester, NH for a Sunday matinee. Twice the WorSharks play at home on Friday and Sunday with trips to Pennsylvania on Saturday night; February 11 at perennial Calder Cup contender Hershey, and March 17 against Wilkes-Barre. Three times the WorSharks will play at home for all of their weekend contests.
After not going to the Great White North last season Worcester will return to Canada twice when they play their new division rivals the St. John’s IceCaps. The WorSharks will play the relocated Manitoba Moose twice each in January and February. It will be the only trips Worcester will fly to as all the rest of the WorSharks road trips are within busing distance.
Like previous seasons the WorSharks likely won’t be spending many nights in hotel rooms, with Sharkspage’s very unofficial count at nine.