Hockey League (UHL)
County Veterans Memorial Arena
First Arena Look At Icemen Is Halloween
July 16, 1997
Sean Mayer, Staff Writer
--Season Opener: Oct. 17 (Fri.) at Brantford, Ontario.
--Home Opener: Oct. 31 (Fri.) vs. Thunder Bay.
--Holiday dates: Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day.
--Ect.: 74 games, 37 at Arena.
Tentative start times for home games are 7 p.m.
Monday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday. Brantford, a five-hour drive from Binghamton, is the Icemen’s closest opponent.
An eight-game homestand. A stretch of 10 straight road games. A five-game string over five nights.
Those are just some of the notable points of the B.C. Icemen’s 1997-98 schedule, released Tuesday by the United Hockey League.
“If you look at other teams’ schedules, it’s not any better,” Icemen co-owner and general manager Patrick Snyder said.
The Icemen open their 74-game schedule Friday, Oct. 17, against the Brantford Smoke in Brantford, Ontario. It is the first of four consecutive road games to begin the season. The next night, the Icemen are in Port Huron, Mich.
Brantford, the Icemen’s closest foe, is about 300 miles.
The Icemen’s home opener is Oct. 31, Halloween, at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena against the Thunder Bay Thunder Cats.
Brantford and the Winston-Salem Ice Hawks are Binghamton’s most frequent opponents. Each Plays the Icemen 10 times. The Icemen play Flint, Port Huron, Muskegon, Saginaw and Thunder Bay eight times each; they play defending league champion Quad City and Madison seven times each.
Winston-Salem plays March 29 at the Arena in the final game of the regular season.
Some of the oddities of the schedule:
--The Icemen host Quad City Nov. 4. It is one of 18 games the Icemen play in November.
The Icemen have a string of four games in four nights and a string of five games in five nights in November.
“It’s going to be busy, but at the same time, it’s good for the team to play a lot of games early,” Snyder said. “It’s the first time these guys are going to play together. It’s good to bring the team closer together early on in the season.”
--The schedule contains 13 weekday home dates, including games Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day. It will mark the 24th time in 25 seasons that Binghamton will have a Turkey Day game.
The defunct Binghamton Rangers of the American Hockey League did not play on Thanksgiving in 1991.
--For just the second time—and the first time since 1974—there will be no New Year’s Eve game.
“We had an opportunity to play Dec. 31, but with First Night doing what they do (in downtown Binghamton), I don’t want to do anything to interfere with that,” Snyder said. “I think it opens up the Arena as another venue to put things in.”
--The Icemen’s longest homestand is eight games and stretches from Jan. 20-Feb. 8. The span concludes with three games in three days against Colonial Cup runner-up Flint.
--The Icemen play 10 straight games on the road from Feb. 14-March 8. Four of the first six games during that streak are against the Mallards, who play in Moline, Ill.
“There’s not much we could do about that,” Snyder said. “We could only move so many dates. I think next year there have to be different measures taken. But I think they were up against it with our team coming in late and with Utica possibly coming in.”
Snyder begins assembling his team today. The UHL will hold a dispersal draft of Dayton Ice Bandits players and an expansion draft for the Icemen via conference call this evening. Each team can protect 14 players and a goalie on its 21 man roster in the expansion draft.
Snyder said the Icemen, as a new franchise, have first pick of the Dayton players. The Ice Bandits […] have suspended operations. The franchise will likely be purchased by businessman Bob Casey and moved to Utica to begin play next season.
Try To Name Mascot
The B.C. Icemen, in conjunction with the Press & Sun-Bulletin, are holding a name the mascot contest.
An entry blank will appear in the Press & Sun-Bulletin Thursday through Sunday. The name of the contest winner will be published Sunday, July 27.
All entries must be received by Thursday, July 24, and should be mailed to: B.C. Icemen. One Stuart St, Binghamton, N.Y. 13901.