Hockey League (AHL)
County Veterans Memorial Arena
Rangers open at Arena with a Crunch
July 30, 1994
By Paul Stuart, staff writer
Binghamton Rangers fans will see plenty of Americans and some serious Crunch this season. And one more exhibition an one less regular season game at the Arena.
The Rangers announced their 80-game American Hockey League regular season schedule Friday, including 10 dates apiece with two geographical rivals, the Rochester Americans and Syracuse Crunch, both Southern Division foes.
The Rangers will play Hershey more that any American Hockey League foe, 12 times, six home and away. Rochester and Syracuse are Binghamton’s next most frequent foe.
After opening the season Sept. 30 at Cornwall Ontario, the Rangers will host Syracuse at 7:35 p.m. on Oct 1 in the home opener on the new 200-by-85-foot NHL regulation ice surface at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Renovations expanding the rink from 185 to 200 feet in length are currently underway.
The Rangers host the Americans in the season finale on April 8, one day before the AHL regular season officially ends.
Binghamton has had an intense rivalry with Rochester through the years and hopes to quickly develop one with Syracuse, which will be the Vancouver Canucks’ top affiliate. Vancouver’s AHL club was based in Hamilton Ontario, the past two seasons.
The Rangers also have a neutral-site game with Syracuse on Dec. 28, the middle date of the third annual STOP-DWI Holiday Basketball Tournament Dec. 27-29 at the Arena. Binghamton managing partner Tom Mitchell said Utica and Madison Square Garden in New York City are two possible sites.
The Rangers want a Dec. 28 game, but the Arena is unavailable.
Last Season, the Rangers scheduled a game on the middle day of the three-day basketball tournament, claiming that by seniority they deserved a prime draw mid-week date between Christmas and New Year’s Day, where the team has often had games in the past.
Broome County Parks and Recreation officials argued that the date was never available and that the Rangers scheduled a game on a date that was not open. The game against Hershey was played in front of an overflow crowd of 6,200-plus in Syracuse, which was trying to draw interest in hockey at the time.
Mitchell said the Rangers plan to play an exhibition against a team yet to be announced making up for the missing 40th home game caused by the neutral site game. The exhibition would likely be in January.
Binghamton also has its traditional home dates on Thanksgiving (vs. Hershey), Dec. 26 (vs. Springfield) and New Year’s=Eve (vs. Providence).
Tickets have increased 25 cents to $9.25 and $10.25.
With Moncton pulling out of the 16-team league last month, the Rangers will play the Cape Breton Oilers four times, with each team hosting two games.
“I’m very happy,” Mitchell said of the schedule. “There’s a little bit less (lengthy) travel.”
Binghamton played at Hamilton four times last season, each time traveling five-plus hours either from a game or to a game on the surrounding days.
The Stanley Cup champions New York Rangers open their 84-game regular season schedule at Boston on Oct. 1, the NHL’s opening day.
New York soon should begin announcing signing of players who would stand a good chance of beginning the season in Binghamton. Two strong possibilities are Michigan Tech goaltender Jamie Ram, and University of Minnesota left wing and leading scorer Jeff Nielson, both former draft picks.