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The Bear Cave


August 14, 2009 7:41 AM

Baby B's Release 2009-10 Regular Season Schedule

Due to a bit of breaking news involving one of the teams in the organization, we are forced to break away from the 2008-09 Boston Bruins' top ten games. We will get you back to your regularly scheduled programming shortly.

On Thursday afternoon, the American Hockey League released its 2009-10 regular season schedule, meaning that the Providence Bruins now know exactly what they will be looking at during the winter months this year. The P-Bruins' 18th season in the AHL will feature 40 home games and 40 road games, split among 14 different opponents. When all is said and done in April, Providence will be hoping to secure a spot in the playoffs for the 12th year in a row.

For the second consecutive season, the Baby B's will get to open up the campaign on home ice. In a bit of an odd twist, this year's opener comes on a Sunday afternoon. October 4th is the specific date, as the Springfield Falcons visit a building that hasn't been very friendly to them over the years. The following weekend is when the action will really heat up, as Providence will play the first of many sets of three games in three days. The first set features a pair of home games against the Hartford Wolf Pack, sandwiched around a road date in Portland. The road will be unfamiliar territory for the Bruins in the early going, as the team will play six of its first seven games at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. The first month of the season will be played entirely against the Atlantic Division, with six home games and four road games adding up to a total of ten.

The lone Atlantic Division opponent that got left out of the October schedule ends up being the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. That's not to worry, as the schedule makers made sure to put Providence and Bridgeport on the same sheet of ice to start November, as the two will tangle in Rhode Island on the first of the month. The second month of the campaign will see two more different faces from October, as the Baby B's will play two games with the Hershey Bears, as well as a road contest against the Syracuse Crunch. The Hershey games carry some significance, as the Bears eliminated Providence during the Eastern Conference Final last spring. November's schedule is made up of 13 games - seven at home, and six on enemy ice.

December will be one of two months where fans will have to do a good amount of travelling to see their AHL team play, as the Dunkin' Donuts Center will only be open for four home games. Those dates are sandwiched into a two-week span, as Lowell, Manchester, and Bridgeport will all visit the Ocean State. Prior to the home stretch, the Bruins will have an intriguing start to the month, as they will be the guests of the Portland Pirates for a weekend series in Maine. After seeing Providence eliminate the Pirates in the postseason last spring, it's probably a safe bet that these two clubs won't be exchanging presents at that time. The Albany River Rats make their first appearance on the schedule in the middle of the month, while the players won't be able to eat too much during the holidays, as a stretch of three games in four days begins on the 26th. Eight road games and four home games gives Providence 13 matches in December.

There won't be much of a wait to ring in 2010 with hockey, as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers will open yet another month in Providence. January 1st could be a unique day in the Bruins' family, as that game will follow the NHL's Winter Classic at Fenway Park. Needless to say, a pair of wins would be just what the doctor could order for fans of the Black and Gold. January is a relatively standard month for the Peebs, as all but two of the games will be played within the division. Both non-divisional games are at home, as the Adirondack Phantoms and Albany River Rats make their lone visits of the year. Technically speaking, this will be Adirondack's first visit in franchise history, although the team did play the Bruins plenty of times as the Philadelphia Phantoms. If you're looking for a gift around the holidays, January will help your cause, as the B's are at home for eight of their 13 games.

Variety is the name of the game at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in the fifth month of the hockey season, as two exciting new opponents are found on the schedule. After four home tilts within the division, the P-Bruins get to welcome in the Syracuse Crunch for the first time in quite a while. That preludes a two-game weekend set with one of the AHL's newest franchises, the Abbotsford Heat. Abbotsford is the top affiliate of the Calgary Flames, marking the first time that that organization will play the Bruins since the days of the Saint John Flames. Providence will also explore a pair of buildings that weren't on the 2008-09 calendar, as Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton are back on the docket. Despite it being the shortest month of the year, February features a total of 13 games, with seven in white uniforms and six in black (white is home in the AHL).

It's a good thing that the Baby B's play at a building named after a coffee joint, as fans will definitely need caffeine to begin March. That's because the team starts out with a pair of games in Abbotsford, British Columbia on the 2nd and 3rd. The start time for those two contests? 10:30 at night in Rhode Island. Without question, that will be the toughest week of the season for Providence, as that's not all. The Bruins will have one day (the 4th) to travel across the country so that they can be back at home to start a perfectly planned weekend of three games in three days on the 5th. The boys will take a short trip to Bridgeport on the 6th, before returning home for a 2:00 start on the 7th. If you're tired reading that, imagine what the players will feel like after playing that. Did I mention that they only have two days to travel from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to Abbotsford after two games in two nights in two cities? For those keeping score, that's seven games in ten days in five cities.

The rest of March will pale in comparison to that travel agent's nightmare, but there are a few highlights to point out. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Binghamton Senators round out the non-divisional part of the schedule at home for the Peebs, allowing fans to see two more fresh faces in Rhode Island. Also, the P-Bruins will get to travel to Glens Falls, New York for the first time since 1999, when they dropped the puck against the Adirondack Red Wings. This time, the game will be against the Phantoms. Take a deep breath at the end of month number three, as 14 more games will be in the rear view mirror. Six of those games will have been played in the backyard, while eight others will have been in a variety of different locations.

April is a pretty simple month to describe, as there will be two weekends and a total of six games. Both weekends begin with Friday nights in Providence, leading to road games on the Saturdays and Sundays. The regular season home finale takes place on the 9th against Springfield, while the road finisher is on the afternoon of the 11th in Lowell. After that, the fans will certainly be hoping for more, as the Bruins will aim for their second Calder Cup.

For the full schedule of games, please visit http://www.providencebruins.com. The full AHL schedule can be seen at http://www.theahl.com.

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