2014-15 Schedule Breakdown
Playing in a new division in 2014-15 will mean a different-looking schedule for the Lake Erie Monsters compared to recent years. Moving out of the North Division, the Monsters will be introduced to new Midwest division rivals Grand Rapids, Chicago, Milwaukee and Rockford over the season's first seven games. Twenty-six weekend dates highlight a schedule that includes at least two games against every Western Conference team.
Fans will notice fewer games against Toronto and Hamilton on the schedule for this season with the Monsters moving to the Midwest Division, but the lack of visits from the Marlies and Bulldogs will be offset by 10 total meetings (Five home, five road) between the Monsters and both Grand Rapids and Milwaukee. To round out the division schedule, the Monsters will see Chicago and Rockford eight times each. The schedule includes six total games against Hamilton, two matchups with Utica, and four games against the remaining teams in the Western Conference. The defending Calder Cup Champion Texas Stars make their one trip to The Q over the Halloween weekend; the games are on October 31st and November 1st.
The one new face on the Monsters schedule is the Adirondack Flames. The Calgary Flames moved their affiliate from Abbotsford, British Columbia to Glens Falls, New York during the offseason, and Adirondack moved into the place vacated by the Monsters in the North Division. The Monsters and Flames will play four times, with Adirondack's lone two-game trip to The Q set for the weekend November 14th and November 15th. For the second straight season, the Monsters will not face an Eastern Conference team in the regular season.
Fans looking for weekend entertainment during the Fall and Winter months will need to look no further than Monsters hockey at The Q. A total of 14 Friday night games, 12 Saturday games, and a Sunday matinee in March highlight the weekend schedule. The Monsters play six Friday-Saturday back-to-back stretches at home this season.
Each team's schedule yields a few rigorous stretches, but the Monsters will play three-games-in-three-nights less frequently than a season ago, with four such runs on tap for '14-15. The Monsters open the season playing six of eight October games on the road, and as they did last year, the Monsters will endure perhaps their toughest dose of road games in the month of March. Between March 11th and March 29th, 2015, the Monsters will play eight of nine games on the road. The voyage begins with the Monsters first visit to Cedar Park, Texas to take on the defending champion Stars, makes a pit stop for a game against Grand Rapids at The Q on March 21st, and concludes with a Friday-Sunday pair of games in Charlotte on March 27th and March 29th.
Each season presents Holiday and "special" games across the league with unconventional start times, but the Monsters will only faceoff earlier than 1:00 p.m. once this season. The annual school day game at The Q is set for February 24th, 2015 against Rochester, and the puck will drop at 10:45 a.m. This will mark the second time in three seasons that the Monsters host the Americans in the school day game. The Monsters-Americans rivalry really picked up steam over the last two seasons, and fans will be treated to that matchup four times overall in '14-15. Aside from the school day game on February 24th, the Monsters will also host Rochester on April 9th.
Other scheduling notes and quirks:
- An eight-game homestand will be the longest such stretch for the Monsters in '14-15; between February 20th and March 8th, 2015, the Monsters will host Rockford twice, Iowa twice, Chicago twice, Rochester and Milwaukee over the span.
- The Monsters play the entire Western Conference, and each conference foe makes at least one trip to The Q this season. The first opponent the Monsters will be "finished" with- and the only Western Conference team they will not see after the calendar flips to 2015- is the Utica Comets. The Monsters host Utica on November 7th, and the Monsters visit the Comets on December 27th.
- The Monsters will host Hamilton on "Black Friday" this season, beginning a home-and-home weekend between the rivals over the Thanksgiving weekend.
- The American Hockey League always takes a brief break during the week of Christmas; the Monsters host Grand Rapids on Saturday, December 20th, and they get back to business the day after Christmas in Rochester.
- The Monsters do not play on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.
- The schedule picks up down the stretch; the Monsters play 12 games in 28 days in February, 13 games in 31 days in March, and nine games in April; the regular season schedule concludes for the Monsters on April 18.
- Between March 25th and April 18th, 2015, the Monsters play 13 games in 25 days to finish the regular season.
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