The AHL released the schedule for the beloved Rampage and everyone else today. Besides starting at home, which we found out yesterday, the rest of it breaks down like this:
The first 2 months are brutal, especially for our friends that live in San Antonio. After opening night vs Ontario only 5 of the next 19 games are at the AT&T Center. Now 3 of those are against the Stars, which requires only a bus trip to Cedar Park, but that’s harsh. On the positive side, the Fall is generally when we see the highest outside temperatures and worst ice conditions.
December is largely at home with one trip up to Winnipeg to play the Moose, twice, and another bus ride to Austin for one game. Same for January with one trip to California to play Stockton/San Jose and 8 home games.
Then comes the annual Rodeo Road Trip in February. After last year’s relatively benign journey, this one is a killer. 12 games in 26 nights and only once do they play the same team twice in a row. After the completion of a b2b with Texas they load up for the Northern base near Chicago and spend 11 days in the Midwest playing Rockford (2), Grand Rapids, Milwaukee (2), Iowa & Chicago. A brief trip home and then back out to Tucson (2) and SD/ONT.
After a whole day to recover from all that they start a homestand vs the Wolves, but the rest of the season is mostly at home with one final trip to SoCal, a weekend in Cleveland and lots of games vs the Stars of course.
Some interesting splits:
44 vs Pacific/32 vs Central
14 vs Texas/30 vs everybody else in the Pacific
19 home games on Fri-Sat/19 home games on Sun-Thur
4 games each vs San Diego, Stockton, Tucson, Chicago, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Manitoba & Milwaukee
6 games each vs Bakersfield, Ontario, San Jose, Iowa & Rockford
So, finishing last in the conference seems to get you an even harder schedule, which is nice. For whatever reason the AHL denied San Antonio & Texas requests to play 68 games like everyone else in the division and made it a little difficult for the Rampage to compete for a Pacific playoff spot by playing a ton of games vs the other division. They have 2 road trips to the Midwest that are longer than a week and none inside their own division, which seems a bit odd.
The upside of the schedule is that they get a little more time concentrated in San Antonio to practice and develop, which is the point of all this. If they make it through the grueling first two months and are still competitive they’ll have a slight advantage on clubs that were home-heavy or even early on.
Opening night is less than 3 months away, October 7th vs Ontario.
The Rampage should also have a schedule to download into your favorite smart calendar soon