AHL goes to three divisions

July 09, 1991|By Tara Finnegan

It was incorrectly reported in yesterday's editions of The Sun that the Baltimore Skipjacks will face each member of the Atlantic Division of the American Hockey League four times next season. In fact, the Skipjacks will face each member of the Atlantic Division -- except St. John's -- two times. They will face St. John's four times.

The Sun regrets the errors.

The AHL announced last weekend that it will have three divisions for the 1991-92 season, with the Baltimore Skipjacks a member of the Southern Division.

Joining the Skipjacks in that division will be the Hershey Bears, Rochester Americans, Binghamton Rangers and Utica Devils.

"It [the new divisions] creates your divisional rivalries and reduces travel costs," Skipjacks coach Rob Laird said.

"The fans in Baltimore like to watch Hershey," Laird said. "We have established a great rivalry against Hershey."

The Skipjacks will play Hershey 16 times (eight home, eight away) and each of the other Southern Division teams eight times. They will face each Northern Division team -- except for Maine -- six times, and each Atlantic Division team and Maine four times.


Laird said the restructuring was proposed by Skipjacks owner Tom Ebright and was accepted with some adjustments. "We're behind it 100 percent," Laird said.

The top four teams from each division will qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs, in which each division's first-place team will face the fourth-place team and the second-place team will face the third-place team in best-of-seven series. The two winners will play a best-of-seven series to determine a division champion.

The division champion with the best record will receive a bye to the final round.

"It's a little tougher road to the Calder Cup," Laird said. "There will be more games this year."

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