Bandits get their dream dates: lots of weekends at the Arena Home opener is Oct. 4 against Hershey Bears

July 23, 1996|By Phil Jackman

The Bandits, who had a home schedule not even a mother could love in their inaugural American Hockey League campaign last season, are all smiles today. All those Wednesday nights when sometimes fewer than 2,000 spectators showed up -- forget 'em.

The club, without a coach after the elevation of Walt Kyle to the parent Anaheim Mighty Ducks as chief assistant coach, will have mostly weekend dates during the 1996-97 season. The home opener is Oct. 4 (Friday) against the Hershey Bears.

Sundays (16) and Fridays (11) will be the days the team will be pushing to get fans out, as it seeks to improve on its disappointing attendance average of 3,600 in 1995-96. The last season the Skipjacks played here (1992-93), they averaged 3,066 fans for 40 games.

The Bandits will play three Saturday games at the Baltimore Arena after having none of those prime dates last season. Weeknight games fall on three Mondays, one Wednesday and six Thursdays.

In a newly named Mid-Atlantic Division with four other members this season, the Bandits will play a dozen games against Carolina and the expansion Kentucky Thoroughblades, based in Lexington, and 10 against Hershey (now a Colorado Avalanche affiliate) and Philadelphia (now the Flyers' top farm team).

The team will play 14 games against teams from the New England and Empire State divisions and eight against the Canadian Division, with the Fredericton Canadiens and Saint John Flames the only teams in the 18-team AHL it will not oppose.

Pub Date: 7/23/96

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