It won't be long now as Western Hockey League teams are readying for training camps. And today, the league office officially released the regular season schedule.
The press release from Cory Flett, WHL Director, Communications, is below...
WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, AUGUST 10th, 2009
WHL ANNOUNCES 2009-10 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
Calgary, AB – The Western Hockey League today released its schedule for the 2009-10 regular season.
The 2009-10 regular season will begin on Thursday, September 17th, with a special Opening Night game featuring the defending Ed Chynoweth Cup - WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets hosting the Vancouver Giants. The game will be broadcast LIVE on SHAW TV with the pre-game show starting at 7:00 pm (PT).
The 2009-10 WHL regular-season schedule gets into full swing on Friday, September 18th, with eight games.
In the WHL Eastern Conference, the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup host Brandon Wheat Kings will travel to Prince Albert to face the Raiders, the 2008-09 Conference Champion Calgary Hitmen will visit Central Division rivals the Red Deer Rebels, the reigning East Division Champion Saskatoon Blades will host the Regina Pats, the Moose Jaw Warriors will face the Swift Current Broncos and the Lethbridge Hurricanes will visit the Kootenay ice.
In the WHL Western Conference, the Chilliwack Bruins welcome the Kamloops Blazers, the Spokane Chiefs visit the Prince George Cougars, and the Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds re-new their rivalry in Kent at the ShoWare Center.
As in previous seasons, the majority of games will be played on the weekend. Of the 792 games, 556 are scheduled for the weekend, with 227 to be played on a Friday, 231 on a Saturday and 98 on a Sunday. Additionally, 14 weekday games occur on various holidays throughout the season, meaning 72% of the schedule is played on a weekend or non-school days. During the week, Wednesday night has 137 matches, 78 games are scheduled for Tuesday, 11 contests will be played on Thursday and 10 games are scheduled to be held on Monday.
The 2009-10 WHL Regular Season concludes on Sunday, March 14th with the 2009 WHL Playoffs set to begin on Friday, March 19th.
With the Kelowna Rockets in mind, here are a few special dates to remember...
Thursday, September 17: Vancouver Giants at Kelowna Rockets (1st game of the season...televised on SHAW-TV)
Saturday, December 5: Tri City Americans at Kelowna Rockets (last home game before Christmas break)
Tuesday, December 8: Kelowna Rockets at Swift Current Broncos (1st game of the Rockets six-game road trip through the Eastern Division)
Wednesday, October 28: Calgary Hitmen at Kelowna Rockets (2008-2009 WHL Championship Series rematch)
To check out the full schedule online, click here.