Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Crunch Back in Rats' Division UPDATED

The American Hockey League has announced the official conference and division alignment for the 2009-10 season. The River Rats will again be part of the East Division of the Eastern Conference. There will, however, be some slight changes.

The Rats will welcome their old rival, the Syracuse Crunch, back to the division. Albany and Syracuse are now guaranteed to face-off eight times.

The Crunch will take the place of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who are set to move to the Atlantic Division. Last year Syracuse was part of the North Division of the Western Conference, which will now include the first-year Abbotsford Heat, formally known as the Quad-City Flames.

The Atlantic Division will be the only division with eight teams. The rest will hold seven.

The Adirondack Phantoms, formally of Philadelphia, will remain in the East Division alongside Albany. The Rats and Phantoms will square off twelve times.

The Rochester Americans are the only opponent the River Rats will play from the Western Conference.

Here is the complete breakdown of the divisions and games against:

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (2 H, 2 A)
Hartford Wolf Pack (1 H, 1 A)
Lowell Devils (1 H, 1 A)
Manchester Monarches (2 H, 2 A)
Portland Pirates (2 H, 2 A)
Providence Bruins (1 H, 1 A)
Springfield Falcons (2 H, 2 A)
Worchester Sharks (1 H, 1 A)

East Division
Adirondack Phantoms (6 H, 6 A)
Albany River Rats
Binghamton Senators (4 H, 4 A)
Hershey Bears (4 H, 4 A)
Norfolk Admirals (4 H, 4 A)
Syracuse Crunch (4 H, 4 A)
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (4 H, 4 A)

Western Conference

North Division
Abbotsford Heat
Grand Rapids Griffins
Hamilton Bulldogs
Lake Erie Monsters
Manitoba Moose
Rochester Americans (2 H, 2 A)
Toronto Marlies

West Division
Chicago Wolves
Houston Aeros
Milwaukee Admirals
Peoria Rivermen
Rockford Icehogs
San Antonio Rampage
Texas Stars