Texas Stars Announce 2011-12 Schedule

The AHL announced the schedule for the 2011-12 season this afternoon at 3PM Central. The season has been shortened from last year's 80 games to 76, 38 home and 38 away. Previously, the league had announced matchups so there are no surprises on who the Stars will be seeing, only dates and times.

For the first time in history, Texas will open the season at home, playing host to the Barons on Sunday, October 9th. The home schedule will also close against the Barons on April 14th. The season overall will close on the road at Houston on Sunday the 15th of April.

Overall, this schedule feels a lot easier on the team than last year's. The team will face the same number of back-to-back games at 17 but will drop from seven to four 3-in-3s. The season will end in a 3-in-3 as it did last year. Texas's longest road trip is half as long as last year's. From February 14th to 26th, Texas battled it out in eight games over 13 days. This year, Texas will twice head out for four game trips, once in October and once in January. "It's not going to be something that's going to wearing on us," said Coach Pyle. The longest home stand stays the same at seven games, this time in March as the playoff race heats up.

Interesting segments in the schedule include the Thanksgiving time frame, which sees Texas play Houston in four out of five games in an eight day period. Milwaukee, which knocked Texas out of the playoffs last year, will not visit the CPC until early February. New opponents on the schedule, Charlotte and Rochester, will both visit Austin in December. And despite it being a Thursday game, I'm pretty sure that November 3rd against Toronto will be a sellout thanks to our Canadian friends here in Austin.

The Stars will not play any home day games during the week this year after playing one last year in March. Texas will participate in several day road games, including another 10:45 AM game in Lake Erie. Several good road trip opportunities exist in Stars road games in Houston and San Antonio on Sunday afternoons.

What do you see in the schedule? Where are the rough points?