The Ottawa 67's won't take long to warm up to their new hockey surroundings.
With their longtime home — the Civic Centre — undergoing renovations, the capital's Ontario Hockey League team is heading west to Scotiabank Place for the next two seasons. And they'll get started in their new digs with a four-game homestand to open the 2012-13 season.
The 67's drop the puck on a new season with a Sept. 20 matchup against the Barrie Colts at Scotiabank Place, followed by home matchups against the Peterborough Petes (Sept. 22), Niagara IceDogs (Sept. 28) and Erie Otters (2 p.m.).
Ottawa's home slate at Scotiabank Place also includes extended runs in November (seven out of eight at home between Nov. 6 and 20) and January (seven straight between Feb. 1 and 18). You'll find games on every day of the week, with busiest ones the 67's two most traditional home days — Friday (eight) and Sunday (seven). Home contests are also scheduled on Monday (three), Tuesday (four), Wednesday (five) and Thursday (three).
All Sunday home dates are 2 p.m. starts. The Monday games are all daytime affairs, including a 10:30 a.m. start on Oct. 29 against the Kingston Frontenacs, for the 67's annual "School Daze" game, and 2 p.m. starts on Dec. 31 (New Year's Eve, Kingston) and Feb. 18 (Family Day, Brampton Battalion).
Last season, 31 of the 34 home dates for the 67's were played on either Friday night or Sunday afternoon at the Civic Centre. But the move to Scotiabank Place — and sharing time with the Senators, the building's primary tenant — necessitated changes.
"We knew things would be a little different sharing nights with the Senators, but they really did a great job balancing both (OHL and NHL) schedules with all the other events that go on there," 67's coach/GM Chris Byrne told the Ottawa Sun. "We can’t complain about it.”
For Senators fans, the 67's arrival at Scotiabank Place carries additional appeal, given the organization's drafting of blueliner Cody Ceci and centre Shane Prince over the last two years. Assuming they're not with the Sens to start the 2012-13 campaign, they'll get plenty of extra exposure to their potential future National Hockey League home while with the 67's.
Also worth noting are early-season visits by the Kitchener Rangers (Oct. 14) and Plymouth Whalers (Nov. 18), who feature Senators 2011 first-round picks Matt Puempel and Stefan Noesen, respectively, in their lineups.
Tickets for all 67's home games can be ordered through www.CapitalTickets.ca. For more information about the team, including the full season schedule, visit www.Ottawa67s.com.