The Portland Pirates will acknowledge the roots of professional hockey in Maine and their own past when the 2012-13 American Hockey League season begins in less than two months.
The first game for the Pirates’ 20th season in Maine will be Oct. 13 on the road in New York, playing the Adirondack Phantoms. Six days later the Pirates’ home opener will be played against the Worcester Sharks at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, once home to the Maine Nordiques.
The Pirates will play six home games in the Colisee while renovations to the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland are completed. The team have 32 games at the Civic Center. Its second home opener will be Nov. 2, when the Pirates wear copies of the uniforms worn during the 1993-94 inaugural season in Maine.
The Colisee, once known as the Central Maine Youth Center, hosted youth, high school and semipro hockey games beginning in 1958. The Nordiques played four seasons in the North American Hockey League beginning in 1973. The NAHL was the inspiration for the movie, “Slap Shot.”
More recently, the former Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League made the Colisee their home. Their last season was in 2010-11.
The Pirates won the AHL’s Calder Cup in their first season in Portland. It remains the team’s only league championship season. The Pirates are currently affiliated with the Phoenix Coyotes.