After a year’s absence caused by renovations and a lease dispute, the Portland Pirates will return to the building formerly known as the Cumberland County Civic Center to open the American Hockey League season on the second Saturday night in October against the Providence Bruins.
The AHL released its 2014-15 schedule Wednesday. The Pirates will play 38 games at the Cross Insurance Arena and 38 on the road between Oct. 11 (the 7 p.m. opener against Providence) and April 19 (regular season finale at Worcester).
March is the busiest month in Portland for the Pirates, with eight home games scheduled. October (with three) and February (with four) feature the fewest home games.
For the first four months of the season, all home games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. February, March and April include a single Sunday matinee each month, at 3 p.m.
The schedule also includes a home game on Halloween against St. John’s, as well as on the night before (Nov. 26 vs. Worcester) and the night after (Nov. 28 vs. Providence) Thanksgiving. The Pirates host Hartford on New Year’s Eve, the first of a season-long five consecutive home dates.
All 14 fellow Eastern Conference teams will make at least one appearance in Portland.
“Unlike seasons past, our fans will have the opportunity to see every team in the Eastern Conference,” said Brad Church, chief operating officer for the Pirates, in a prepared statement. “As we return to our newly renovated home in Portland … we are extremely confident that this year’s schedule will add to our commitment to provide our fans with a world-class hockey experience every home game.”
The Pirates also plan to play two preseason games against the neighboring Manchester Monarchs, on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. in Maine and Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. in New Hampshire.
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or