Over the course of the summer, the majority of AHL teams announced possible preseason matchups to hopefully wet the appetite of hockey fans when the season was still not quite within shouting distance. The two teams in the West who didn’t have at least two games scheduled officially were Houston and Oklahoma City. Being the deductive reasoner that most are it seemed inevitable that these two would again see each other in an exhibition setting.
Announced today, the Barons will face the Houston Aeros on back to back nights on October 5th and October 6th. Both are 7:00pm starts and admission is free with a donation made to the Infant Crisis Services of Oklahoma.
The official release:
Admission to both preseason contests will be free with a donation of goods or funds to Infant Crisis Services in Oklahoma City. Suggested donation items include sippy cups, baby bottles, new or gently used toys, Good Start formula, diapers, Baby Bath, baby shampoo, baby lotion, pacifiers and coats in sizes from 2T – 6. Fans are asked to bring their donations to the Cox Convention Center Box Office on the evening of the game. Donations will be accepted beginning at 5 p.m. each night. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Infant Crisis Services provides the basic necessities of life to more than 14,000 babies and toddlers in central Oklahoma each year. With the help of the community, Infant Crisis Services is able to supply life-sustaining formula and food as well as diapers and clothing for babies and toddlers in times of crisis.
“The decision to make the game donation-based serves many purposes,” said Prodigal CEO Bob Funk Jr. “It gives our fans a chance to connect with the players, our staff to connect with our fans and for both to give back to a fantastic community organization like Infant Crisis Services.”
Love the donation angle, coupled with the non-admission. But the curious angle here is the need for preseason games in an NHL lockout year. In most season starts, preseason games are played several days before the full NHL cuts are made. Some of the camp invitees aren’t cut by game one, they lace up, but most fully expect to be demoted when the higher ranked players head to the minors. This season is completely different. We’ll see the Nuge/Ebs/Schultz infused lineup out of the gate. The same goes for other teams, albeit less dramatic.
Huge h/t to Third Intermission, who has been talking about these preseason games in OKC long before the announcement.
Training camp dates and times can be found at www.okcbarons.com