This morning the PHF revealed their Season 8 schedule and we’ve looked through all 84 games and picked out the best, must-see games that all fans should be tuned in to, or in attendance for. With the addition of a seventh team, we are back up to 24 games per team for the first time since Season 5. More games, more hockey = everybody wins!
*All times listed are ET
The puck will drop on the PHF’s eighth regular season on the weekend of Nov. 5-6 with all seven teams involved in a total of six games. We kick things off with an afternoon matinee when the Toronto Six host the Minnesota Whitecaps at 2:00 pm in the first game of a triple-header.
Then at 7:00 pm, we will finally meet and see the debut of the Montreal Force when they play their first-ever game in the PHF, visiting the Buffalo Beauts. At the same time down in Massachusetts, the two-time defending champion Boston Pride will be raising their third Isobel Cup banner when they host the Connecticut Whale in a rematch of the 2022 Isobel Cup Final.
On Sunday, Nov. 6 at 11:00 am the Whitecaps and Six will square off again in Toronto, as will the Beauts and Force in Buffalo at 1:00 pm. The Metropolitan Riveters will be the last team to make their Season 8 debut when they try to knock off the Pride at 2:00 pm in Boston.
The following weekend all teams will be off as the PHF pauses during the IIHF international break, before resuming the weekend of Nov. 18-20 for another six contests.
Friday Night Lights
On Friday, November 18 the Pride will pay a visit to Minnesota’s new home rink - Richfield Ice Arena for the first Friday game in a long time, maybe ever? This is the first of nine total Friday night games across the entire season.
These Friday night games are highlighted by the Beauts and Six returning to Buffalo’s Riverworks for another outdoor battle on Dec. 16.
Other Friday night games include - Minnesota at the Whale (Dec. 9), Boston at the Whale (Jan. 6), Montreal at the Whale (Jan. 27), Connecticut at the Riveters (Feb. 3), Boston at the Riveters (Feb. 24), Minnesota at the Pride (Mar. 3), and Buffalo at the Riveters (Mar. 10).
A day after the Whitecaps debut in their new home, the Riveters will play their first home game at the American Dream rink in New Jersey on November 19 when they welcome Toronto to town. A few weekends later the Whale will skate in their new home rink for the first time when they host the Whitecaps at the International Skating Center of Connecticut on Dec. 9.
We already mentioned the outdoor game in Buffalo (Dec. 16 vs. T6), but also keep your eyes peeled for news about the game on Jan. 14 when the Force visit the Whale. For now, the time is listed as 3:00 pm and the location is TBD. Perhaps a doubleheader in Bridgeport (the AHL’s Sound Tigers host Utica that night at 7:00 pm), or Hartford (the AHL’s Wolf Pack host Providence that night at 7:30 pm)?
The PHF press release says that All-Star weekend will be Jan. 27-29 and that the format and location will be released at another time. Two things on that: Montreal plays at Connecticut on the 27th, and isn’t the location supposed to be in Toronto, who was supposed to host last season’s event?
The champs open with a rematch of the ICF and raise their banner before hitting the road for all of December and the first week of January (5 games). Their first games with the Force will be Jan. 21-22 (in Montreal) and Feb. 18-19 (in Boston). They close the season in Toronto (Mar. 11-12) against the team they’ve eliminated in the semifinals in each of the past two seasons.
The hunt for our third straight Isobel Cup starts on Nov. 5! pic.twitter.com/rkSGi6yK6W— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) September 19, 2022
After welcoming the Force to the PHF on opening weekend the Beauts will hit the road for two games in Connecticut before returning home for a six-game home stand that spans from Thanksgiving to mid-January, including their now annual outdoor game. Once the calendar flips to February Buffalo will be on the road for eight of their final ten games - including six consecutive contests away from home (Toronto, Minnesota, Montreal) during February.
Last season’s runner-up will have to sit through a banner-raising ceremony on opening weekend in Boston before returning to Connecticut for a pair of games against the Beauts at Milford Ice Arena. Following a trip to Montreal, the Whale will be home for the holidays and will have a season-high five-straight games at home from Dec. 9-Jan. 6. The Pod will spend the final month (four games) on the road with trips to Buffalo and Minnesota to close out the season.
A version for the Pod to save 😁 pic.twitter.com/Cl9bSLc5jZ— Connecticut Whale (@CTWhaleHockey) September 19, 2022
Following their opening weekend trip to Boston, the Rivs will return home to battle the Six and debut their new home rink in East Rutherford, NJ. Then they’ll pack their bags and head on a seven-game road trip through Montreal, Minnesota, Toronto, and Connecticut (Nov. 26-Dec.17). Once we hit 2023 the Riveters will be home a lot with a pair of four-game home stands (Jan. 7-15, Mar. 4-11).
Unlike last season Minnesota, does not have to play the defending champions on back-to-back weekends to start the season. After opening Season 8 in Toronto, they will host the champs in the home opener at their new rink to start a four-game home stand. The Whitecaps will spend the start of 2023 on the road with a six-game trip through Buffalo, New Jersey, and Montreal (Jan. 7-Feb. 5) before returning home for another four straight games at home.
Let's go! pic.twitter.com/CoAfN9dCu6— Minnesota Whitecaps (@WhitecapsHockey) September 19, 2022
The league’s seventh team debuts opening weekend in Buffalo and then will have 20 days to prepare for their debut on Canadian soil (ice?) when they start a four-game home stand against the Rivs (Nov. 26-27) and Whale (Dec. 3-4). That’s their longest home stand, and four games are also their longest road trip (Toronto-Boston in mid-February). We’ll have to wait until 2023 for the first all-Canadian tussle in PHF history when the Force host the Six on Jan. 7-8 at Colisee Financiere Sun Life.
Year three for the Six begins with a pair of home dates vs. the Whitecaps and then Toronto will spend the rest of November on the road with two-game trips to New Jersey and Boston. They’ll return home for a two-game set with the Rivs (who they play four times over six games) before grabbing their suitcases to play in Buffalo (one game outdoors) and Montreal to close out 2022 and begin 2023. Their longest home stand will be - you guessed it - six games, when they host the Whale, Beauts, and Force (Jan. 21-Feb.12).
Don’t Be Late for Season 8
These are some of the things we’ve noticed about the schedule for Season 8 after looking through it for a few hours. What sticks out to you? Which games are you most looking forward to? Which games are you attending? I’m already starting to plan a few trips, hope to see you around the rink!