The Johnstown Chiefs’ 2006-07 ECHL schedule is heavy with Saturday and Sunday games, and features two special holiday events, including a rare weekday afternoon game.

The Chiefs will play 65 games against North Division opponents and seven games out of the division during a 72-game schedule.

The season opens on Saturday, Oct. 21 against the Pensacola Ice Pilots at Cambria County War Memorial Arena. That is the first of 14 Saturday home dates, one more than last season.

The Chiefs doubled their Sunday games at the War Memorial, with 10, including the New Year’s Eve contest against divisional rival Toledo.

There will be eight Friday home games, three fewer than last season. The Chiefs play only four weekday games, a positive development because those are traditionally poor draws.

In what might be a first for the organization in its 19th ECHL season, the Chiefs will play at 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15 during the Martin Luther King holiday.

“In the overall scheme of things, I prefer the additional Saturday game,” Chiefs Vice President of Business Operations Kevin McGeehan said. “Sundays were a big hit with us last year, and we doubled our Sunday games, one of those being New Year’s Eve. We’ve decreased the amount of weeknight games. We only have three Wednesdays.

“We’re also doing something out of the ordinary this year, with a Monday afternoon game on Martin Luther King Day. We’re trying to do something special because all the schools are out and a lot of businesses are closed.”

Pensacola, Charlotte, Augusta and Bakersfield are non-division opponents that will visit Johnstown. The Chiefs travel to Gwinnett, South Carolina and Bakersfield out of the division.

The North Division will add Cincinnati, a former member returning to the mix. The Chiefs play the Cyclones 10 times – five home, five away.

The Chiefs meet division rivals Trenton and Wheeling 12 times apiece – six home and six away. Johnstown faces Reading 11 times, with five games at home. Coach Frank Anzalone’s team plays Toledo and Dayton 10 times each – five at home and five away.

“No matter what happens, you’ve got to play everybody to win a championship,” Chiefs GM Toby O’Brien said. “We are playing an unbalanced schedule with 65 division games and only seven non-division games. But that should make for some real heated battles.”

McGeehan said the team already has sold more than 900 season-ticket equivalents. By comparison, 1,050 season-ticket equivalents were sold all season.

“Season ticket sales have increased and we’ve had several businesses step up to the front,” McGeehan said. “We’re 80 percent to our goal.”

Starting times for home games are 7 p.m. on Saturdays, 3 p.m. on Sundays and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and Friday.

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