The Asia League released the 2016-17 schedule today. As per the press release:
The AL will open the regular season portion with games starting on Saturday, August 27, 2016 before rounding out the season on Sunday, March 12, 2017. Nine teams will play in a combined total of 216 games over the course of six months. Six teams atop the final regular season standings will advance to the playoffs and will vie for the title of AL Champion. Both the first round will feature a best-of-three series and semi-finals and finals will feature a best-of-five series format which will begin in March and April.
■2016-2017 Participating Teams
Oji Eagles (Tomakomai/Japan) / Nippon Paper Cranes (Kushiro/Japan) / H.C.Tochigi Nikko IceBucks (Nikko/Japan) / Tohoku Free Blades (Hachinohe/Japan) / Anyang Halla Ice Hockey Club (Anyang/Korea) / High1 Ice Hockey Team (Goyang/Korea) / Daemyung Killer Whales (Incheon/Korea) / China Dragon (Qiqihal/China) / Sakhalin (YuzhonoSakhalinsk/Russia)
・Regular Season: Saturday, August 27, 2016 – Sunday, March 12, 2017
・Playoffs: Saturday, March 18, 2017 – Sunday, April 16, 2017
※Playoff rounds will feature a best-of-five series format.(First Round is a best-of-three) Playoff game schedule and start times will be determined at the conclusion of the regular season and semi-finals. Games will be played only as necessary.
Some notes on the schedule:
The league’s newest team, Daemyung Killer Whale, will open the 14th season with a three game series against the three time champions Anyang Halla from 8/27-8/30 at Seon Hak Ice Rink 선학국제빙상경기장
-Japanese teams will not start play until 9/10 as the Japanese national team play in Latvia 9/1 – 9/4 in the final Olympic qualification round. Japan will face Latvia, Germany and Austria in Riga, Latvia in a must win situation.
The China Dragon will play home games in four different cities this year:
- The Dragon’s first 3 games of the season will be in Jilin against Halla
- Qiqihar will host 12 and be the HOME rink
- Shanghai has 3 games
- Beijing will see 6 games to close out the regular season
High1 will play home games in three rinks:
- 13 at Goyang
- 9 at chuncheon
- 2 “Home” games at Anyang vs the Eagles and Cranes in the Anyang Classic
Anyang Halla weekend game starts are at 17:00 and weekday games 19:00.
14 game venues have not be decided yet