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Marlies and Leafs hitting the road this fall

It’s not too early to plan for September and October hockey.

Extreme Cold Freezes Parts Of Niagara Falls Photo by Aaron Vincent Elkaim/Getty Images

The Maple Leafs will be in Niagara Falls again this year:

After holding their medicals and media day at MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke on Thursday, September 13, the team will travel to Niagara Falls where they will conduct on-ice sessions at the Gale Centre Arena from September 14-16. The team will then open its eight-game pre-season schedule on Tuesday, September 18 in Lucan, Ontario against the Ottawa Senators as part of Kraft Hockeyville 2018. A complete roster for this year’s training camp will be released at a later date.

Fans will have an opportunity to engage in training camp as the team hosts practices and scrimmages, contests, outdoor activations, and a Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni Game. Current Maple Leafs players and Maple Leafs Alumni will also be taking part in community appearances over the weekend while the Maple Leafs Hockey Development staff will be onsite conducting clinics and other development related programming for select minor hockey groups. Full details on the weekend schedule and how fans can get involved in training camp will be shared in the coming weeks.

The training camp in the Falls ends just as the Leafs (in some form) travel to Lucan, Ontario to open their preseason games with a special event there against the Ottawa Senators (in some form).

Meanwhile the Marlies, who is it rumoured will travel to St. John’s for their training camp, begin their season as defending champions on the road:

Because they are the champs, they open with a 3in4 instead of a 3in3 (this is a joke). No one said the AHL, was going to be easy, and they might as well start off as they will be forced to go on.

The actual home opener is proper Thanksgiving weekend:

The Cleveland Monsters, former home of Calvin Pickard, are now the AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets. They joined the North Division this summer in a minor realignment, and they get to watch the Marlies raise their banner.

This will be Toronto’s first meeting against Cleveland following the team’s move from the Western Conference’s Central Division. Toronto will face Cleveland eight times throughout the season as the most recent addition to the North Division. The Marlies last game against the then Lake Erie Monsters was a 4-3 overtime win on April 8, 2016.