SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — As the NHL lockout rolls on, hockey fans — and even some NHL players — are getting their fix in the American Hockey League.
Attendance is up, the atmosphere is too, and NHL players that are still eligible to toil in the minor leagues are staying in shape by donning AHL uniforms and riding the bus from site to site.
It all adds up to a healthy alternative while the NHL and the NHLPA figure out their issues.
At midweek, overall attendance in the 30-team AHL stood at 970,416 after 184 games, an average of 5,274 per game. Five clubs were averaging more than 7,000 and another 10 were surpassing 5,000 nightly.
Hershey led with an average attendance of 8,684 in six home games, while Syracuse had attracted 5,440 per game for the first four home dates, ahead of 2011-12.