The Hamilton Bulldogs will open their season against the Toronto Marlies before what is being called a sellout crowd at Copps Coliseum Friday night.

Put an asterisk next to the word “sellout”.  All nine thousand seats in Copps Coliseum’s lower bowl have been sold.  The upper bowl and it’s eight thousand seats remain closed for AHL games.

The only other time the Bulldogs have sold as many as nine thousand tickets for a home opener was four months after they won the Calder Cup in 2007.

There are nine rookie professionals on the Hamilton roster.  Seven, including right wingers Brendan Gallagher,  Steve Quailer and Patrick Holland, centre Michael Bournival,  and defensemen Nathan Beaulieu,  Antoine Corbin,  Greg Pateryn, and  Jarred Tinordi  made their pro debut last Saturday night in the shootout win against the Detroit Red Wings farm club at Grand Rapids Michigan.

This will be the first of twelve meetings with the Marlies this season.  The Marlies beat Hamilton twice in the pre-season.