Fort Wayne (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- The reigning 2012 CHL Champion Fort Wayne Komets will make their debut in the ECHL on home ice when the 2012-13 campaign gets underway Friday, Oct. 12 at 8pm at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
The long-time rival Kalamazoo Wings will return to help the Komets launch another chapter in the team's history as the 61st season of Komet hockey in Fort Wayne gets underway. Fort Wayne fans haven't seen the Wings since Kalamazoo bolted from the IHL for the ECHL after the 2008-09 season. The last time the Wings visited the Memorial Coliseum was April 24, 2009 when the Komets escaped with a 3-2 overtime win to take a 3-2 first-round series lead before clinching the series at Kalamazoo 5-3 April 25, 2009 in the last meeting. The season opener will be the sixth time Kalamazoo has visited for a Fort Wayne home opener. It will be the third season opener between the two rivals. The last time the two teams met for a season opener was Oct. 8, 1988. Kalamazoo also visits for the conclusion of 2012-13 on Saturday, March 30.
72 games for 2012-13-- The ECHL's 25th anniversary schedule carries an even 36 home and 36 road games. The Komets reside in the Eastern Conference and will play 14 of the 23 teams. Fort Wayne faces Kalamazoo the most at 15 meetings. The Evansville Icemen and Toledo Walleye will each skate 11 games against Fort Wayne while the Cincinnati Cyclones meet the Komets 10 times for a total of 47 games between Fort Wayne and North Division rivals. Toledo will make the most trips to Fort Wayne with seven. Rounding out the schedule will be eight Atlantic Division games (Elmira 3, Reading 2, Wheeling 2, Trenton 1), 14 South Division games (Gwinnett 5, Orlando 4, Florida 2, South Carolina 2, Greenville 1). The Komets skate three games against the Western Conference, all against Colorado when they visit the Eagles for three games in February.
Holidays and weekends-- The Komets will be home for a total of 30 weekend and holiday games. The tradition of Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve games continues. The Komets host Kalamazoo Thanksgiving night, Nov. 22. It will be Kalamazoo's second Thanksgiving appearance in Fort Wayne. The Wings also visited for Thanksgiving Nov. 24, 1983. Toledo visits for the annual New Year's Eve game Monday, Dec. 31. It will be the ninth time a Toledo team visited for New Year's Eve. The last time was when the Goaldiggers came to town to help ring in 1975.
K's on the road-- The Komets will tackle two five-game road trips starting with five straight matches Nov. 28 thru Dec. 9. A string of five straight road games is also slated from Feb. 6 thru Feb. 15.
There are two extended visits of three straight meetings each as the Komets get reacquainted with Orlando and Colorado. The Komets will face the Solar Bears at Orlando for three games in three nights Dec. 7, 8 and 9. The last time the Komets faced Orlando was April 11, 1999 in Fort Wayne against the IHL Solar Bears. Fort Wayne travels to Colorado to reunite with the Eagles for three games in a row Feb. 6, 8 and 9. The Komets also faced the Eagles during the 2010-11 CHL season.
Komet Hockey home double-header weekend-- There are six home double-header weekends for Fort Wayne fans. The Gwinnett Gladiators visit for games Oct. 26 and 27. Toledo and Evansville are in town Nov. 16 and 17. The Komets welcome Cincinnati for a pair Jan. 12 and 13. Kalamazoo and Cincinnati visit Feb. 1 and 2. The 2012 ECHL Kelly Cup Champion Florida Everblades make their only appearance of the season March 8 and 9. The Greenville Road Warriors and Evansville visit for the final home double-header of the season March 16 and 17.
"The Komets are very excited about starting our first year in the ECHL with such a great home and road schedule," said Komet President Michael Franke. "We are fortunate to play our regional rivals several times and our fans will see 14 different teams on Coliseum ice this season. It may be our best schedule ever."
12 FRIDAY VS KALAMAZOO 8:00PM ET
20 SATURDAY VS EVANSVILLE 7:30PM ET
26 FRIDAY VS GWINNETT 8:00PM ET
27 SATURDAY VS GWINNETT 7:30PM ET
9 FRIDAY VS EVANSVILLE 8:00PM ET
16 FRIDAY VS TOLEDO 8:00PM ET
17 SATURDAY VS EVANSVILLE 7:30PM ET
22 THURSDAY VS KALAMAZOO 7:30PM ET
24 SATURDAY VS TOLEDO 7:30PM ET
12 WEDNESDAY VS KALAMAZOO 7:30PM ET
16 SUNDAY VS KALAMAZOO 5:00PM ET
19 WEDNESDAY VS CINCINNATI 7:30PM ET
22 SATURDAY VS TRENTON 7:30PM ET
27 THURSDAY VS TOLEDO 7:30PM ET
29 SATURDAY VS ELMIRA 7:30PM ET
31 MONDAY VS TOLEDO 7:30PM ET
2 WEDNESDAY VS GWINNETT 7:30PM ET
4 FRIDAY VS CINCINNATI 8:00PM ET
6 SUNDAY VS ORLANDO 5:00PM ET
12 SATURDAY VS CINCINNATI 7:30PM ET
13 SUNDAY VS CINCINNATI 5:00PM ET
18 FRIDAY VS TOLEDO 8:00PM ET
1 FRIDAY VS KALAMAZOO 8:00PM ET
2 SATURDAY VS CINCINNATI 7:30PM ET
16 SATURDAY VS EVANSVILLE 7:30PM ET
22 FRIDAY VS CINCINNATI 8:00PM ET
24 SUNDAY VS WHEELING 5:00PM ET
27 WEDNESDAY VS TOLEDO 7:30PM ET
8 FRIDAY VS FLORIDA 8:00PM ET
9 SATURDAY VS FLORIDA 7:30PM ET
13 WEDNESDAY VS EVANSVILLE 7:30PM ET
16 SATURDAY VS GREENVILLE 7:30PM ET
17 SUNDAY VS EVANSVILLE 5:00PM ET
20 WEDNESDAY VS READING 7:30PM ET
27 WEDNESDAY VS TOLEDO 7:30PM ET
30 SATURDAY VS KALAMAZOO 7:30PM ET
October (Local times)
13 Saturday @ Evansville
19 Friday @ Kalamazoo
2 Friday @ Toledo 7:05pm ET
3 Saturday @ Kalamazoo
7 Wednesday @ Toledo 10:35am ET
10 Saturday @ Kalamazoo
23 Friday @ Kalamazoo
28 Wednesday @ Gwinnett 7:35pm ET
30 Friday @ Gwinnett 7:05pm ET
7 Friday @ Orlando 7:00pm ET
8 Saturday @ Orlando 7:00pm ET
9 Sunday @ Orlando 3:00pm ET
14 Friday @ Reading 7:05pm ET
15 Saturday @ Wheeling 7:00pm ET
21 Friday @ Kalamazoo
28 Friday @ Kalamazoo
5 Saturday @ Cincinnati 7:35pm ET
9 Wednesday @ Evansville
11 Friday @ Cincinnati 7:35pm ET
16 Wednesday @ Evansville
19 Saturday @ Kalamazoo
26 Saturday @ Evansville
30 Wednesday @ Kalamazoo
6 Wednesday @ Colorado 7:05pm MT (9:05 FW)
8 Friday @ Colorado 7:05pm MT (9:05 FW)
9 Saturday @ Colorado 7:05pm MT (9:05 FW)
12 Tuesday @ Cincinnati 7:35pm ET
15 Friday @ Evansville
17 Sunday @ Toledo 5:05pm ET
23 Saturday @ Toledo 7:05pm ET
1 Friday @ South Carolina 7:05pm ET
2 Saturday @ South Carollina 7:05pm ET
15 Friday @ Kalamazoo
22 Friday @ Elmira 7:05pm ET
23 Saturday @ Elmira 7:05pm ET
29 Friday @ Cincinnati 7:35pm ET
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