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Komets schedule: Some Mudbugs, lots of Gems

The Central Hockey League, fortified with four former IHL clubs, unveiled its 2009-2010 schedule Friday, and it begins with a bang for the Turner Cup champion Fort Wayne Komets: a season-opening showdown against the CHL's Miron Cup champs, the Rapid City Rush.

That one will have a 7:30 p.m. faceoff on Saturday, Oct. 16, and opens a 66-game schedule that will include a 1,819-mile road trip to Arizona the second weekend of the season, a 49th Thanksgiving night home date and 54th New Year's Eve home date (both against Quad City) and a New Year's Day game at Dayton.

It also includes this: Twenty-five of 36 home games against former IHL standbys Dayton, Quad City and Bloomington, plus newcomer Evansville.

Fans will see Dayton and Evansville seven times apiece, Quad City six times and Bloomington five times. There will also be home games against new faces Arizona, Bossier-Shreveport, Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, Wichita and Rapid City, but none of the Texas teams—Laredo, Allen, Texas, Rio Grande Valley and Odessa – will appear on Coliseum ice during the regular season. Nor will Tulsa.

In addition to the Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve dates, the Komets secured 26 weekend dates – 12 on Friday, nine on Saturday and five on Sunday – out of 36 home games, plus home games on Dec. 22, 27, 29 and 31 during the holidays.

The Komets' busiest month is February, when they play 14 games. Home game times will remain the same as last year, with Friday games at 8 p.m. and all games except Sundays, a 5 p.m. faceoff, starting at 7:30.

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at