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Ice Chips

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CHL close to locking up Evansville

The Evansville IceMen have been selected to be the home hockey team for the new Evansville Arena, Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel announced today.

The IceMen, who play in the Central Hockey League with the Fort Wayne Komets, were chosen over teams from the East Coast Hockey League and the U.S. Hockey League, Weinzapfel said in a statement.

"The IceMen already have a loyal fan base and we look forward to seeing that grow as they begin play in the arena next year," he said.

"(W)e felt that the IceMen would be the best fit for the new Evansville Arena and our community," said Brian Williams, chairman of an arena project hockey subcommittee. "The subcommittee also recognizes what the IceMen have done to improve their level of play with their move to the CHL and their commitment as an organization overall."

The recommendation will be forwarded to the Evansville Redevelopment Commission, which has final approval, the statement said.

The arena is to open in November 2011.

The Komets play the IceMen at McMillen-sized Swonder Arena in Friday.

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 jcohn@jg.net.

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