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Ice Chips

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    If you are interested in this sort of thing, here is a lawsuit that was filed against the ECHL by the CHL, in which it is alleged the ECHL tried to "poach" the Rapid City Rush and Allen Americans.
  • Ex-Komet becomes a coach
    Former Komets player Kevin Kaminski has been hired to coach the Portland Junior Pirates.
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    Goaltender Ben Meisner, who played last season for the Komets, has signed to play with Allen of the CHL this season.
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The beauty of IceMen

A challenge was made to me on Twitter, that I could write 500 kind words about the Komets' rivals, the Evansville IceMen.

I took the challenge in support of my latest charitable endeavor -- Movember -- and I hope you will take a look at that by clicking here.

(A note on that: For every $10 you donate to my Movember page <click here>, I will enter you in a raffle featuring several Komets-related items. I will give more details on that later today, but please start giving because you will want these things.)

OK, here it goes ... what makes the IceMen good for hockey:

Let's face it, since the Indianapolis Ice went the route of junior hockey, there has been a dearth of professional hockey in this state.

There was the Komets and, well, that was about it.

Having the IceMen has not only upped the ante in the Hoosier state, but it's given Indiana a cross-state rivalry that it lacked for a long time.

And the Komets haven't had many good rivalries lately, at least not with teams close by, so it's been fun seeing the Komets and IceMen go head-to-head. That's especially true since the IceMen tend to play an exciting brand of hockey (although, that have been losing a lot this season) and they aren't afraid to play physically. That makes their games fun to watch.

Love him or hate him, IceMen star Todd Robinson is one of the best playmakers in the AA-level of hockey. The guy had 92 points in 66 games last season and that was a statistical down year. When it comes to quarterbacking, he's always fun to watch; he has the tools to make it to the NHL, if you really think about it.

Daniel Tetrault, to me, is one of those defensemen just about everyone would love to have because he impacts things at both ends of the ice. Remember how good he was against Fort Wayne in the IHL playoffs?

The IceMen have some rare talents this season in terms of NHL prospects: Tyler Shattock, Brett Sonne and, particularly, goalie Paul Karpowich have bright futures in hockey.

The Gens brothers -- Matt and Aaron -- may be a touch dirty (see Aaron's check that blew out Chris Auger's knee recently), but there aren't too many players around that even try to dole out old-school hip checks these days. The younger people may not be comfortable with a Gens check; but the old-timers at the rinks love the throwback style. Trust me, several have told me lately.

Though I haven't been there, I'm told the IceMen's venue, the Ford Center, is terrific. I know I'm excited to check out some games there, especially if the rivalry with Fort Wayne continues to heat up. In fact, I think the IceMen should be getting more prime dates; they seem to draw better than the University of Evansville.

Finally, the single greatest thing about the IceMen is their broadcaster, Terry Ficorelli. It may be nearly impossible to decipher his press releases, but there's never a boring moment listening to him. I've sat next to Terry countless times and I've never come across a broadcaster who puts more energy and creativity into the game.

So what if you need a "Fictionary" -- a real thing, by the way -- to understand all the words; he's anything but dull.

So thank you to the IceMen for being around.

Now get to donating money to Movember, all you fans of the Komets AND the IceMen

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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