The Fort Wayne Komets hope their first game of the 2013-14 season will be played in Indianapolis. After months of speculation, the Indianapolis Fuel were announced an ECHL member starting in October.
``We're hopeful that we can be in Fairgrounds Coliseum the night they cut the ribbon and have the grand opening,'' Komets president Michael Franke said. ``That will be up to the schedule maker, but I'm sure that request will be made by both teams when the process starts.
``It's been such a long time coming. If I had a dollar for every time people asked me when I thought he'd get back in a league with Indianapolis, I'd be a rich man.''
The Indianapolis Ice were rivals of the Komets from 1988 to 1999 when both teams left the International Hockey League. The last time professional hockey played in Indianapolis was in 2004 before the Central Hockey League team folded. The United States Hockey League Indiana Ice played at the fairgrounds from 2004 until the coliseum was closed for renovations in 2012.
There were several times over the past 10 years when the Komets thought they'd be able to renew their rivalry with Indianapolis much sooner. One time Governor Mitch Daniels stepped into negotiations to force the Fairgrounds Coliseum to continue an affiliation with the junior team the Indiana Ice.
There was another time when Indianapolis almost joined the second IHL.
``I think this is something for all of us to look forward to,'' Franke said. ``It's a great day for Komets fans and for the ECHL and minor league hockey in general. This really solidifies this Midwest cluster of teams in the ECHL.''
That's my goal!
When checking the box score for Sunday's game in Evansville, many Komets fans noticed forward Mickey Lang had not been credited with his third goal. Defenseman Rob Kwiet had been awarded the marker, costing Lang a hat trick.
When there's a mistake in the scoring, it's usually a wrong assist rather than a wrong goal, but sometimes referees tells the scorekeeper the wrong player and there's a routine in place to make corrections.
After the incorrect information is announced, the captain or coach is supposed to ask the official scorer for a review which takes place between periods or at the end of the game. If the players or scorekeepers miss making a correction, it's up to the team's public relations manager to alert the league, usually within 48 hours of the game.
Sometimes the mistake can be caused by something as simple as difficult-to-read jersey numbers.
``We review every goal,'' Komets Director of Communications Chuck Bailey said. ``If we see an Elmira player skating in and shooting, from seven stories up we could get the number wrong, but we'll get that taken care of. Sometimes we have to send a video clip with it.''
Bailey alerted ECHL Director of Communications Joe Babik on Monday afternoon, and within 30 minutes the correction was made. Lang was credited with his 13th goal of the season which gave him the league lead.
``You work with the group in the press box and the players,'' Bailey said. ``I've found that most of the time the players are right. There's usually one or two assist changes every week.''
Thankful for Thanksgiving
The Komets are 33-15-2 all-time at home in Thanksgiving night games and have won five in a row and nine of the last 10. They have not had a sellout or a crowd of more than 8,100 since 1995. They've played at home every years since 1962.
He's not my dad
Along with dealing with concussion problems, defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin keeps running into people who believe his father is former Komet Richard Pepin. They've even been bringing him souvenirs from Richard Pepin's playing days. Unfortunately for the fans, the two men are not related, though they are both from Montreal.
Icing the puck
Over their last eight games, the Komets have lost two-goal leads four times and third-period leads six times. They won three of those games... Mickey Lang has at least a point in six consecutive games, and linemate Mike Vaskivuo has scored in five straight games... After Saturday, the Komets play their next four games on the road and then play four in a row at home... Ontario has passed the Komets in average attendance, 7,818 to 7,448 fans per game.