The Komets announced their 2017-18 schedule Tuesday. Fort Wayne’s 66th season, sixth in the ECHL, will open with the Komets hosting the Toledo Walleye on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:30pm. The Komets will close the campaign Sunday, April 8 with a 5pm faceoff against the Cincinnati Cyclones. Fort Wayne’s 12th 72-game campaign is evenly divided at 36 games each at home and on the road.
31 of the Komets’ 36 home dates land on weekends and holidays. "It’s a great schedule for Komet fans, with weekend dates dominating our home schedule." Komet President Michael Franke said. "We will also see some new teams and overall a great variety of opponents for our 66th anniversary season."
New entries into the ECHL will be the Worcester Railers and Jacksonville Icemen. The Komets will not face the Icemen during the season but will battle the Railers for the first time ever with a trip to Massachusetts for St. Patrick’s day March 17. Idaho will remain the only returning ECHL team the Komets have yet to meet.
Fort Wayne will host the traditional Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve games with the Walleye guesting on both dates. The Komets are home for 10 Friday games, 13 Saturday’s, seven Sunday’s and five Wednesday’s with one Thursday for Thanksgiving.
The busiest month will be March with 15 games. The Komets are home during February the most with eight dates. Eight home weekend double-headers are scheduled. The Komets are on the road for the longest stretch of 14 days twice. The Komets will also be on the road for one 13-day tour and one 12-day tour.
The season begins with six consecutive home games before the Komets hit the road. The first road trip will be to Kalamazoo for a 3pm faceoff Sunday, Nov. 5. It’s only the fifth time in Fort Wayne’s 66-year history the Komets haven’t had a road game slated in October. No October road games were played in 1958 when the Komets advanced to the IHL finals that year, 1962 when Fort Wayne won their first IHL Turner Cup, 1963 when the K’s advanced to the IHL finals and 2011 when Fort Wayne captured the CHL Presidents’ Cup.
27 teams make up the ECHL circuit. Conference and Division alignments will be announced at a later date. The Komets will face Cincinnati, Indy and Quad City the most at nine meetings each. The Komets will face the Walleye eight times and the Kansas City Mavericks (formerly the Missouri Mavericks) and Wheeling Nailers six times apiece. The Mallards will make the most appearances in Fort Wayne with five. The Cyclones, Walleye and Mavericks visit four times each. Adirondack will visit for the first meeting as an ECHL member on Friday, Nov. 3.
The Komets will make six trips to Indy while visiting Cincinnati on five occasions. The Komets will make four trips each to Toledo, Quad City and Wheeling while visiting arch rival Kalamazoo three times. Two double-header visits are planned; one for Kansas City and one for Utah.
Fort Wayne home start times remain the same with Friday faceoffs at 8pm. Monday thru Thursday and Saturday games start at 7:30pm. Sunday contests start at 5pm with the exception of New Year’s Eve which will begin with a 7:30pm holiday faceoff.