2012-13 Central Hockey League schedule released

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The 2012-13 Central Hockey League schedule has been officially released with the 330-game season beginning on Friday, October 19th in three locations and concluding on Sunday, March 24th, also with three contests. 
The CHL also announced the conference alignment and playoff format for the league’s upcoming 21st season.  “We are very excited to release the 2012-13 CHL schedule, renew some old rivalries, and create some new ones starting October 19th,” Duane Lewis, CHL Commissioner said. “We also would like to welcome the Denver Cutthroats to the CHL family, in their tradition-rich hockey region.”   Each of the CHL’s 10 member clubs will play a 66-game schedule with 33 home games and 33 road games. Weekends comprise a large majority of the schedule as 77% of the games will be played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (255 of the 330 games will occur over the weekends) and 67% of the games are played on the prime nights of Fridays and Saturdays. Opening weekend will see four teams open their home schedules with the Bloomington Blaze, Denver Cutthroats and Wichita Thunder starting things off on Friday, October 19th and the Allen Americans opening their home schedule on October 20th. On October 26th, the Arizona Sundogs, Rapid City Rush, Texas Brahmas and Tulsa Oilers will play their home openers with the Quad City Mallards opening on October 27th and the Missouri Mavericks being the last to see home ice with their opener slated for November 3rd.   The Denver Cutthroats, the CHL’s newest franchise, will play their first ever game on October 19th when they host the Missouri Mavericks at the Denver Coliseum. The game will be the first hockey game in the Coliseum since 1989. Some of the Holiday highlights on the schedule include five teams in action on New Year’s Eve with Quad City playing at Allen, Bloomington playing at Arizona, Tulsa playing at Missouri, Denver playing at Rapid City and Wichita playing at Texas. The Allen Americans will continue their tradition of an afternoon game on Martin Luther King Day hosting the Arizona Sundogs this season and the Cutthroats will play the lone CHL game on President’s Day hosting the Missouri Mavericks.  The Rapid City Rush are celebrating a milestone season in 2012-13 playing in their fifth season. The team has unveiled a new fifth anniversary logo for the season. Additionally, the CHL announced several operational items today including that the league would compete as one 10-team conference and that eight teams will make up the playoffs beginning in late March. The items were recently voted on by the CHL Board of Governors.   Competing in the league’s 21st season, all teams will play in the Berry Conference, named after N. Thomas Berry, the current Commissioner Emeritus of the CHL who has been involved in the sport of hockey for close to a half-century. The CHL’s regular season points champion will claim the Bud Poile Governor’s Cup. The 10 teams that will be competing for the top prize, the Ray Miron President’s Cup, are the Allen Americans, Arizona Sundogs, Bloomington Blaze, Denver Cutthroats, Missouri Mavericks, Quad City Mallards, Rapid City Rush, Texas Brahmas, Tulsa Oilers and Wichita Thunder. Berry Conference Allen Americans Arizona Sundogs Bloomington Blaze Denver Cutthroats Missouri Mavericks Quad City Mallards Rapid City Rush Texas Brahmas Tulsa Oilers Wichita Thunder The league’s Governors also determined the playoff format with eight teams making it to post-season play resulting as the conclusion. The eight highest point totals from the Berry Conference will qualify for the post-season with the teams being ranked one through eight and the Opening Round featuring the #1 seed vs. #8 seed, the #2 seed vs. #7 seed, #3 seed vs. #6 seed and the #4 seed vs. #5 seed. The four advancing teams will be re-seeded for the conference semifinals with the two winners advancing to the league finals. All three rounds of the playoffs (the Opening Round, the Berry Conference Semifinals and the Ray Miron President’s Cup Finals) will be best-of-7 series formats. 2012-13 Schedule Miscellaneous 2012-13 Central Hockey League Home Openers Allen Americans – Saturday, October 20th vs. Arizona Arizona Sundogs – Friday, October 26th vs. Missouri Bloomington Blaze – Friday, October 19th vs. Rapid City Denver Cutthroats – Friday, October 19th vs. Missouri Missouri Mavericks – Saturday, November 3rd vs. Wichita Quad City Mallards – Saturday, October 27th vs. Tulsa Rapid City Rush – Friday, October 26th vs. Denver Texas Brahmas – Friday, October 26th vs. Allen Tulsa Oilers – Friday, October 26th vs. Quad City Wichita Thunder – Friday, October 19th vs. Quad City 2012-13 Central Hockey League Schedule Highlights October 19th -The Denver Cutthroats will play their first game hosting the Missouri Mavericks in the first of back-to-back games (play Oct. 20th as well). October 26th -The Texas Brahmas and Allen Americans meet in the first of 18 meetings between the two rivals who are separated by just 40 miles. The Americans lead the all-time series with a 20-7-4 record. -The Quad City Mallards and Tulsa Oilers play a home-in-home series with each team playing in the home opener for the other (the Oilers BOK opener is on Oct. 26th and the Flock’s home opener is on Oct. 27th). -The Denver Cutthroats play at the Rapid City Rush for the first time in what should be an instant rivalry. The clubs play a total of 16 times throughout the season. November 2nd -The Quad City Mallards and Bloomington Blaze meet in the first of 18 match-ups on the season. The Flock owned the season series in 2011-12 winning seven of the nine contests. November 7th -In a re-match of last season’s Berry Conference Finals, the Texas Brahmas host the Wichita Thunder in Texas. The Thunder won last year’s best-of-7 series, four games to two. November 11th -The Missouri Mavericks host the Tulsa Oilers on Veteran’s Day in the first of nine meetings on the season. The Mavs lead the all-time series 19-5-3 and won eight of the nine contests last season. November 17th -Better mark this one on the calendar as it is the first time the Mavs and Rush battle. Missouri has had a nice off-season in signing several former Rapid City stars including forwards Colt King and Derek LeBlanc. Jamie VanderVeeken, David Simoes and Blake Forsyth are all current Mavs and all once patrolled the blue line in Rapid City. December 31st -The final night of play in 2012 sees five games with the Mallards playing at the Americans, the Thunder playing at the Brahmas, the Blaze playing at the Sundogs, the Oilers playing at the Mavericks and the Cutthroats playing at the Rush. January 25th -The Quad City Mallards travel to Arizona for the only time on the season and will not only battle the Sundogs but a pair of ex-netminder as Adam Russo and David Brown appear to be the cornerstones in net for the Sundogs. Russo played with the Flock in 2010-11 and Brown played parts of the past two seasons in Quad City. The duo both signed with Arizona in the off-season. March 24th -The Wichita Thunder host the Missouri Mavericks in what could be a huge game and the 330th and final contest of the CHL’s regular season. The Thunder advanced to the CHL Finals last season and the Mavs made it to the conference finals. The entire schedule is available on www.centralhockeyleague.com .   Contact comments@prohockeynews.com
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