FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne Komets’ regular season lasts until early June, but another Fort Wayne-based hockey team is starting their playoff season this weekend.
The Fort Wayne Spacemen of the U.S. Premier Hockey League, a junior-level league that bridges the gap between high school and collegiate play, kick off the first round of the playoffs on Saturday. Coach Kaleigh Schrock says they’re very familiar with their first-round opponents, the Midwest Blackbirds:
“Midwest is not going to be a joke,” Schrock said of the advice he’s given his players. “We can’t overlook a team just because we’ve had success with them all year long. We went into Chicago last year and stole a game and put their backs against the wall, so really anything can happen.”
It will be the team’s second trip to the playoffs in what is also their second year of existence. Schrock says with late-season additions to the team, such as Darick Louis-Jean, paired with returning leaders from last season like high-scorer Jared Fisher, the aim is to go much farther than last year’s round two exit.
“We believe that we should go to Nationals, and if we don’t get to Nationals, that would be a failure. That’s not taking anything away from the teams in our division, we just feel that we have a certain confidence in ourselves, and we feel really good about this team and feel great about how we’ve been playing in February.”
Game 1 of the best-of-three series is Saturday at 5:40 pm at the Tunder Ice Arena at Trine University. Game 2 is set for 5:00 pm at the SportOne Parkview Icehouse in Fort Wayne. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for Monday at 2:40 pm at the Icehouse.
Attendance is limited. Contact the venues for full details.