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Saturday, June 22

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Chicago Thu Oct 13 2011

The Chicago Express Roll Into Inaugural Season

The Chicago Express, the latest addition to the East Coast Hockey League, will begin their inaugural season on Oct. 22 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates against the Kalamazoo Wings. This is the first time "AA" hockey has been back in Chicago since the pitfall of the United Hockey League team the Hounds in 2007.

Head Coach Steve Martinson brings to the table 15 years of experience -- his teams have never missed the postseason. Along with never missing the playoffs Martinson also has won six championships over the years. He also has 12 years of professional skating under his belt while playing for various teams in the NHL and AHL. The team's owner, Craigh Drecktrah of C & S Family Sports, also has experience with team ownership, as he was part owner of the Rockford Icehogs when they were part of the United Hockey League.

The Express is not affiliated with any hockey teams in the city, but rather with the Springfield MA Falcons (AHL) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL).

Wondering where the name "Express" came from? Over the summer, the team asked fans to submit name suggestions to its website. Fans then voted online for their favorite choices before the top four were picked. Marc Johnson of Bartlett was the winner of the competition for submitting Chicago Express and won season tickets and the opportunity to drop the puck at the first home game.

Tickets range between $8 and $15, so not only is it fun for the kids but also a value for families. Friday night home games will feature $1 hotdogs and $1 beers throughout the season. Fans are also invited for free postgame skates with the team after every home game.

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