Puck yeah: Coralville’s still unnamed hockey team releases schedule for its debut season

Illustration by Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

The still-nameless minor-league professional hockey team in Coralville unveiled the schedule for its first season on Tuesday. The team will play a total of 72 games, half on the road and half on the team’s home ice in the Xtream Arena.

“We are excited to have a schedule in place as we continue to build to our home opener on October 22 against one of our closest rivals, the Kansas City Mavericks,” Brian McKenna, president of the Coralville club, said in a statement.

Coralville’s unnamed East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) team is owned by Deacon Sports and Entertainment, a company located in St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s easternmost province. Deacon owns two other ECHL teams: the Newfoundland Growlers, founded in 2018 and named for the Newfoundland breed of dogs, as well as another as-yet-unnamed expansion in Trois-Rivières, a city in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Last September, Deacon entered into a multi-year contract with ArenCo to bring an ECHL team to the Xtream Arena. ArenaCo is the nonprofit that manages the venue for the City of Coralville.

All ECHL teams are affiliated with the NHL teams. Coralville’s first opponents, the Mavericks, are affiliated with the Calgary Flames. The team’s final regular season games in April 2022 will be in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Allen for a three-game stand against that city’s ECHL franchise. The Allen Americans are affiliated with the Minnesota Wild. Like its name, the NHL partner of the Coralville team is yet to be determined.

The unnamed Coralville club is the first ECHL team in Iowa, and the first Iowa-adjacent ECHL team since the Quad City Mallards folded in 2008. It’s estimated that the Mallards, who played in Moline, lost approximately $4 million during the four seasons they existed. Moline now has another minor league hockey team, the Quad City Storm, who have played their home games at the TaxSlayer Center since 2018.

The Storm is in the Southern Professional Hockey League, which is considered a step below the ECHL, which in turn is considered a step below the American Hockey League, which includes Des Moines’ team, the Iowa Wild.

Nine of the inaugural season’s home games will be played on Saturdays, with the puck drop happening at 7 p.m. Two will be on Sunday afternoons, starting at 3 p.m. The remaining 25 games will be on weeknights, including 12 on Friday nights. All the nighttime games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Neither the news release issued by the Coralville club nor its website has information on the price of tickets.

“We are also looking forward to announcing our team name and logo in the very near future,” McKenna said in the news release announcing the schedule.

The Iowa ECHL website is still accepting suggestions for the team’s name.

“Submit the winning name and you’ll be entered into a draw, along with any others with the same suggestion, to win the Name the Team Prize Pack,” according to the site.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

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