Spacemen 2020/21 season opener tonight features tailgate party, special guests

‘’(Photo Supplied)‘’

It’s Hockey Night in Fort Wayne!

While the Fort Wayne Komets aren’t set to play until December 4th, that doesn’t mean you have to wait that long for live, in-person hockey.

The Fort Wayne Spacemen of the US Premier Hockey League will kick off their second season of Junior-level hockey tonight with an 8 pm puck drop on rink #2 at the SportONE/Parkview Ice House against the Metro Jets Development Program. Coach Kaleigh Schrock says they’re building off a strong inaugural season:

“The main goal is to continue to build structure off the ice, in the way we want the kids to perform and behave. We have recruited a lot of kids with high character.”

Jared Fisher returns to the team after setting USPHL records in single-season goals and points, according to President and General Manager John Finch.

“Jared’s leadership will play a big role in getting the Spacemen going toward a second successful season,” Finch says.

New additions include goalie Justin Sheets, who joins the team from the Detroit Fighting Irish, defenseman Jaegar Watts, who comes to the team from Oklahoma City, OK, and left winger Matt Mezzina, a Jackson, New Jersey native who stands to be a big presence for the team’s offense.

Fort Wayne Spacemen Coach Kaleigh Schrock (front) leads a team practice while Jared Fisher (rear, red jersey) looks on. (Darrin Wright/WKJG)

Tickets are $7, and fans will have to wear a mask to get in. There’s also a special tailgate party before the game, starting at 4:30 pm, and some Fort Wayne Komet legends will be on-hand for the ceremonial puck drop: Steve Fletcher and Nick Boucher.

Steve Fletcher played for the Komets during the 1982-1983 IHL season, and from 1990-1996, as well as a single game in the 2002-2003 season. He also played for the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets during his professional career. Steve was inducted to the Komets Hall of Fame and had his jersey number 77 retired in November 2007.

Nick Boucher joined the Komets in the 2007-2008 season, was named the team’s MVP in the 2008-2009 and 2011-2012 seasons, the IHL’s Goalie Of the Year and First Team All Star in 2008-09, and won four league championships with the Komets. The Komets permanently retired Boucher’s number 33 in October 2013. 

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