The Toledo Cherokee, a Junior A hockey team, opens its season tonight in Chicago.
The Cherokee, which plays in the Central States Hockey League, takes on the Force tonight at 6:45.
"The team is getting there," Cherokee coach Iain Duncan said. "We've been training hard for three weeks now."
The Cherokee has five local players. Forwards Andrew Kolb, (Toledo), Jerry Murray (Oregon), Brent Bain (Sylvania), Zach Nadolny (Oregon) and Andrew Heldt (Toledo) are part of the 26-man roster.
Last season, Toledo finished one point out of first place in its division and reached the Hurster Cup finals.
Six players are returning, including No. 1 goaltender Anthony Petrak (Grand Rapids).
Toledo plays at Peoria tomorrow at 1:35 p.m. All of the games can be heard at Cherokeehockey.com.
The Cherokee's home opener, after five road games, is Sept. 30 against Dubuque at the Toledo Ice House on West Alexis Road."We will be a lot more skilled this year," Duncan said. "We are bigger and much more physical on the defensive end."