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Published: Sunday, 6/21/2009

Walleye season starts Oct. 16

The Toledo Walleye will find out very quickly what type of home-ice advantage it will have in the new Lucas County Arena.

Fifteen of Toledo's first 21 games of the 2009-10 season will take place at the downtown arena. The Walleye will open its inaugural season at home on Friday, Oct. 16 against the Florida Everblades.

The team opens with five straight home games and plays only two games on the road in the opening month of the season. The Walleye also has a stretch of eight straight at home in late November and early December. But the team will be tested in January and February when it plays 12 of 14 games on the road.

The 72-game schedule was announeded yesterday. Game times will be determined at a later date.

The new ECHL team will play 15 games at home in October, November and early December. Nearly all of the home contests will take place on the weekend with 33 of the 36 games coming on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

"The inaugural Walleye season will be quickly upon us and we are absolutely thrilled to have such a strong schedule with so many weekend dates," Walleye general manager Joe Napoli said. "The memories will last a lifetime."

Toledo will play 13 games against new ECHL member Kalamazoo, an old rival of the Goaldiggers. The Walleye also has 11 games against the Cincinnati Cyclones and eight games against the Johnstown Chiefs.

The Walleye will play Charlotte five times, Elmira (five), Florida (eight), Gwinnett (three), Reading (three), South Carolina (four), Trenton (six), and Wheeling (six).

- Mark Monroe

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