The Odessa Jackalopes announced today that their official 2008-2009 regular season schedule has been released by the Central Hockey League. The Jacks kick off their 12th professional hockey campaign on the road Oct. 17-18 against defending CHL champion Arizona, and will open their 32-game home schedule Oct. 31 vs. Rio Grande Valley at the Ector County Coliseum.
Eight of the Jacks' first 10 games will be on the road to begin the season.
"Although it's mid-summer, we're excited about getting started in October," said Jacks GM Joe Clark. "Our team on the ice will have a different look, and our front-office staff certainly has a different look. It's our goal to be the class of the CHL in every area possible, and I trust our fans will experience that."
The Jackalopes will face every team in the CHL this season, with the exception of the expansion Rapid City Rush.
"We're faced with starting the season on the road every other year, so this is nothing new to our fans," said Clark, referring to the Permian Basin Oil Show earlier in October. "It's not necessarily a bad thing to start away from home. It can give Coach Gillis and the team an opportunity to come together and gel under the adversity of playing on the road."
The Jackalopes will enjoy a pair of seven-game home stands, the first in early December and the second in late February and early March. The most difficult stretch away from the Jack Shack will be a 10-game road trip that starts Dec. 27 in Amarillo and ends Jan. 21 in New Mexico. In the midst of that trip will be the CHL All-Star Game Jan. 14 in Colorado.