Fort Wayne, IN -- The ECHL announced Wednesday that Joe Franke of the Fort Wayne Komets has been named the equipment manager for the 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic and will join Komets teammate Justin Hodgman for the league showcase to be held in Toledo at the Huntington Center on Monday, Jan. 21, at 7pm. The game will air live exclusively on the NHL Network.
Franke began his career as a professional hockey equipment manager when he started with the Fort Wayne Komets in 1978. He served with the Komets until joining Indianapolis of the Central Hockey League in 1983. He then logged four years with Muskegon of the International Hockey League where he captured the 1989 Turner Cup championship before moving to the NHL with Pittsburgh in 1989 where he earned a Stanley Cup ring as a member of the 1990-91 champion Penguins.
Franke returned to Fort Wayne in 1991 and worked the Komets locker room for an addition 15 years through the 2005-06 season collecting two league championships. From 2008 to 2010 Franke was a member of the New York Islanders NHL organization before returning again to Fort Wayne in 2011. Franke claimed another championship in 2012 with Fort Wayne for a total of five career league crowns. Franke will be accompanied in the All-Star locker room by athletic trainer Scott Allison of the Kalamazoo Wings. Dave Aleo (equipment manager) and Brad Fredrick (athletic trainer) will serve the host Toledo Walleye.
For the second consecutive year, the CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic will feature a 3-on-3 tournament with four teams competing for the top spot. New in 2019, the host team will make up two of the four teams and face-off against the other two teams made up of All-Star players from the Eastern and Western Conference. These four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament with rally scoring in order to crown a winner. The 2019 CCM/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place in between rounds of the tournament, highlighting the talents of the ECHL Players, and showcasing the future of hockey as they develop in the League.
CCM/ECHL All-Star packages and individual tickets can be purchased by calling (419) 725-9255 or by visiting www.toledowalleye.com/allstar.
The Komets week ahead-- The Komets will skate another three-in-three this weekend starting at Indy Friday night at 7:35. Saturday the Komets open a weekend home double-header on Sweetwater Ice at the Memorial Coliseum. The Utah Grizzlies are in town Saturday at 7:30pm and the Kalamazoo Wings visit for a 5pm Sunday faceoff.
Komet Hockey Tickets-- Single game tickets for all Komet regular season home games are on sale at the Coliseum Ticket Office. Enjoy several discount plans designed especially for your next group, or check out Komets Flex Tickets. For more information visit Komets.com, call 260-483-0011 or see details here.