WICHITA, KS- The Central Hockey League announced its realignment as well as its playoff format for the upcoming 2009-10 season.
The Central Hockey League, entering its 18th season, moves forward with 15 teams for 2009-10. The league now consists of two conferences with no divisions. The Northern Conference plays with seven teams, including the Thunder, Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, Colorado Eagles, Mississippi Riverkings, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oilers, and the expansion Missouri Mavericks.
The South consists of eight teams, including the Amarillo Gorillas, Arizona Sundogs, Corpus Christi IceRays, Laredo Bucks, Odessa Jackalopes, Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, Texas Brahmas, and the expansion Allen Americans.
The league's playoff format remains as it has since the 2007-08 season. The five teams from each conference with the highest point totals qualify for the playoffs. The fourth and fifth seeds play a three-game series to determine the conference semi-final matchups. The conference-semi finals, conference finals, and Ray Miron President's Cup Finals are all best-of-seven series.
The Thunder opens the 2009-10 season on October 16th on the road and will play their final home opener at the Kansas Coliseum the following night. In mid-January, the Thunder will move to the new Intrust Bank arena downtown. Season tickets and packages are on sale now. For more information, contact the Thunder office at (316) 264-GOAL.