The coach of Iowa’s new minor league hockey team says the long-term presence of a junior hockey team in Des Moines means the city is poised to become a mecca for hockey fans statewide. Iowa Stars coach Dave Allison has been involved in launching two new teams in the I-H-L and one new team in the U-H-L.”The Buccaneers have been here for a long time and we’re looking forward to just enhancing everybody’s opportunities to view not only professional hockey but junior hockey and become a real staple in the community,” Allison says. Allison, who is 46, has been a head coach for 15 years, and he says with the end of the N-H-L strike, the American Hockey League is the second-best league in the world.”You will see the future stars of tomorrow playing in this league. We’re going to play a high-pace, physical brand of hockey with a lot of skill,” he says. The end of the labor dispute in pro-hockey is a relief for everybody in the sport, according to Allison.”I just think that everybody in the whole industry from players to owners to fans are just really excited about the opportunity to see something that they have a great passion for, and that’s hockey,” Allison says. The Iowa Stars’ season opens in October and their home arena is the new Iowa Events Center.”The building, I think, itself will bring people in and then just the entertainment value will keep ’em here,” Allison says. The coach, a native of Canada who still has a bit of a Canadian accent, is making a special pitch to potential ticket-buyers. “We’re here for the long haul. This is your team and we hope to become part of your community and we need your support to make it work,” Allison says. Allison says he moved his family into a new home in Waukee and is now the “king of the house” because each of his three kids has their own bedroom.
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