Friday night's opener is sold out at The Centre Ice Rink at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, but tickets are available for Saturday night's contest.

The Delaware Thunder professional hockey team will begin its inaugural season at home before a sold-out crowd at the Delaware State Fairgrounds Friday, Oct. 25, hosting the Columbus River Dragons.

While Friday’s game is sold out, tickets for Saturday’s 7:05 p.m. game are still available in another clash with Columbus.

“We know both games will be exciting match-ups between these expansion teams who are looking to prove their mettle," said Thunder president and general manager Charles F. Pens Sr. "Fans will be treated to some intense action and the stakes will only increase on Saturday night as one of these newly minted teams will be looking for redemption."

Games are played at The Centre Ice Rink at the fairgrounds in Harrington. The team is part of the Federal Hockey League which also includes teams from New York, North Carolina, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Georgia.

Pens promised exciting games.

"The action will definitely bring the fans to their feet game in and game out with the passion this team will bring to the arena every night," he said.

He has seen the team progressing in practice, solidifying as a unit.

"We are excited to bring our brand of hard nose, hard hitting hockey to the Diamond State," he said. "We think our sold-out arena will be a very uncomfortable place for visiting teams."

The response from local fans has been encouraging.

"There is no better way to begin this season than before a sold-out crowd," Pens said. "They said it couldn't be done, but I think they underestimated our team and, frankly, the region. The team has been embraced by the community and we are going to see that translate into an exciting season of professional hockey here in the First State."

Next week, the team will face league champions, the Carolina Thunderbirds, for a two-game series at home, Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:05 p.m.

For tickets go to www.delawarethunder.com/tickets or call 302-398-PUCK (7825).