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Chicago Express hockey franchise folds

The Hoffman Estates-based Chicago Express hockey team is withdrawing from the ECHL and ceasing operations immediately, according to a message posted on the team's website today.

The team was in its first season and compiled a 34-26-8-4 record, which left it a tiebreaker shy of the eighth slot in the ECHL's Eastern Conference, leaving them out of the Kelly Cup playoffs. The club was affiliated with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Express are the second minor league hockey franchise to fold at the Sears Centre. The Chicago Hounds lasted only a season there as well in 2006-07.

Read the team's press release here: http://www.chicagoexpresshockey.com/splash/

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