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Inside the SECHC: 'Bama Season Preview, UF/UGA Rivalry Extends to the Ice

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
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Kentucky (D2)
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As part of our commitment to hockey in Tennessee and the mid-South Region, will be hosting a weekly "Inside the SECHC" feature. Check back every Friday for the latest information and results from around the conference.

For more on the SECHC, check out the conference's website.'s SECHC coverage continues this week with a season preview of the University of Alabama club hockey program and a look at the University of Florida vs. University of Georgia rivalry game.

This Week's SECHC Schedule:
Friday, Oct. 30 University of South Carolina @ University of Tennessee (7:30pm, Knoxville Coliseum Knoxville, TN)
Friday, Oct. 30 Tulane @ LSU (10:30pm, Leo’s Iceland Baton Rouge, LA)
Friday, Oct. 30 Kennesaw State @ University of Kentucky (Lexington Ice Center Lexington, KY)
Friday, Oct. 30 Alabama @ Arkansas (7:00pm, Jones Center for Families Springdale, AR)
Saturday, Oct. 31 University of Alabama @ University of Arkansas (7:00 PM, Jones Center for Families Springdale, AR)
Saturday, Oct. 31 Kennesaw State @ University of Kentucky (12:00am, Lexington Ice Center Lexington, TN)
Saturday, Oct. 31 University of South Carolina @ University of Tennessee (TBA, Cool Sports IceArium Knoxville, TN)
Thursday, Nov. 5 University of South Carolina @ Clemson University (9:00pm, Greenville Pavilion Taylors, SC)
Friday, Nov. 6 LSU @ Ole Miss (7:00pm, Desoto Civic Center Southaven, MS)
Friday, Nov. 6 Clemson University @ University of South Carolina (8:00pm, ICEPlex Irmo Irmo, SC)
Friday, Nov. 6 Louisiana Lafayette @ University of Alabama (8:00pm, Pelham Civic Complex Pelham, AL)
Friday, Nov. 6 University of North Florida @ University of Florida (9:45pm, Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex Jacksonville, FL)
Friday, Nov. 6 University of Tennessee @ Kennesaw State (10:00pm, Town Center Ice Forum Kennesaw, GA)
Friday, Nov. 6 University of Kentucky @ Indiana (9:15pm, Bloomington, IN)
Friday, Nov. 6 University of Georgia @ Vanderbilt University (TBA, Nashville, TN)

Florida/Georgia Rivarly Takes to the Ice
It is well known throughout the college football world that every year on the last Saturday in October the University of Florida Gators and the University of Georgia Bulldogs go head to head in Jacksonville, Florida, in one of the greatest rivalry games in college football and one of the last remaining neutral-site rivalries. It is a tradition that goes back over 70 years.

Well now one of the greatest rivalries in college football has hit the ice, and it’s catching on with both Gator and Bulldog fans, and it’s catching on fast.

Every Friday evening before Saturday’s historic football game, the Gators and the Bulldogs do battle on the ice just minutes down the road from the football stadium in what has become a guaranteed hard hitting, high scoring, action packed affair. The Florida-Georgia rivalry has become just as intense on the ice as it is on the football field. These two teams don’t like each other, and for anyone that has attended the Friday night fracas, it’s obvious. “This is a game that nobody wants to lose. The pride that these two teams take in winning this game is immense” says Gator captain Jonathan Pavlinec.

For the fans, it has become tradition to pack the stands on Friday night clad in layers of orange and blue or red and black to cheer on their respective hockey teams and get their big weekend started off right. For many, attending the hockey game is just as automatic as attending the football game the next day; just more evidence that SECHC hockey has built a solid fan base and continues to grow in the south.

Both teams are consistent contenders in the SECHC and both the have this Friday circled on their calendars every season. The Gators are coming off a big win this past weekend as they traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee and split a two game series with last year’s SECHC Champion University of Tennessee Volunteers, dropping the first game 5-4 and winning the next 8-6. Georgia is coming off a big 4-2 victory against a solid University of South Carolina team. Both teams will look to carry their momentum into this weekend and continue their winning ways.

In many ways this Florida-Georgia match up goes beyond sport. Along the way, something immeasurable transcends this game. “We have to win this game. It’s not about us as a team. It’s about the pride of our fans and representing the University in the best way we know how; and that’s winning” commented Florida head forward Nick Cortolillo. The battle for on-ice supremacy between these two very proud schools kicks off at 7:00 pm this Friday night in Jacksonville, FL.
-courtesy of The University of Florida Ice Hockey Club

University of Alabama Ice Hockey Club 2009-2010 Season Preview
The University of Alabama Men’s Ice Hockey Team, The Frozen Tide, has new faces mixed in with the familiar faces as players from New Jersey, Michigan and Georgia have joined the team. With a roster of 21 returning and 7 new players, led by team Captain Sam Fullone and team President Andrew Santi, the Tide anticipates a successful season and advancing to playoffs for the 3rd time in only the 4th full season of Bama Hockey.

Former professional hockey player and Canadian native, Jeff Cheeseman returned as Head Coach. Also returning to coach the Tide is Ian Hebert, a former Birmingham Bulls player also hailing from Canada, together with upstate NY native, Mike Quenneville, a former Capt of the University of Alabama - Huntsville Chargers Hockey Team and Assistant to former UAH Coach Doug Ross.

The University of Alabama Men’s Ice Hockey Team is on target to continue their successful campaign last season which saw the Tide go 19-5 and undefeated at home in the Pelham Civic Complex. Without a rink in Tuscaloosa, players commute approximately 60 miles each way between campus and Pelham for practices and games.

The Frozen Tide’s 2009-2010 season kicked off Sept 4 with a Crimson/White Exhibition game. Continuing their undefeated at home roll, the Tide boasts 5 wins, two each over North Florida and Louisiana-State University and on Oct. 16 the Tide peppered Emory goal tenders with 67 shots-on-goal. Sophomore Mark Wysock put home two early goals, Chris Heidkamp and Jonathan Holston scored power-play goals, Andrew Santi put home three goals for the Hat Trick and Wysock ended the night with four goals. Between the pipes David Krochalis and Brett Thomas split time making a combined 12 saves on 16 shots.

The Frozen Tide will make their first road game of the season traveling to Springdale, AR to take on the University of Arkansas Oct. 30 and 31. The Tide will face Arkansas again in December on the NHL Dallas Stars’ home ice following the Red Wings V Stars game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.

Additional upcoming highlights of the 2009-2010 season include Bama Hockey hosting both the ACHA DIII Southern Region playoffs and the 2nd Annual South Eastern Hockey Conference Championships, featuring 10 of the 12 SEC member schools. Both are destined to be historic events for college hockey in the South.

In addition to its performance on the ice, Bama Hockey takes great pride in its community service, which includes among other services, food drives for needy Alabama families, toy drives for hospitalized children and fund raisers to fight cancer and support youth hockey. The latter two are conducted in memory of founding player and Assistant Coach Brent Ullom #29, who succumbed to cancer in Jan 2007 and former player Steve Fillo #93, killed in a vehicle accident in Aug 2009 while returning to campus after training camp.
-courtesy of The University of Alabama Ice Hockey Club

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