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Inside the SECHC: Season Previews

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators
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.'s SECHC coverage starts this week with season previews of the LSU and Tennessee club hockey programs.

This Week’s SECHC Schedule
Saturday, Oct. 10 Georgia Tech @ Tennessee (9:40 pm, Cool Sports Knoxville, TN)
Friday, Oct. 16 Mississippi @ Arkansas (7:00 pm, Jones Center for Families Springdale, AR)
Friday, Oct. 16 Emory @ Alabama (8:00pm, Phelham Civic Complex Pelham, AL)
Friday, Oct. 16 Mississippi State @ Georgia (9:00pm Duluth IceForum Duluth, GA)
Friday, Oct. 16 Louisiana @ UL- Lafayette (10:30 pm, Leo’s IceLand Baton Rouge, LA)
Friday, Oct. 16 North Carolina State @ Kentucky (12:00 am, Lexington Ice Center Lexington, KY)

LSU Ice Hockey Club 2009-2010 Season Preview
The LSU Ice Hockey Club is entering its third full season of ACHA competition in the second year of the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC). In their second year, the Tigers finished a respectable 27th place of 41 teams in the Southeast Division and improved in all categories, doubling their win total from the first season.

The Tigers return several starters from last season’s squad, each of whom are expected to be contributors to a team with higher expectations for this season. Senior Forwards Rhett Richardson, Christophe Philippon, Brandon Hicks, and Michael Tymchak will be returning to provide the offense along with incoming Freshman Brandon Holy and Kaleb Futch. Seniors Mike Mayeux and Mac Alsfeld with Junior Matt Follis and Freshman Trevor Otter will provide strength in the defensive zone. Graduate student Rusty Ware transitions into net full-time backstopping the Tigers this season.

LSU’s program has built a sizable fan base in Baton Rouge and across the Southeast in a very short time. Tiger fans are passionate about LSU Sports and hockey is filling the demand for action-packed sports. Fans and alumni have shown significant support all across the traditional SECHC roadmap. Additionally, with the rivalries heating up on the ice, LSU led all SECHC schools last season with seven ACHA Academic All-Americans.

“It’s a great accomplishment for our guys to showcase the quality of the academic programs at LSU while balancing their commitment to a growing ice hockey program” says LSU Head Coach Leonard Alsfeld.
--courtesy of LSU Ice Hockey Club

Tennessee Ice Vols 2009-2010 Season Preview
The Tennesse Ice Vols enter the 2009-2010 season after three straight trips to the national tournament, including an 11th place finish in Rochester N.Y. The Ice Vols also became the inaugural Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference Champions last season, winning the tournament held in Pelham, Ala.

This season, the Ice Vols look to continue their position as one of the lead hockey programs in the South Region and the nation. Tennessee is scheduled to play in 24 regular season games, including traveling to two prestigious regional tournaments. The Ice Vols will travel to North Carolina in November for the Jim Sapikowski Memorial Tournament and to South Florida in January for the Maddi Goss Tournament.

The Ice Vols will have a slightly different look this season as 13 seniors, many of whom were an integral part of rebuilding the program, have graduated and moved on to professional careers. The team will look to Kevin Jones as a major offensive threat, replacing (if possible) the hole left by last years’ senior captain Joe Williams.

One thing for certain is the man behind the bench. Steve Durrigan enters his fifth season as the head coach of Tennessee (88-27-3, .746). Durrigan made his first big bang with the Ice Vols in the 2005-2006 season when he set a Tennessee all-time record for best record in his first season of coaching (18-6-0). Every year since then, Durrigan has led the team to the National Tournament. In 2006-07, Durrigan set another milestone mark with the most wins in a single season at 26. In 2007-08, Durrigan picked up his second of three 20-win seasons with Tennessee and an 8th place finish at the ACHA National Tournament. Last season, Durrigan coached the team to the Inagural SECHC Tournament Championship.
--courtesy of University of Tennessee Ice Vols hockey club
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