By: Haley Hodoval
The University of Georgia hockey team is a club sport competing in the South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC) of the American Collegiate Hockey Association. This fall marks the 27th year of UGA hockey since it first took the ice in 1987. After an inconsistent 2013-2014 season (8-11-2), the University of Georgia Hockey Ice Dawgs, with Coach John Hoos entering his 16th season at the helm, are looking to make this coming year their most successful one yet. With a strong group of rookies looking to make major contributions, veteran head coach John Hoos shared his excitement for the opening game. “I’m looking forward to this upcoming season, and to see what the new players can bring to the team,” remarked Coach Hoos.
This year the University of Georgia Hockey Team has partnered with The Classic Center, a local venue located in the heart of downtown Athens, to give the Ice Dawgs a permanent home. Back in April, the Dawgs took on their state rivals, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the Classic Center, marking it as the first game in their history that the Ice Dawgs have played in their University’s hometown.
“When I first stepped onto the ice, I got goosebumps,” recalled senior defenseman Nick Carlotto. “To go from playing home games over an hour away with only ten people in the stands, to a game with over 2,000 people, it was amazing.” After the success of the April 9 game against the Jackets, momentum has started to build amongst the student body as well as local Athens residents. The 20 home game schedule in 2014-2015 will allow many people to see a hockey game for the first time.
The Ice Dawgs have a double header this weekend against two SECHC teams. They will take on the Auburn Tigers at 7:30pm Friday night followed by the Tennessee Vols on Saturday night at 7:30pm. The Dawgs will wrap up the weekend’s games at the Classic Center with the UGA Alumni Game Sunday afternoon at 1:30pm. To buy tickets, please visit www.classicenter.com