This weekend the Vanderbilt Commodores will host the inaugural MAPCO Scholar Shootout at the brand new Ford Ice Center. This tournament will focus on academic excellence in addition to athletic performance.
Thomas Bernstein, Vanderbilt’s head coach gave some insight on how the tournament came to be. “Our players and coaches came up with the idea last fall while admiring and discussing the on-field successes of the football programs from Stanford, Duke, Northwestern, and Vanderbilt, all universities revered for their academic excellence.”
He went on to say. “We talk a lot about building the identity of our hockey program around the same “excellence on and off the ice” ideal, so when the conversation turned to brainstorming ways we might celebrate this identity further, the framework for the Scholar Shootout was proposed.”
Competing in this tournament are six schools all ranked in the top-50 academically by US News and World Report’s 2013 College Rankings. Northwestern, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and Florida will join Vandy in this three-day, nine-game tournament.
Each team is excited to participate in such a unique event. “To be able to participate in a tournament with this wonderful concept is so phenomenal, “ said Earl Anderson, UNC General Manager and Assistant Coach. “After each season, we all do our paperwork to nominate our candidates for Academic All-Americans, but to my knowledge, this is the first time that schools were brought together to play in a tournament because of the academic standing as a school.”
Being ranked in the top-50 academically is an exceptional accomplishment and these teams are proud of that.
“It’s always a terrific feeling to pull on the black and gold sweater represent Wake Forest University on the ice,” said Brian Day, Wake Forest Ice Hockey President. “The fact that all of the teams in this tournament are in the top 50 academically puts a cool spin on things.”
Early season tournaments like the Scholar Shootout, is a great way to evaluate teams and get some much needed playing time for some younger players.
“We had a lot of seniors graduate so our team is very young, said Jackson Widell, Florida Ice Hockey President. “Tournaments like these early in the year help the rookies transition from high school hockey to college hockey where everything is that much better. We want to come out and skate hard and win a couple of games to set the confidence and momentum we need for the season.”
There was one shared theme when asked about experiences their individual teams will take away from this tournament. Every team wants to take home the trophy. So if you’re jonesing for some hockey, check out the schedule below and come out to support these great institutions and watch what will be some very competitive hockey.
If you can’t make it to Nashville, Southern Hockey Sin Bin has your covered. We partnered with Penalty Box Radio and will be live broadcasting each game. You’ll find the links in the schedule.
Don’t forget to let us know you’re watching or listening to the games this weekend by using #MAPCOScholarShootout.
|10/3/14||7 PM CT||Vanderbilt vs Georgia Tech||Penalty Box Radio 1|
|10/3/14||9:15 PM CT||Wake Forest vs Northwestern||Penalty Box Radio 3|
|10/3/14||9:30 PM CT||Florida vs North Carolina||Penalty Box Radio 1|
|10/4/14||1 PM CT||Vanderbilt vs North Carolina||Penalty Box Radio 1|
|10/4/14||3:30 PM CT||Florida vs Wake Forest||Penalty Box Radio 1|
|10/4/14||6 PM CT||Georgia Tech vs Northwestern||Penalty Box Radio 3|
|10/5/14||10 AM CT||Northwestern vs Florida||Penalty Box Radio 1|
|10/5/14||10:15 AM CT||North Carolina vs Georgia Tech||Penalty Box Radio 3|
|10/5/14||12:30 PM CT||Vanderbilt vs Wake Forest||Penalty Box Radio 1|