Out of the Swamp and Onto the Ice

By Rebecca Dobrinski, SECHC Correspondent

The University of Florida Ice Gators kicked off their season this past weekend, taking on their South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC) rivals, the Ice Dawgs of Mississippi State.  Hosted on their home ice in Jacksonville, Florida, the Gators routed the Ice Dawgs 11-3 and 19-4.  This weekend they head down to Orlando to meet the Clemson Tigers.

After Clemson, the Ice Gators will “split the [travel] difference” with Vandy’s Ice ‘Dores for a weekend game in Atlanta, where they will also take on Georgia State.  Besides the rest of their Conference games, Florida will make the circuit in their home state against Florida State, South Florida, North Florida, and Florida Atlantic.  They round out the season with January’s SECHC Showcase near Birmingham, Alabama, and the Savannah Hockey Classic, then later at the ACHA regionals in March.

The Ice Gators have a new coaching staff this season.  Head Coach Tracy Jacobson hails from North Dakota.  Jacobson has over 30 years experience playing and coaching.  His focus will be on the defense.  Taking the reins of the offense is Assistant Coach and Quebec native Michael Marcinkiewicz, a 40 year hockey playing and coaching veteran.

According to the club’s web site, the University of Florida hockey team was founded in 1996 as part of College Hockey South (CHS).  They are now in ACHA Division III, the SECHC East.  They practice and play at the Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex, just over an hour away from Gainesville.  The Ice Gators finished the 2010-11 season 15-11-0.

In addition to the usual SEC and in-state rivalries, the Gators take on University of Georgia Bulldogs both on the ice and the gridiron in mid-October.  This year the annual game will be Halloween weekend – hockey in Jacksonville and football in the Swamp back in Gainesville.

2 thoughts on “Out of the Swamp and Onto the Ice”

  1. Frankly, I don’t know whether to thank you for such a great read or sigh because now I want hockey sweaters with bulldogs and alligators on them to live in my closet next to the sweaters sporting Gnash and Invader Zim’s GIR.

    A UGA/Gator showdown sounds like the perfect way spend Halloween. I am hoping that collegiate sports fans will embrace this. College hockey is so much fun. The added wrinkle of storied rivalries makes it even more appealing.

  2. There’s something wrong with Florida playing hockey…
    Do they play with an oblong ball???
    seriously …thanks for the update ..
    Here’s me thinking I know my NCAA .. and I find now that I have to stretch my knowledge base away from BC MSU, Hahvad, Yaaaayle, PrinceStone, North Dakota, Michigan.. further south..
    Thanks, nice piece.
    cheers gav

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