In addition to the NWHL All-Star game descending upon Bridgestone Arena this weekend, student-athletes from across the SEC will also come to the Ford Ice Center for the SECHC conference tournament. From February 8th-10th, these collegiate athletes will determine which university has the best hockey team of the south.
For the vast majority of high school hockey players, playing in Juniors is not an option. Even for those talented enough to play in Juniors, often the risk versus reward of maybe being able to play for a Division III NCAA team fails to off-set the gap years before beginning college. Playing club hockey is the traditional “high school to college” route that does not exist for those looking to play professionally.
This tournament is a great chance to see students both playing excellent hockey who refuse to sacrifice their own academic ambitions. If you are an aspiring high school hockey player or parent looking to see what the next level of hockey is like, this tournament is a must-see event.
In last year’s tournament, the Arkansas Razorbacks laid waste to their opponents, ending in a championship victory over Florida, the pre-tournament favorite. Meanwhile, Georgia managed to defeat Kentucky in the third-place game.
This year, Georgia has stormed their way to claiming the 1st overall seed with Ole Miss picking up the 2nd seed. Both teams posted strong seasons, each earning an overall record of 18-3-0. Once again, Nashville native Carter Penzien has carved his way through opponents for the Bulldogs, posting 34 goals, 29 assists, and 63 points in only 18 games. While he leads Georgia in scoring, the Bulldogs still have eight players scoring over a point per game.
Tennessee-based teams have not fared well this season, with Vanderbilt being the highest-seeded team from the state at 7th overall. The Commodores’ 2-7-0 conference record did them no favors, and their prize is a tough Ole Miss team.
Meanwhile, Tennessee returns to the tournament after missing out on the action last season. Like their golden counterparts, very little is expected of the Volunteers—they enter as the 8th seed and play Georgia in the first round. Nonetheless, due to the consolation games, they are still guaranteed to play at least twice this weekend.
Sights and Sounds:
All games will be played at the Ford Ice Center. It costs $15 for an adult day pass, while children, veterans, and seniors pay $10. Alternatively, you can purchase a pass for the entire weekend for $40, or $25 for children, veterans, and seniors. You can purchase tickets either at the door or online.
2/8/18 - 1:15 PM (South Rink) — #8 Tennessee vs #1 Georgia
2/8/18 - 4:30 PM (North Rink) — #6 Auburn vs # 3 Southern Carolina
2/8/18 - 8:45 PM (North Rink) — #5 Florida vs #4 Arkansas
2/8/18 - 9:15 PM (South Rink) — #7 Vanderbilt vs #2 Ole Miss
2/9/18 - 12:15 PM (South Rink) — Consolation Game 1
2/9/18 - 6:00 PM (South Rink) — Semifinal
2/9/18 - 7:00 PM (North Rink) — Consolation Game 2
2/9/18 - 8:30 PM (South Rink) — Semifinal
2/10/18 - 11:30 AM (South Rink) — 3rd-Place Game
2/10/18 - 2:00 PM (South Rink) — Championship Game