Ice Vols Season Opener: COVID EDITION
From riding the energy of a historic 2019 season to now facing the roadblock of a global pandemic, the Tennessee Ice Vols are ready to lace up their game day skates for the first time since they played in the SECHC tournament in February of 2020. This Saturday, February 13th, the Ice Vols will head to North Carolina to take on High Point University and open up their spring semester of hockey. From Valentine’s weekend to April 11th, Tennessee Hockey will be back in action and playing all of the hockey that we’ve missed.
This matchup will be the first of 14 regular season games scheduled for the semester. After spending three months practicing and playing Orange vs. White scrimmages in the fall, the team finally has an official schedule in place and an endgame in mind. Captain, Drew King, and his teammates are optimistic looking ahead and are more motivated than they have ever been.
“I’m looking forward to stepping on the ice against competition. It’s been over a year since our last game and it didn’t end well. It’s time to get the positive momentum and the club back on track” said King.
The Ice Vols will play their home opener at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum on March 12th against Liberty University, who they will face a total of four times over the course of the semester. Playing in front of a home crowd has been a massive goal for the players and organization since the fall semester, and they are more than excited to finally be able to welcome fans back to Hockey Top.
“We’ve been missing our fans at games, so we’re excited to get back to hosting games and having people come cheer us on” said sophomore Ben Northern.
Welcoming Coastal Carolina University to Knoxville the weekend of March 19th, the Ice Vols will have a total of four home games on the schedule this season. As exciting as it will be to see the iconic checkerboard jerseys back on the ice, playing hockey in the pandemic has required a few changes for both fans and players.
According to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and The Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum guidelines, all fans in attendance must wear face coverings at all times inside of the building. When entering the main doors, spectators will be required to go through a temperature screening as well as filling out a questionnaire regarding their health status. Social distancing regulations will also be enforced at all times to ensure that fans have a safe, memorable experience on Hockey Top.
For more information regarding the Ice Vols’ season opener against High Point University, fans should tune into our Twitter (@IceVolsHockey), on Facebook (University of Tennessee Ice Hockey Club), and on Instagram (@Ice_Vols) for live updates.