UGA Ice Dogs bring home second SECHC Championship win and advance to Regionals
ATHENS, Ga. – For the second year in a row, the UGA Hockey team brought home another SECHC Championship win this past weekend, beating Auburn 12-2, South Carolina 5-4 and Ole Miss 9-2 in Nashville for the title.
Several members of the team and coaching staff also brought home titles of their own. Six players, the most from any other team, were named to the SECHC Select Team. Ryan Bray, Alex Carey, Perry Holcombe, D.J. Herr, Eric Mauge and Andrew Bray were chosen early last week before heading to Nashville. Ryan Bray was also named MVP by the SECHC for the 2016-17 season.
Head coach, Rick Emmett, was honored by the SECHC with the Coach of the Year Award as well.
The top two ranked teams in the country automatically advance to the Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, March 13 through 18. The Ice Dogs are currently ranked third and will now advance to Regionals on February 24 and 25 in Tampa, Florida, facing off against Ole Miss for their first game. The team will have to win both their first and second games to progress to the Nationals.
UGA Hockey team captain, Alex Carey, is determined to get his team to the Nationals. “We have had a fantastic season so far,” Carey says. “While we’re disappointed to make the trip to Regionals, we are going to use this as motivation to prove that we belong at the National Tournament.”
Ice Dog forward and SECHC MVP, Ryan Bray, reiterates his captain’s sentiments. “This year has seen a lot of growth from the team since the beginning of the season,” states Bray. “We still want to make Nationals and put the UGA Ice Dawgs name back on the map nationally. The Classic Center and the fans have played a major part in our success.”
Akins Arena at The Classic Center has been the proud home of the UGA Hockey team for the past three seasons, and Executive Director Paul Cramer, could not be more thrilled for the Ice Dogs as they continue to see their success and fan base grow from season to season.
“The transition we’ve seen over the past three seasons is phenomenal,” Cramer says. “The UGA Hockey team has shown us that they’ve got what it takes to not only win in the rink, but in our community as well. Athens has really come together to rally behind this extraordinary group of athletes.”
Cramer goes on to express the level of devotion Ice Dog fans have for their champions. “We had a season ticketholder who traveled the five hours from Athens to Nashville this past weekend to support the Ice Dogs,” Cramer states. “He even took the entire team and crew out to lunch on Saturday. What an amazing example of just how much the UGA Hockey team means to its community and fans!”
For more information about the Ice Dogs, visit UGAHockey.com.