Tide wins, Tigers fall in first round of SEC hockey tournament

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The University of Alabama and the Auburn University hockey teams entered the second round of the South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference Tournament with a win and a loss, respectively, after the tournament’s first round in Pelham.

The Auburn Tigers, which are fielding their first team this year, fell to Arkansas 10-1, and the Frozen Tide, which is based in Pelham, defeated rival Ole Miss 7-1 to move up the tournament bracket.

The remaining SECHC Tournament games will be held Feb. 26-27 at the Columbus (Ga.) Civic Center.

Alabama, which is currently ranked the No. 3 club hockey team in the South, jumped to an early lead over the Rebels, and seldom allowed Ole Miss to cross into Frozen Tide territory.

“We had a tough loss in the regional tournament last weekend, so it was important for us to come here and win tonight,” said Alabama head coach Mike Quenneville. “They are not a bad team.

“We just knew we had to get ahead early, and we did that,” Quenneville added. “We committed very few penalties, which is important. We’re looking forward to playing again tomorrow.”

Alabama’s first goal came with a little more than five minutes left in the first period when David Mosier and Jordan Ricks set up sophomore Brndon Butler for the goal.

Butler and Mosier then assisted senior Sam Bodner in connecting with a goal with about four seconds left in the first period, giving Alabama a 2-0 lead at the start of the second period.

The Frozen Tide connected on a trio of second-period goals, the second and third of which came during Alabama power plays. Mosier scored the first and third, and junior Mark Wysock connected on the second.

Alabama added to its lead in the third period, when Butler assisted Mosier with a goal a little more than a minute into the half, and Alex Dubrinsky set up sophomore Adam Setas to give the Frozen Tide a 7-0 lead about midway through the third period.

The Rebels’ only score of the game came with 3:21 left in the third quarter.

Mosier was named the player of the game for Alabama, and Taylor Casey was named the player of the game for Ole Miss.

In Auburn’s matchup with the top-seeded Razorbacks, the Tigers fell behind 3-0 with about five minutes left in the first period, but answered a few seconds later when Yiannis Kapetanopolis set up Seph Kesther to score.

However, the 3-1 score was the closest startup Auburn came to knocking off the defending SECHC champion Razorbacks.

“As a first-year team, we didn’t really expect to come out here and beat last year’s conference champion,” said team President and assistant coach Elliott Chenger. “But we did a pretty good job.

“It’s a tough way to start the tournament, but we look forward to playing again tomorrow,” Chenger added.

For recaps from all of the weekend’s the SECHC Tournament games, visit Sechchockey.com.