Frozen Tide to play for national title
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
For University of Alabama Frozen Tide hockey team head coach Mike Quenneville and his players, the Feb. 18 victory over the University of Richmond was especially meaningful.
In addition to securing the Pelham-based Frozen Tide’s first-ever trip to the American Collegiate Hockey Association national championship tournament in New Jersey, the win also served to honor the memories of teammates David Mosier, Steve Fillo and Brent Ullom, who all passed away within the past five years.
“My senior players this year have lost two teammates to death,” Quenneville said.
At the beginning of the season, Quenneville said he was unsure how the team would be affected after Mosier died in his sleep just a few weeks before the first game. Today, the team has compiled a 22-13 record and has reached the highest level of competition available to collegiate club hockey teams.
“To be honest with you, I didn’t know how the boys would react the season after one of their players was struck by that tragedy,” Quenneville said. “But this season has been real special. We are playing for him.”
By beating the University of Richmond in the ACHA South Regional Tournament championship game on Feb. 18 in Columbia, S.C., the Frozen Tide secured its spot as the No. 3 seed in the national tournament, which will be held March 14-17 in Vineland, N.J.
The Frozen Tide is scheduled to face Atlantic Regional No. 2 seed California University of Pennsylvania on March 14, North Regional No. 1 seed Hope College on March 15 and Pacific Regional No. 4 seed Cal State-Northridge on March 17.
During the national tournament, 16 teams will be split into four divisions. The winner of each division will play in the tournament semifinals, and the semifinal winners will play for the national championship.
From Feb. 24-26, the Frozen Tide will compete in the South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference Championship Tournament in Huntsville.
“This means a tremendous amount to us. If you look at our program being only seven years old and you look at us getting an opportunity to play for the national championship, its been real special,” Quenneville said.