Alabama Hockey releases 2014-15 schedule

Bolstered by the return of seven of its top scorers from last season, the Alabama Frozen Tide looks to increase its chances of taking an American Collegiate Hockey Association championship, as the Tide announced a new schedule featuring tough competition June 26. (FILE)

Bolstered by the return of seven of its top scorers from last season, the Alabama Frozen Tide looks to increase its chances of taking an American Collegiate Hockey Association championship, as the Tide announced a new schedule featuring tough competition June 26. (FILE)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor

PELHAM — Bolstered by the return of seven of its top scorers from last season, the Alabama Frozen Tide looks to increase its chances of taking an American Collegiate Hockey Association championship, as the Tide announced a new schedule featuring tough competition June 26.

The squad opens up at home Oct. 3-5 with two Carolina teams — UNC-Charlotte and Coastal Carolina— and follows that up with a trip to Central Florida. In addition to stiff non-SECHC competition in Florida Gulf Coast, Oakland University of Michigan and Aquinas College, the Tide will take on SECHC foes Vanderbilt, Mississippi, LSU and of course, Auburn.

“In recent seasons, our philosophy has been to build the most competitive and challenging schedule in our program’s history.  I think our 2014-15 line-up may be the biggest challenge ever,” head coach Mike Quenneville wrote in a release. “There are many challenges in front of us in our new season both within our league and region as well as nationally.   We had a good season last year but were disappointed after losing in the regionals and not making our third straight trip to nationals.”

The Frozen Tide will face the Tigers for the Iron Cup in a three-game stand on home ice at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena Jan. 16-18, and look to sweep the Tigers after doing so in 2014.

Should the Frozen Tide make it that far, they will boast a home ice advantage of sorts in the ACHA Division 3 National Championships, which will be held at the PCC March 10-14.

“In many respects, it is a special season for Alabama hockey as we will be hosting both the SECHC Tournament in early February and the ACHA D3 National Championship Tournament in mid-March,” Quenneville wrote. “In addition to a very difficult regular season schedule, I cannot think of anything that is more motivational to our team plan than hosting and winning both the SECHC Tournament and the ACHA National Championships.”

The Frozen Tide drops the puck for the 2014-15 season against the UNC-Charlotte 49ers Oct. 3. For more details, contact John Evenson at bamahockeypr@gmail.com.