Inside the SECHC: South Carolina & Vanderbilt Previews

Friday, 10.23.2009 / 11:00 AM / Features
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Inside the SECHC: South Carolina & Vanderbilt Previews
Current Standings
Team
GP
W
L
OT/SO
Kentucky (D2)
11
10
1
0
South Carolina
4
4
0
0
Alabama
3
3
0
0
Georgia
4
3
1
0
Arkansas
11
7
4
0
Tennessee
4
2
1
1
Vanderbilt
1
1
0
0
Mississippi
2
0
2
0
LSU
2
0
2
0
Florida
3
0
3
0
Mississippi State
3
0
3
0

As part of our commitment to hockey in Tennessee and the mid-South Region, NashvillePredators.com will be hosting a weekly "Inside the SECHC" feature. Check back every Friday for the latest information and results from around the conference.

For more on the SECHC, check out the conference's website.

NashvillePredators.com's SECHC coverage starts this week with season previews of University of South Carolina and the Vanderbilt University club hockey programs.



This Week's SECHC Schedule:

Friday, Oct. 23 Mississippi State @ Ole Miss (5:00pm, Desoto Civic Center Southaven, MS)
Friday, Oct. 23 Georgia @ South Carolina (8:00pm, Columbia, SC)
Friday, Oct. 23 Kentucky @ Wright State (9:40pm, Ketter Rec. Center)
Friday, Oct. 23 Florida @ Tennessee (10:30pm, Knoxville Coliseum Knoxville, TN)
Friday, Oct. 23 Arkansas @ Robert Morris University (Springfield, IL)
Saturday, Oct. 24 Mississippi State @ Ole Miss (7:00pm, Desoto Civic Center Southaven, MS)
Saturday, Oct. 24 University of Florida @ University of Tennessee (10:30pm, Knoxville Coliseum Knoxville, TN)
Saturday, Oct. 24 Wright State @ University of Kentucky (9:40pm, Ketter Rec. Center Dayton, OH)
Saturday, Oct. 24 Arkansas @ Robert Morris University (Springfield, IL)
Sunday, Oct. 25 Mississippi State @ Ole Miss (7:30pm, Desoto Civic Center Southaven, MS)
Wednesday, Oct. 28 Tulane @ LSU (7:30pm, Leo’s Iceland Baton Rouge, LA)
Thursday, Oct. 29 Georgia @ Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
Friday, Oct. 30 University of South Carolina @ University of Tennessee (7:30pm, Knoxville Coliseum Knoxville, TN)
Friday, Oct. 30 Tulane @ LSU (10:30pm, Leo’s Iceland Baton Rouge, LA)
Friday, Oct. 30 Kennesaw State @ University of Kentucky (Lexington Ice Center Lexington, KY)
Friday, Oct. 30 Alabama @ Arkansas (7:00pm, Jones Center for Families Springdale, AR)



University of South Carolina Ice Hockey Club 2009-2010 Season Preview:
Coming off the most successful season in club history, the 2009-10 edition is looking to prove that last season was not a fluke. For the first time since joining the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) prior to the 2006-2007 season, USC qualified for the South Regionals, and further asserted their position by finishing 1-1 against top ranked teams in the South. Last season also saw the club finish 3rd at the inaugural Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference (SECHC) tournament. Overall, the club finished with a 15-9 record, including wins against rival Tennessee (eventual SECHC champion, and National qualifier) and Loyola College (#6 in South Region). However, these successes are now history, and the Gamecocks can no longer surprise opponents.

Preparations for the current season began in the spring. USC parlayed past success into an improved schedule, and were forced to decline many offers to participate in prestigious tournaments. This season the focus is on a more balanced home schedule in order to increase exposure, and keep fans interested. Some of the highlights include home games against Georgia, Florida, and Georgia Tech, as well as a home and home series with longtime rival Clemson. In addition, USC will be participating in a tournament hosted by the University of North Carolina just before the holiday break, and battling The Citadel as part of the Savannah Classic in January.

This season’s roster features 14 returning players and will be led by veteran forwards Ryan Kaiser, Kevin Andrews, Matt Kramer and Max Heimerman. Defense will continue to be a strength of the club as 5 defensemen return including team captain Patrick Mulligan, and veterans Tyler Elmendorf and Martin Wessinger. In goal, the Gamecocks expect Jordan Dunning to improve upon his solid freshman campaign. The annual influx of talent each September will complete the roster and help overcome the loss of some key players.
The goal of this program the past several seasons has been to improve every time they step on the ice, and based on the success of last season, it will not be easy to accomplish. However, this group of young student athletes has already shown the commitment that will be required to exceed expectations. The only difference now is that the University of South Carolina Ice Hockey Club is expected to not only compete, but to win! In just a few short months, it will be determined if the Gamecocks are up to the challenge.
-courtesy of University of South Carolina Ice Hockey Club


Vanderbilt University Ice Hockey Club 2009-2010 Season Preview:
The Vanderbilt Commodores enter the 2009-2010 season after a rocky 2008-09 campaign affected by injuries and youth. After losing only one player the Commodores opened the season strong with a 15-0 shellacking of Mississippi State.

For the first time since 2002 Vanderbilt will not be student-coached. Sean Davis enters his first season at helm of the Commodores and has brought a renewed intensity and purpose to the program.

Returning their top two defensive and forward lines, the Commodores have the talent to go far in the Southeastern Collegiate Hockey Conference. Senior Peter Mataragas is flanked by sophomore Brendan Oliver and freshman Mackie Anderson in net, who showed their prowess in the season opening shutout of the Bulldogs. Forwards P.J. Tatum, Bill Neelon, and Matt Maggiore need to continue their high level of play for the offense to be productive. Peter Dignard needs to step up his level of production for the team to take it to the next level.
Junior defensemen Kyle Brennan and Nathan Tardiff anchor a deep defensive core that can keep Vanderbilt in close games and provide scoring power if necessary.

Sporting a solid combination of young talent and veteran leadership, Vanderbilt appears capable of going far in the SECHC.

Games are played Friday and Saturday night at Centennial Sportsplex in Nashville and are free to the public.
-courtesy of Vanderbilt University Ice Hockey Club
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