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HOCKEY TOP TENNESSEE: Meet the Ice Vols, the southeast's oldest hockey team

By: William Allen

Senior Staff Writer

The All Vol Call in Show

Photo | Dorno

Closing out the seventh week in the 2021-22 SECHC season, the Ice Vols (4-6) fell in consecutive games on the road at Auburn (3-2). Tennessee ice hockey head coach Johnny Scotello has two home games versus a slow starting Kennesaw State club this weekend at the Knoxville Coliseum. Assistant head coach Andrej Buchko is exclusively preparing his players for key matchups for games this Friday and Saturday. If the Ice Vols win the weekend, their record will climb to (6-6).

Johnny Scotello is no stranger to hockey, as he holds a Level Four USA Hockey Coaching Certificate. Prior to arriving in Tennessee, Scotello coached five seasons for the University of Tampa. Johnny and his staff helped the Spartans reach regional and national rankings during his tenure. The Ice Vols head coach has previous experience playing at elite levels which include U17, Midgets, College and Seniors.

South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference's Matt Loughran has stepped in to serve as acting Commissioner. Former Commissioner Justin Bradford stepped down earlier this season due to future related job interests. Loughran has a bevy of executive experience, dating back to his time in the NHL. Loughran spent 11 seasons as the Director of Team Operations for the New York Rangers.

Hockey has become more exciting in the state of Tennessee after the Nashville Predators won two divisional championships in 2018 and 2019. After losing in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Penguins (2-4) on national television in 2017, Bridgestone Arena has become the heart of downtown Nashville. Fans all over the state have fallen in love with what was once a northern tradition, that has shifted into a southern way of life.

Tennessee Ice Vols hockey was founded in 1966 and is the oldest and most established hockey program in the southeast United States. The Volunteers joined the SECHC in 2008-09 and won the conference championship the same season. Currently, the Ice Vols play off campus at the General James White Memorial Civic Auditorium and Coliseum. It was built in 1961 as a multi-purpose events venue.

James White Coliseum is also home for the Knoxville Ice Bears of the SPHL. The Arena has an auditorium that seats 2,500, a multi-purpose arena which seats 6,500, an exhibition hall and a reception hall. The arena has hosted the Knoxville Speed (UHL), Knoxville Cherokees (ECHL) and the Knoxville Knights (EHL).

The Ice Vols are looking to return to glory during the 2021-2022 season. If Scotello wants to be successful in Knoxville, he must guide his team to wins, put fans in the seats, and create a buzz. The Tennessee Ice Vols have made multiple appearances in the national tournament and have made noise in the SECHC tournament. Fans can follow the Ice Vols on Twitter @IceVolsHockey.


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