Home / Gator Gymnastics / UF’s Icy Traditions

UF’s Icy Traditions

When most people think of University of Florida athletic traditions, they think of Mr. Two Bits, the Gator Walk, or Rowdy Reptiles, but few people know about some other traditions rooted deep in Florida sports.

As the Florida football team travels to Jacksonville each season for its annual Florida-Georgia game, the Florida club ice hockey team also makes a special trip to Jacksonville to face off against Georgia on the ice.  Gator goalie Jake Lewis says this tradition is one the team looks forward to each season because they get to play in front of all of their friends and family.

The rivalry between the Gators and the Bulldogs is one of mutual respect; it is a physical, hard fought game that both teams look forward to each season.

Another tradition for Florida’s club ice hockey team is the annual Savannah Tire Hockey Classic, which is always held on the long weekend of the Martin Luther King Junior holiday.  The tournament takes place at the Savannah Civic Center in Savannah, Georgia as temporary boards and ice are installed for that weekend.  Over 5,000 fans are in attendance to watch UF, Georgia, Georgia Tech, FSU, South Carolina, and The Citadel ice hockey teams compete against one another.  Lewis says playing in front of such a big crowd encourages the players to be more physical and play harder.

The winner of the tournament receives the “Thrasher Cup” and is decided by whichever team goes 2-0 on the weekend.  If there is a tie between two teams, then the winner is determined by goal differential.  Florida’s rivalry with Florida State is not so friendly; it’s a hard nosed battle giving the winner bragging rights for the rest of the year.  This is very similar to the football rivalry between the two schools.  The Gators have beaten the Noles the past three years at Savannah, but fell short to FSU in the regular season this year as the Gators lost 3-2 in overtime.  However, Florida is ready to get revenge when the two meet again at the tournament.

Florida’s alumni ice hockey team is trying to make a new annual event between the two in-state rivals as they want to play FSU’s alumni ice hockey team in Savannah immediately following the tournament every year. Lewis says this new alumni event would be better than the past annual alumni games the Gators have had.

While the Orange and Blue alumni work on getting their new tradition started, the current team has high hopes of creating an annual event between UF and the University of South Florida Bulls at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning ice.  The Gators and the Bulls met at the Forum earlier this season and got to experience what it’s like to play in an NHL arena on NHL ice.  Florida beat USF 5-2 and Lewis made 41 saves between the pipes. The two teams have formed an intense rivalry over the years as they’re both usually neck and neck heading into the final rankings to earn a spot in regionals.

The Gators are currently ranked number fourteen in the south in the DivisionTthree American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings and will need to work their way up to the top ten in order to make regionals.  Next up for Florida is fifth ranked University of Miami on January 11, 2013 at the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Orlando, Florida at 10:15 pm.

About Brittany Simpson

Check Also

LIVE THREAD: National Signing Day

Here’s an updated thread of all the recruits who picked the Gator hat today! RB …

AFC Divisional Round Preview: Pittsburgh Steelers

During last weekend’s NFL Wild Card round, the Steelers made a statement by handing the Dolphins a …

Houston Looking For an Upset in Foxborough

The saying has always been “it’s hard to beat a good team twice,” and in …

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning Tonight

The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning will be facing each other once …

Possible Additions to McElwain’s Recruiting Class Visiting this Weekend

With National Signing Day less than three weeks away, the Gators are hosting several talented …

Florida Gymnastics Prepares for Season Opener

GAINESVILLE, FL – The Florida Gator gymnastics team will kick off their season this Sunday …

Surprised Gators Promote Randy Shannon To Defensive Coordinator? You Shouldn’t Be

Florida’s head coach, Jim McElwain, announced Friday morning that Randy Shannon would be making the …

Quarterbacks in Spotlight for NFL Wild Card Weekend

The NFL Wild Card kicks off Saturday and the quarterback situations could not be any more different. On …

College Football Playoff Shakes Up Schedule

The College Football Playoff was a success in its first year. Yet, that doesn’t stop …

Michael Jordan Speaks out about Shootings, Police Officers

NBA great Michael Jordan opened up about his thoughts about shootings of African-Americans and the …

Treon Harris to Transfer

With the college football season approaching, the Florida Gators have announced that former starting QB …

USA Basketball Wins Second Exhibition Game

Just a few short days after their big win over Argentina, team USA won its …

Charlotte Is No Longer The Home Of The 2017 NBA All-Star Game

The House Bill 2 came between Charlotte, North Carolina and the 2017 All-Star Game. The …

Tampa Bay Rays Continue Series Against Oakland

The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their three-game winning streak. The Rays defeated the Oakland …

MLB Preview Tonight

It’s summer time—the best time to go to a baseball game and experience the atmosphere. …

Braves Begin Series With Rockies

The Atlanta Braves (33-62) open up a four-game road series with the Rockies (43-51) tonight …

Marlins To Close Out Series With The Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the middle of a crucial ten game span against NL East …

Rays Crush Rockies 11-3, Face A’s Next

In the midst of a terrible season that has seen the Tampa Bay Rays (37-57) …

American League Second Half Outlook

The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams …

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the …

Big 12 Looks To Expand

Following a Tuesday meeting between Big 12 presidents, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the …

LSU Looks To Capitalize On Its Opportunity

The Louisiana State University Tigers will enter the 2016 college football season with high expectations, …

Muschamp Helps Close Out SEC Media Days 2016

It wasn’t Will Muschamps first SEC Media Days experience, but 2016 marked the first time …

Phil Mickelson Leads British Open After First Day

The 145th annual 2016 British Open is underway at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. The …

Missouri’s Football Crisis: Rebuilding A Program

On the final day of SEC Media Days, Barry Odom took the stand as Missouri’s head …

Second Half Of MLB Season Begins

The All-Star Break is a good time for teams to rest up and reform themselves …

British Open Underway

The 145th Open Championship is already underway at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Welcome …

Florida Women’s Basketball Takes on Kentucky

The Florida women’s basketball team will take on the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington on Sunday. …