Puck drops on Savannah Hockey Classic Friday; Dawgs aim to reclaim title

Tech enters tournament as defending Thrasher Cup champ

Puck drops on Savannah Hockey Classic Friday; Dawgs aim to reclaim title
The 21st Savannah Hockey Classic gets underway Friday night at the Savannah Civic Center. (Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - One of the most popular sporting events in Savannah gets underway Friday night, as four rivals square off in the Savannah Hockey Classic.

Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida, and Florida State return to the Hostess City for the MLK Weekend tradition.

Games start Friday with Georgia Tech and Florida State meeting at 6. Georgia and Florida will face off in the night cap. On Saturday, the in-state rivals meet on the ice.

Georgia's two-year run as Savannah Hockey Classic champions was ended at the hands of the rival Yellow Jackets in 2019.
Georgia's two-year run as Savannah Hockey Classic champions was ended at the hands of the rival Yellow Jackets in 2019. (Source: WTOC)

DAWGS OUT TO RECLAIM THRASHER CUP

Georgia comes to Savannah with just one thing on their mind this year: taking back the Thrasher Cup.

Georgia Tech beat the Dawgs 3-2 last year to claim the program’s first Savannah Hockey Classic championship in seven years. The Jackets’ win also ended a Bulldog run of two years as champs.

Now the Dawgs want it back.

“Georgia Tech took it from us last year, so we’re certainly focused on beating them," says senior defenseman Aaron Phillips. "We beat Florida in our barn last week, so we have to focus on them too. I feel like everybody is pretty laser focused on this weekend.”

“It’s definitely in the back of our mind, you know?" says sophomore defenseman Cameron Campbell. "But at the end of the day, we’re here to play two games and win two games. That’s all that really matters.”

The ice at the Civic Center saw some melting and paint issues Thursday night, so teams won't skate on it until gametime.
The ice at the Civic Center saw some melting and paint issues Thursday night, so teams won't skate on it until gametime. (Source: WTOC)

ICE ISSUE PREVENTS TEAM PRACTICES

Georgia was scheduled to hit the ice Thursday night, and the other three teams on Friday morning for short skating sessions.

That won’t happen now, as the Civic Center had some issues with ice melting and paint coming up. Savannah Sports Council president Rob Wells says he doesn’t expect it to be an issue Friday night, but adds teams won’t practice to give the arena staff enough time to “ensure the ice is perfect for games.”

OVG Facilities General Manager Monty Jones, Jr. says it’s not an easy task keeping a rink hockey-ready in coastal Georgia.

“The challenge is it’s Savannah. It’s humid. There’s potential rain this weekend. That will add to that humidity factor. So it’s a challenge, but our engineers are ready for it,” he told WTOC early Thursday, before the ice issues arose.

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