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Auburn Lands a Coach; Home Games Difficult to Come By

By Jim Davis on July 15, 2010

The Auburn Tigers, who will enter the collegiate club hockey wars this fall, are grinding their way toward putting together a team they hope will be competitive right away. Pulling together a full schedule has proved to be a challenge, but the club now has a coach, who is expecting 35-40 players to vie for spots on the roster.

The bench boss is Mike Robinson, an Army brat who works in the university’s information technology department. Robinson has played hockey in adult leagues and coached youth and high school players in Columbus, Ga., whose Civic Center arena will be the Tigers’ home ice this season.

Since Auburn University requires that coaches of its club teams be either a student, faculty member or staffer, Robinson was a logical choice to lead the Tigers into action in September.

“My initial reaction was feeling a little overwhelmed,” he said of his invitation to coach the team. “ . . . It’s exciting. In the end we’ll be okay. We should be able to get a competitive team in the first season.”

So far, the Tigers have a 13-game schedule for 2010-11, but only three are home games. Also, all 13 are South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference games. “Finding games has been a big problem so far,” said club president James Florkiewicz. “We’re getting into this late and most teams have scheduled their games.”

Robinson said the Tigers recently received a list of available dates for the Columbus Civic Center’s 8,200-seat arena, which Auburn will share with the Cottonmouths of the Southern Professional Hockey League until a second Civic Center rink, already under construction, is completed over the winter.

“We have tentative commitments from Georgia Tech and Ole Miss for home games. We’ve been in contact with other teams to see if they could fit in games with us,” said Robinson.

Three games already on the Auburn schedule are match-ups with arch-rival Alabama Jan. 14-16 in the Birmingham suburb of Pelham. The first of those games will be marketed throughout the state as the first Iron Bowl on Ice, a reference to the annual showdown between the Alabama and Auburn football teams, also in Birmingham.

In the meantime, Robinson is looking forward to getting his first look at the prospective Tigers. “There was an initial list of 70 students who were interested in playing,” he said. “Whether all show up, I highly doubt that will happen. If we get half of them, that would be great. We’ve got a handful of kids that we think are pretty talented from all over the country.”

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  • 1 month later...

It would be great if they could get a game in Huntsville as well. There's a decent hockey following here becasue of UAH (whose program is in jeopardy) and the Havoc. Either way, I will make every effort to be at the Iron Bowl on Ice.

Where do we get our AU hockey jerseys?

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My brother was part of the tryouts this past weekend and he said the talent isn't that deep and they are in need of some depth at goalie. But I can't imagine that ole miss or Alabama have a lot of great hockey players either. If you are looking for good hockey, I doubt this is going to be it, but we'll see. I know the kid that was an "all-star" from Alabama and I don't think he was that great.

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  • 1 month later...

This could be huge for AU if the students buy into it. I attended UMaine for a couple of years, and college hockey is a ton of fun. The atmosphere is very much like a basketball game. Hockey might not seem like a big deal in Alabama, but it's pretty big in the north east and mid west. This could be very good exposure for the school on a national level.

Edited by bigsixfive
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  • 3 months later...

Awesome to hear the news about the hockeyteam.

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My username indicates how I feel about this :big:

There was a hockey club when i was @ AU early '80s & after a sleet storm we strapped on skates for an ad-hoc game on the 3d floor breezeway of CDV (w/ puck retrievers below).

Classic

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My username indicates how I feel about this :big:

There was a hockey club when i was @ AU early '80s & after a sleet storm we strapped on skates for an ad-hoc game on the 3d floor breezeway of CDV (w/ puck retrievers below).

Classic

HAHA :)

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