The D3 Florida Gulf Coast University hockey team will begin its season with a home opener at Germain Arena against the South Carolina Gamecocks at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3. Coming off of an impressive 19-6 season last year, the Eagles hope to continue in the same direction.
The Gamecocks have already been playing for about a month and hope to capitalize on the nervousness that may come with the Eagles’ first game of the season. It’s going to be important that the Eagles set the pace from the opening faceoff.
“This game will be a great way for us to see where we stand and where we need to make adjustments,” said new assistant coach Tom Ciaverilla. “Mike Piatek is going to be a strong leader”.
Along with the introduction of new players, a different coaching staff is now leading the Eagles. Coach Kevin Mixon, a former FGCU graduate and D2 hockey player, will be leading the team as head coach. Mixon has been a part of FGCU’s hockey organization for a while, but this is his first time as head coach.
Assisting Mixon is a fellow American Collegiate Hockey Association athlete, Tom Ciaverilla. Ciaverilla, originally from Novi, Michigan, graduated from Adrian College after competing in the World University Games in Erzurum, Turkey.
With eight freshmen on the roster for the 2014-2015 season, the Eagles hope to gain knowledge from the experience and leadership of skilled players such as Jimmy Williams, Mike Piatek, and Nick Mucerino.
Following the Gamecocks, the Eagles take on the University of Tampa Spartans and the Florida Atlantic University Owls before finishing off the month away against the University of Central Florida Knights and Palm Beach State Panthers.
November is a busy month for FGCU hockey. The Eagles face off against the U-21 “AAA” West Mall Lightning, out of the greater Toronto area, on Nov. 6 and 7. FGCU then takes on the University of Tampa before traveling to Rockledge, Florida, for the Thanksgiving Showcase against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, Ole Miss Rebels and Alabama Crimson Tide.
Tickets are $5, and can be purchased at Germain Arena’s blue rink. Students with their Eagle ID cards get in free.