Thanks to the Orlando Solar Bears, the Knights and Bulls took center stage in Downtown Orlando following the Bears’ game against the South Carolina Stingrays. It was the first time UCF had ever played in Amway.
Senior Brandon Blaszczyk, who is listed as the team’s club president, scored a pair of goals and added an assist, and senior Andrew Schneider also chipped in with a goal for the Knights. Freshman Hunter Chard scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the third period. Junior Joseph Zanicchi tallied three assists.
The win over South Florida was a big one for the Knights, who are off to a rough start to the season at 5-9-1. The Ice Bulls came in at 12-3-0.
Both squads compete in the Southern Collegiate Hockey Conference, which is in the South Region of Division III of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), a federation of college club hockey teams from all over the nation. Other teams in the SCHC include Embry-Riddle, FGCU, Miami, and the University of Tampa.
Founded in 1997, UCF Ice Hockey is a club team, so it is not sponsored by the NCAA. The team raises its own funds to play, along with some modest financial support from the UCF Student Government. Any expenses over that are covered by the players.
The Knights have nine regular season games to go before the SCHC Finals, which are scheduled for February 9th and 10th. Their only remaining home game in that stretch is slated for 10 p.m. on February 2nd against Tampa at the RDV SportsPlex Ice Den in Maitland, which is their regular home.
You can follow the Knights at @icehockeyatucf on Twitter, or visit their website at http://www.ucfhockey.com/.