Jacksonville Sports Day

ECHL: Icemen Announce Schedule for First Ten Games of 2020-21 Season

The ECHL, in conjunction with the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, announced today that the 2020-21 Season will commence on Dec. 11, 2020 under a split-season format.

Under the split-season guidelines, Jacksonville along with South Division rivals the Florida Everblades, Orlando Solar Bears, South Carolina Stingrays and Greenville Swamp Rabbits will begin a 72-game season on Dec. 11.

They will be joined by eight additional ECHL teams on December 11, the Allen Americans, Indy Fuel, Kansas City Mavericks, Rapid City Rush, Tulsa Oliers, Utah Grizzlies, Wheeling Nailers and Wichita Thunder.

The remaining ECHL teams will begin their season on Jan. 15, 2021, competing in a 62-game season upon jurisdictional approval.

The Atlanta Gladiators have elected for a Voluntary Suspension for the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 restrictions, returning to play in the 2021-22 Season. All Atlanta Gladiators Players are immediately Free Agents for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

“The Jacksonville Icemen look forward to reuniting the Icemen Family on December 11,” said Icemen President Bob Ohrablo. “We are working with the City of Jacksonville, ASM (the Arena manager), our players and fans to play in a safe environment. There will be a reduced capacity and enhanced health features throughout the venue. These will be communicated clearly to everyone shortly. We know that with everyone’s observance of the safety protocols, we will be able to produce another exciting full season of Icemen hockey!”

Under this split-season scenario, league standings will be based on winning percentage during the regular season. The post-season format will be based on the eligible competing teams in the regular season and will be announced at a later date.

“The ECHL is excited to be able to confirm the beginning of the 2020-21 Season by working with our local health officials and the PHPA to develop protocols for the safe return of our players, fans, and employees,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “The ECHL is getting back to hockey, as we all work together to bring live entertainment back to our communities.” The ECHL regular season will conclude on June 6, 2021.

The 2020-21 Icemen season is just weeks away! With the planned reduction of capacity of the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena, the best way to ensure your seats for Icemen games is by securing a ticket package. Full and partial season ticket memberships are currently available! Contact the Icemen at 904-602-7825 or visit us online at www.jacksonvilleicemen.com for more information.

The Icemen have been busy in this offseason building their roster for the upcoming season. Currently the team has agreed to terms with forwards Wacey Rabbit, Cameron Critchlow, Nathan Perkovich, Abbot Girduckis, Adam Dauda, Ian McKinnon and All-Star Brendan Warren.

Defensively the team is bringing back Jacob Cederholm and Dalton Thrower, while adding newcomers Kevin McKernan and Jarod Hilderman.

The club just announced it has agreed to terms with defenseman Luke Shiplo and forward Craig Martin for the 2020-2021 season.

Martin, 25, returns to the Icemen after collecting 23 points (8g, 15a) during his rookie season split between Jacksonville and the Adirondack Thunder during the 2019-20 year. The 6-1, 182-pound forward totaled 75 points (27g, 48a) in 134 games during his four collegiate seasons at Quinnipiac University from 2015-2019. The Trail, BC resident Martin was acquired by the Icemen from Adirondack on November 26, 2019.

Shiplo, 25, returns to the Icemen after logging 26 points (4g, 22a) during his rookie campaign split between the Icemen and the Wichita Thunder last season. Shiplo was acquired by Jacksonville from Wichita on December 9 of last year. The 5-10, 174-pound blueliner totaled 29 points (13g, 16a) in 113 games during his four-year career at Quinnipiac University from 2015-2019.

Both Martin and Shiplo were teammates together at Quinnipiac from 2015-2019, winning an ECAC title in 2016.

The Icemen will open their season on the road on Dec. 11 against the Florida Everblades. Jacksonville’s home opener is slated for the following night on Saturday, Dec. 12 against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

The following is a complete listing of the Icemen’s initial 2020-21 schedule:

Friday, December 11, at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 12, vs. Greenville, 7 p.m.

Friday, December 18 vs. S. Carolina, 7 p.m.

Saturday, December 19 at S. Carolina, 6:05 p.m.
Saturday, December 26, at Florida, 7 p.m.
Monday, December 28, vs. Florida, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, December 29 at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Saturday, January 2, vs. S. Carolina, 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 9, vs. Orlando, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 13, at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
** Schedule subject to change

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