It is September so this means it is time for the Gamecocks of South Carolina to get back to the ice. Unfortunately, they come back at the bottom of the list.
The 2011-2012 South Eastern Collegiate Hockey Conference Pre-Season Coaches poll was released earlier this month with the Gamecocks finishing the season with 6 points, and a dead last finish in the East.
This news comes as a big surprise as the Gamecocks were the second seeded team out of the East in last year’s postseason tournament.
“Opposing teams can expect a battle in every game,” said South Carolina Head Coach Brian Bauman. “We may not have the most talented team, but our guys will work hard. We will be the hardest working team in the SECHC”.
Also, South Carolina has three key players on the South Eastern Conference’s Watch List returning to the roster this season. This list includes a double dose of Gamecock defenders including the left hander Keith Gjetley who was a member of last year’s All Tournament roster, and the goalie Jordan Cunning who was a 2010 Academic All-American.
On the offensive end who else could it be but South Carolina’s returning forward Andrew Swintz? Swintz was a member of 2010 2nd All Conference team, and recorded 19 goals which were fourth most in the SECHC last season.
The Gamecocks open the season with back to back conference games against Vanderbilt at home on Friday night and Saturday morning. Coincidently, the pre-season polls have the Commodores edging the Gamecocks out by just one point in the conference.
This prediction shows how tight the race should be between these two teams, and has the Gamecocks fired up to come out with something to prove. A win in either game for South Carolina would certainly brighten their Conference aspirations for this season.