March 24, 2011 – The Vanderbilt Commodores and Tennessee Ice Vols will play in the final game of the 2010-11 season this weekend. The game is the start of a new era in the now official rivalry game between the two schools, and will be held at Bridgestone Arena, the 17,113 capacity home to the Nashville Predators.
The game between Tennessee and Vanderbilt has been declared as the inaugural I-40 Faceoff. It will be held March 26 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. and will take place at 1:00 p.m. CT.
The I-40 Faceoff will be played prior to a NHL Western Conference matchup between the Nashville Predators and the visiting Dallas Stars scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Bridgestone Arena is home to the Predators. Admission to the game between Tennessee and Vanderbilt will be free of charge.
Over the last two seasons, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have played twice. Last season in Knoxville, Tennessee beat the Commodores 9-4. The prior year, Tennessee and Vanderbilt started the season in Nashville with the Ice Vols taking that game as well, 15-4.
The Ice Vols lead the overall series 26-8-2.
Vanderbilt was on conference probation this season, but still managed to improve greatly under first-year coach Thomas Bernstein. The Commodores are 14-3-1 overall and while games against SECHC opponents did not count toward the conference standings, they did play eight games, going 5-3-0.
The Ice Vols have struggled this season, coming into the final game this weekend at 8-18-1 (3-7-0 SECHC). The Ice Vols were a No. 4 seed in the conference tournament and were knocked out in the first round last month.
With the game being the start of a new era between the two teams, it will also be the end of an era at Tennessee. Tennessee head coach Steve Durrigan is retiring after the game as the season will have come to an end.