Pensacola Ice Flyers

Pensacola Ice Flyers

  

With continued spikes in COVID-19 around the country and the challenges other sports are encountering as they return to play, the Southern Professional Hockey League is delaying the start of its 2020-2021 season. 

Normally dropping the puck in late October, the SPHL is pushing the start of its 56-game schedule to mid-to-late December.

“It was a tough decision that we had to make as the Board of Governors with the league,” said Ice Flyers owner Greg Harris. “There (are) so many unknowns, so it was a tough decision, but the right decision to make at this time.”

Florida Department of Health

Gov. Ron DeSantis was back before the media Sunday, with the latest on COVID-19 and the inroads it’s making into Florida.

As of late Sunday, Florida's confirmed cases of new COVID-19 jumped by 39, reaching 100 total as testing expands and the results become known. According to the Florida Department of Health, 16 of the new cases are in Broward County -- the state's epicenter for the disease --with 36 confirmed infections; and four people have died -- the latest a 77-year-old man in Lee County.

Pensacola Ice Flyers

In addition to major sports leagues and events, the minor leagues are also feeling the pinch of coronavirus – including Pensacola’s two pro sports teams.

The decision by the Southern Professional Hockey league came as no surprise to Pensacola Ice Flyers owner Greg Harris.

Pensacola Ice Flyers

The Pensacola Ice Flyers open the 2019-2020 season this weekend at home, after a busy off-season and some concerns over Mother Nature.

After watching to see where Tropical Storm Nestor was going, the games with Roanoke went on as planned, kicking off the 56-game regular season schedule.  – The Flyers swept the Rail Yard Dawgs – 3-2 in overtime Friday, and 2-1 on Saturday.  

Two days before the opener, the Ice Flyers were on Bay Center ice working on a power play drill.

Pensacola Ice Flyers

Hockey returns to Pensacola this weekend, as the Ice Flyers begin their tenth season at the Bay Center, aka “The Hangar.”

Pensacola finished tied in second place with Macon for the most regular-season victories in the SPHL last season – 33 out of a 56-game schedule – but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. In 2018-19, in the words of The Who, it’s “meet the new boss….same as the old boss.”

Pensacola Ice Flyers

For a second consecutive off-season, the Pensacola Ice Flyers have the “Help Wanted” sign hanging behind the bench.

Team owner Greg Harris announced Monday that Rod Aldoff would not be returning for the 2017-18 season.

“I had a feeling it was going to happen, but I wasn’t too sure,” said Harris. “I know it took a little longer than we had wanted to, but I fully respect his decision. We both knew when he came back in mid-February that it was only for that three-months or so to finish off the season, and we would reassess in May and June.”

Courtesy of Pensacola News Journal

When the Pensacola Ice Flyers play on the road this weekend, a familiar face will be behind the bench.

Kevin Hasselberg was fired Monday as head coach, despite a three-game sweep at home of the Peoria Rivermen, who Pensacola beat to win the President’s Cup last season.

Re-enter Rod Aldoff.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have coached here the past three years, and our team had some good success,” said Aldoff. “It’s always nice to come back. The City of Pensacola and the Ice Flyers have treated me very well, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Training camp begins Wednesday for the Pensacola Ice Flyers, as they prepare to defend their third President’s Cup, the Southern Professional Hockey League championship, in the past four years.

When we last heard from the Ice Flyers in May, forward Josh Cousineau sent into a frenzy about 4,900 fans in the Pensacola Bay Center, aka “The Hangar,”  by scoring with one-tenth of a second remaining in regulation time to beat Peoria 5-4.

Ice Flyers

  When the Southern Professional Hockey League opens the 2016-17 season in October, a new head coach will be behind the bench for the Pensacola Ice Flyers. 

Kevin Hasselberg takes over for Rod Aldoff, who is now coaching the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals. Hasselberg is a native of Brooks, Alberta and has spent the last five seasons as coach and general manager of the Battlefords North Stars in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

"February 17 through 19, 2017 Pensacon will return to downtown Pensacola at the Pensacola Bay Center, the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel, the Rex Theater, the Saenger Theater and, added this year, the Pensacola Little Theater as well." - Mike Ensley, Founder and Chairman of Pensacon.

While no official announcement has been made, there has been progress in nailing down dates for Pensacon 2017.  Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley says they have moved forward with both the Pensacola Bay Center and the Pensacola Ice Flyers, with help from the Escambia County Commission and have come to the table to talk about the dates Pensacon wanted and how things could be arranged so they can be used. Ensley says it looks like the county is putting its money where its nerd culture is.

Pensacola Ice Flyers

  The Pensacola Ice Flyers’ home opener is set for Friday evening at the Pensacola Bay Center – aka “The Hangar.”

The Ice Flyers dropped the puck on their seventh season last Friday at Peoria, winning 3-1, then losing to the Rivermen 4-0 on Saturday.

“We played very well; the second game we obviously didn’t get the results but the mistakes we made were on us. Those are things that are fixable,” said Head Coach Rod Aldoff, who’s back for a third season behind the bench.

Pensacola Ice Flyers

The Pensacola Ice Flyers open defense of their second consecutive Southern Professional Hockey League championship on the road Friday evening against the Mississippi RiverKings.

When Head Coach Rod Aldoff brought the team together to begin training camp last week, his message to the ten returning players was: “forget last season.”

via Sam Kessler

Bubba Watson won the 2014 Masters Golf Championship Sunday; his second win at August National in three years. Watson’s first Masters’ win in 2012 was also the first win of a major tournament on the PGA Tour.

He’s now just the seventeenth golfer to win the Masters - and its iconic green jacket - more than once.  Also, he’s just the fourth player in history to earn victories at the tournament in their first six or fewer appearances.