TUSCALOOSA, AL (WSFA) - Hockey isn't a word commonly used in the state of Alabama. You catch the occasional transplant watching some puck, or an adopted fan to the sport by some other circumstance.
The state is dominated by football and rightfully so. Some of the best pigskin in the country is played right here, but there is also hockey teams scattered throughout the state hoping to make a new fan out of spectators.
One of those teams is the University of Alabama Frozen Tide. Founded in 2005, the club has since transitioned to Division I in the American Collegiate Hockey Association
"Whenever the University of Alabama does anything whether it's academically or athletically there's a different standard of doing things," Coach John Bierchen said. "So even though we're a club program we don't like referring to ourselves as the Alabama hockey club."
Still a club organization, the Tide is an independent separate from the rest of the SEC in order to compete against other DI clubs.
"We're trying to make it as good as it can be and we want people to come support us every time we play and that makes us be better as a team not only as a team but as an organization and as the sport of hockey in Alabama as well." Alabama Defensman Pierre Ouellette stated.
The roster is a melting pot of players from all over North America getting a taste of the deep south.
Moral of the story, you might have more in common with the sport than you think Alabamians and the Frozen Tide can show you.