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AAU College Hockey Nationals Open with Distinct Florida Flavor

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When the puck drops on the AAU College Hockey national tournament today, the state of Florida will be well represented with eight teams spread throughout the three-division championships.

The tournament opens today at the Ice Line Quad Rinks near Philadelphia in West Chester, Pa.

Florida Atlantic is the top seed in Division II; Miami tops in Division III.

Although FAU and the Miami will start later this week, the University of Tampa opens play today at 2 p.m. against the University of Delaware.

The Spartans certainly will not have home ice advantage against the Hens.

Tampa (16-5-2) is the top-seeded team in Division I after winning the College Hockey South title.

The Spartans took on top-seeded Georgia in that tournament and beat the Bulldogs 7-1 after trouncing Alabama 8-2 in the opener.

Tampa has played some impressive competition this year, including six games against ACHA opponents, going 4-2 in that stretch.

They also beat No. 3-seed St.Bonaventure 7-1 victory, but did sustain a 2-1 loss to second-seeded Niagara.

All five CHS teams at the D-1 level advanced to Nationals, and Tampa will be joined in pool play by Georgia, with the rematch coming in their final pool play game on Friday.

The Spartans are led by a balanced attack, with five players in double-digit scoring.

Senior forward Ryan Andrews and sophomore defenseman Danny Griffin both lead the team with 31 points.

Sophomore defenseman Will Fortescue is a player to watch. He may have just three goals, but added 19 assists. On top of his scoring, he has 65 penalty minutes, 18 more than his next closest teammate.

AAU College Hockey Nationals

  • When: March 6-13
  • Where: Ice Line Quad Rinks; West Chester, Pa.
  • Tampa’s Schedule (D-1) — Today: vs. Delaware, 2; Thursday: vs. Cortland, 4; Friday: vs. Georgia, 9; Saturday: Semifinal, TBD; Sunday: Championship, 2
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