Shortly after being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs to division foe Florida Everblades, Jacksonville Icemen fans have been asking the age-old question, “Is it hockey season yet?” While the Kelly Cup Conference Finals may still be underway, we now know just how long we’ll have to wait for a return to Icemen hockey action. 149 days, Icemen fans. Depending on if you’re a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty kind of person, that’s either not as bad as you expected or longer than you’d like. Either way, the 2023-2024 schedule is now set.
Kicking things off at home, the Jacksonville Icemen will start the 2023-2024 season on Saturday, October 21st, with a 7:00 pm ET puck drop against who? None other than the Florida Everblades. The Icemen will then wrap up the month of October with visits to the Everblades’ barn on October 28th and a stop in Orlando to play the Solar Bears on the 29th. November is a month full of divisional action. The Icemen will see a lot of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, the team the Icemen beat in round one of this season’s Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Icemen play Greenville five times in the month of November, with three games in Greenville and then two match-ups at home. The South Carolina Stingrays will make three trips to Jacksonville in the month of November. Games against Florida, Orlando, Atlanta, and Savannah are also slated in the season’s first full month of action.
December sees the Icemen play a handful of games outside the division. The Trois-Rivieres Lions will visit VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on December 2nd. The Icemen will then head to Norfolk, Virginia, to take on the Norfolk Admirals on December 8th and 9th. On December 29th, the Icemen will be in Indianapolis, Indiana, to take on the Indy Fuel. That game is sandwiched between trips to Cincinnati to take on the Cincinnati Cyclones on December 28th, and a 6:00 pm ET puck drop for a New Year’s Eve game on December 31st. There won’t be a long wait for action at home at the start of the new year. The Icemen take on the Orlando Solar Bears on January 3rd, the start of another month full of divisional match-ups. Of the 13 games scheduled for the month of January, the Icemen will only play five games at home. Jacksonville will take three trips to Savannah in January, as well as visiting the Atlanta Gladiators and Greenville Swamp Rabbits twice. The Icemen will also head up to Charleston to take on the South Carolina Stingrays at home. This season’s All-Star break is set for the week of January 15th – 18th.
In the 11 games scheduled for February the Icemen will see a lot of the Orlando Solar Bears. Four of the month’s 11 match-ups will see the Icemen take on their other in-state divisional foe, splitting the action with two home games and two away games against Orlando. Jacksonville will also play three games with the Savannah Ghost Pirates, twice at home and visiting Savannah for one away bout. Through the back half of the season, the Icemen only play host to one non-divisional opponent. Trois Rivieres will visit Jacksonville for a second time on the 20th of March. An outlier game against the Lions, the month of March is jam-packed with match-ups against in-state opponents. Jacksonville will take on the Florida Everblades and Orlando Solar Bears four games each in March, with a stretch of Florida hockey rivalry happening between March 2nd – 15th. All five games in that window see the Icemen taking on either the ‘Blades or the Bears. Six games will close out the season in April, with Atlanta being the team the Icemen will see the most of. Of April’s six games, three of them are against the Gladiators, including the final two games of the season, at home, on April 13th and 14th.
72 games. 65 divisional match-ups. 10 opponents. 149 days. Hockey season will be soon fast approaching, Icemen fans.