Jacksonville Icemen Pucks and Paws Night goes well

Caps Canines 2020 (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Caps Canines 2020 (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Icemen Pucks and Paws Night was held this past weekend on Saturday night at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, and it went well for the hockey dogs fandom, even featuring a Doodle Race during one of the intermissions.

On the ice, the ECHL (Double-A level) affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets hosted the Florida Everblades and swept them in all weekend games, taking Saturday night’s matchup by a 4-1 score, though a colossal flurry of 61 shots were taken combined.

The game was rescheduled from its earlier date of January 23 because of COVID concerns from within the Everblades organization, who are a Nashville Predators affiliate.

The 2021 version of the  Jacksonville Icemen Pucks and Paws Night was the third time this event had been held, and it was hosted by . Around 100 dogs have attended the event in each of the previous years, and as the 2020-21 season is a strange one, a maximum of 4,000 human fans were allowed in the building to prevent COVID spread.

The Jacksonville Icemen Pucks and Paws Night went well both on and off the ice.

One dog was allowed per human, and they had to sit in their own designated section for the benefit of fans who might be allergic to dogs or scared of them. (This likely also made cleanup easier afterwards for the janitorial crew.)

Dog Twitter member Moose the Creek Dog (@Creek_Moose), who is a gray-and-white Goldendoodle, competed in the Doodle Race, and while he didn’t win (another dog named Ace did), his online pals made sure to cheer him on, including Penny Lane Pup and Ben RUFFlisberger.

And with the impressive puckhandling he displayed out on the ice, which forced the team to deploy a staff member on skates to retrieve it, he could definitely join an all-canine hockey squad if Dog Twitter’s hockey fans came up with such a thing.

Other team members we would include: Ovie the Bulldog and Kuno the Servicerottie at goalie, Bark-Andre Furry at center, Canadian Penny,  Moose, Holland the Pup and Gustl Kopitar at the wings, Deke-Henri Furry, Sir Oliver da Doodle and Sir Winston Da Doodle at defense. The coaching staff would include Saffy Bean Bulldog and Charlie Labrador, with media coverage handled by PeytonReads and Rex the TV Terrier.

They might not win a ton of games, but they also wouldn’t be as bad as the Don’t Bothers, the starring team of the new Disney Plus sequel series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers, which stars Emilio Estevez and Lauren Graham, and is very much worth watching for lighthearted escapism.

Moose also got his picture taken with the Jacksonville Icemen mascot Fang, who looks to be a Malamute or a Husky.

With the win, the Icemen currently sit sixth in the seven-team Eastern Conference with 44 points and a record of 19 wins, 18 losses, 3 overtime losses and 3 shootout losses through 43 games, a winning percentage of .512.

Around half the teams in the league chose to sit out the 2020-21 season, though hopefully they will be able to return to play for the 2021-22 season, especially as new franchises in Iowa and Ontario join the league, which stretches across two countries from Florida and Texas in the south to Idaho in the west and Nova Scotia in the northeast.

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We’re very glad that the Jacksonville Icemen Pucks and Paws Night went well, and wish the team the best of luck as they finish out this season.