JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If you had any reservations about hockey in Jacksonville, you can cast them aside.
Mayor Lenny Curry hosted Jacksonville Icemen President Bob Ohrablo, Owner/CEO Andy Kaufmann, Head Coach Nick Luukko, and players to honor their historic season ahead of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
"The Icemen are having their best season yet...the Jacksonville Icemen have reignited an excitement for ice hockey in Jacksonville by not only winning but by continuously demonstrating their commitment to the community through charitable efforts and engagements with fans," Curry said.
The Icemen enter their regular season finale against Orlando with 83 points, their most in franchise history.
Jacksonville will find out its playoff opponent on Sunday, it will be its second trip to the Kelly Cup Playoffs in its five-year history.
"The cup is the only thing that we're all thinking about, the journey is going to be one heck of a ride," Ohrablo said.
"So excited about bringing the best experience in pro sports, which is playoff hockey, right here to our hometown," Kaufmann said.
Curry and the Icemen also had a request for fans ahead of the playoffs, and it's best some of you oblige right away.
"I encourage citizens throughout Jacksonville to begin growing your playoff beard. If you struggle with beard growth, you may want to get a head start," Curry said.
"For us, we're not just happy to be here, we're here to make noise...we're ready to be back here in two months holding the cup and celebrating with you guys," Luukko said.
Jacksonville will face either Atlanta or Florida in the first round of the playoffs. The matchups will be finalized on Sunday.