Ice Vols blow past fundraising goal for championship trip

The University of Tennessee Club Hockey team is heading to the National Tournament for the first time in 14 years.
The University of Tennessee Club Hockey teams is heading to the National Tournament for the first time in 14 years.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 3:14 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 10:43 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - For the first time in 14 years, the Tennessee Ice Vols are heading to the National Tournament. With the help of Vols fans, the team, which receives little university funding, has raised enough money to fund the trip.

”We haven’t been to a national tournament in 14 years and to be able to get this opportunity and qualify and go to Philly and actually compete with these teams to try and win a national championship, it’s going to be a great experience, and we wouldn’t give it up for anything,” said Drew King, the Ice Vols team captain.

King and the rest of the more than 20 athletes and support team are hoping to enlist the help of Vol Nation to get to Philadelphia, where the tournament is held.

”The bus to Philly alone is $13,000,” said King.

At a cost of about $16,000, King and his team started a fundraiser turning to the generosity of Vol Nation to help them reach their goal.

”We get about a third of that from the university in funding so the rest of that comes from fundraising, player dues, we just appreciate everything anyone can offer to us,” said King.

The team is a club team and receives little funding from the university.

On average, athletes playing on the club hockey team put up about $2,000 of their own money to play on the team.

Now, as they near the National Tournament, they need six wins to hoist a trophy at the end of the five days.

”It’s been such an important experience for us. We have created lifelong bonds on and off the ice, and it’s really important for the guys to continue this bond and this success,” said King.

Now, the costs have been covered with the help from Vol Nation; the $18,000 fundraiser has met its goal and then some.