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North Gwinnett’s Seth Cohen looks for an opening in a recent game.  Photo – Traci Callewaert Dickson

DULUTH — Ice hockey is a sport that is gaining in popularity among students in Georgia. North Gwinnett High School is one of only 14 schools in the state that has its own ice hockey team. The team is part of the Georgia Student Hockey League which is the governing body for high school hockey teams in the state. North Gwinnett’s home ice rink is at the Atlanta Ice Forum located in Duluth. The GSHL regular season kicked off on October 20 and runs until February 9. The postseason begins shortly after that time and is a double-elimination style of playoffs.

The team which is coached by Rob Spreadbury and John Wilson has 23 players on its roster. The team is comprised of both male and female players from North Gwinnett High School, Lanier High School, and Mill Creek High School. Since not every school has its own hockey team, if a student wishes to play for the GSHL and their high school does not have a hockey team, the student is allowed to petition the GSHL to play on another school’s team.  

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Tyler Smorch defends North Gwinnett’s goal against their opponent’s attempt to score.  Photo – Traci Callewaert Dickson

North Gwinnett is part of Division A which is made up of teams from Columbus, Brookwood, Collins Hill, Walton, Rope, Woodstock, Forsyth, and Johns Creek.  North Gwinnett and Columbus have been battling for that top spot. Columbus is currently ahead but has also played one more game than North Gwinnett. Standings in ice hockey are based on points a team earns.  Teams earn two points for a win and one point for a tied game. North Gwinnett has 17 points to Columbus’s 18 points. To break it down, North Gwinnett has an overall season record of 8-4-1. NGHS has scored the most goals so far this season in Division A with 64.

North Gwinnett will play its next game at the Atlanta Ice Forum against the Forsyth A team on January 22, 2020.

— By Alicia Couch Payne

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