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Hockey in Fayetteville, N.C. is more than just a stick to a puck, it is wholesome family entertainment that has captured the attention of Fayetteville and surrounding com-munities for the past 10 years.

For 10 years, the Fayetteville FireAntz have obtained an unbeliev-able fan base, of whose loyalty and dedication have elevated the organi-zation to what it is today. With more than 7,000 fans in attendance during the 2011-2012 Opening Weekend alone, which took place on Friday, Oct. 21 and Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Crown Coliseum, the FireAntz seem to be headed in the direction of continued success.

Although the 2011-2012 sea-son has seemingly launched with a BANG, there is still plenty of time to catch a FireAntz home game in the near future. With the return of five players, the FireAntz are set to play back-to-back home games against the Louisiana Ice Gators on Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Crown Coliseum. And, if you happen to find yourself searching for something to do with the family after enjoying a hearty Thanksgiving spread, the FireAntz will host the Augusta RiverHawks on Thanksgiving night at 7:30 p.m. For a complete listing of Fayetteville FireAntz home games, visit www.fireant-zhockey.com.

As for the dynamic of the FireAntz team, this season proves to be one of transformation. With a new head coach, a revamped logo, and 11 new player additions, the Fayetteville FireAntz have proven that change is for the better. Head Coach, Sean Gillam, expects players to work hard and remain disciplined, while also remaining dedicated to the organization and sport. Leading the team in those expectations are the recently announced team captains: Chris Leville, center, who is one of five returning roster players this season, along with alternate captain Bobby Reed, forward, and alternate captain Matt Smyth, a defense player.11-12-11-fireantz.jpg

Aside from the ice, the Fayetteville FireAntz organization has made quite an impression within the local community. Whether through corporate part-nerships or non-profit participation, the FireAntz have gained notoriety on many levels. For instance, the FireAntz have formed lasting partnerships with community agencies such as Friends of Children and the Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center. During the Oct. 21 opening night game, the FireAntz donated over $1,000 to the Breast Cancer Center of Cape Fear Valley and last week’s Oct. 29 specialty Military Night was dedicated to local mili-tary personnel. The FireAntz will host a second specialty Military Night on Saturday, Feb. 4.

President and General Manager of the Fayetteville FireAntz, Kevin McNaught, refers to the organizations commitment to the community as, “quality of life.” He states, “We rely on the community to support us, so it is easy for us to give back with appearances and having the players in schools where they can be role models.”

The Fayetteville FireAntz also joins in the community in hosting children’s birthday parties, hail and garewells, and company outings and get-togethers. For more information, please contact the Fayetteville FireAntz front office at: 321-0123.

Come and experience change, fun, and Fayetteville FireAntz hockey, “Where Fire and Ice Unite!”

Photo: With a new head coach, a revamped logo, and 11 new player additions, the Fayetteville FireAntz have proven that change is for the better.

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