Brace yourself for a night of thrills and intense competition as two rival university teams plan for a showdown at Cleland Ice Rink at Fort Liberty.

Comprised of skilled and experienced graduate and undergraduate students, The George Washington University Men’s Ice Hockey team prepares to grace Cleland with their third game of 2024. The GW team was named the 2023 ACCHL Fall Classic winner. The challenger, the High Point University Hockey Panthers, have been training hard to battle against the GW team in the new year. Fueled by years of competition, both teams from the up-and-coming AAU college hockey league are biting at the bit to face off once again in a must-watch event.

Held at 1606 Rock Merritt Ave. at Fort Liberty, Cleland Ice Rink opens their doors to passionate fans of Hockey often, holding frequent events for the Marksmen and plenty of other hockey teams from N.C.

Cleland is also home to the Airborne Ice Skating Team, Cape Fear Youth Hockey, and Camp Patriot, Cleland’s main hockey team outside of youth hockey. As well as starting an adult hockey program in the coming weeks, Cleland offers open hockey times for youth and adults respectively.

Although on the Fort Liberty military installation, Cleland invites civilians and military personnel alike to join in on such an exciting event. Join fans, students, alumni, and hockey enthusiasts on Jan. 26, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. for only $5. Food and drinks are available to be purchased in the front office.

Cleland’s assistant manager Delaney says, “We treat everyone who enters this rink like they are family to us and I think that creates a very welcoming environment not commonly seen at hockey games.”

“I’ve been coming to Cleland practically my whole life. My family has been stationed at Liberty quite a few times and I played hockey and figure skated here until I moved,” she added.

Delaney’s love for Cleland is shared by many visitors, skaters, and families involved in the rink.

She offers great advice for those new to Fort Liberty, “Look at the criteria to get on base and plan ahead. Give yourself a 15-20 minute window to get through the gate and find the rink. If it’s your first time getting on post, don’t forget to get a visitor’s pass at the main gate."

Celebrate the new year with a charged and exciting event that your whole family can enjoy. With both sides bringing a rich history of success, these hockey powerhouses will certainly have fans on the edge of their seats. Both the George Washington University Men’s hockey team and the High Point University Men’s hockey team invite you to watch and enjoy their upcoming clash.

Don’t miss out on this chance to witness an exciting face-off at Fort Liberty’s beloved rink. For ticket purchase and more information visit or contact 910-396-5127.

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