The New Face of Hockey on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BILOXI, MISS- So who is Joe Pace? The C.O.O of Biloxi Pro Hockey has had a long career in professional hockey and that experience is something he is bringing to the table in Biloxi. We sat down with Joe in order to give fans more of a glimpse into the man behind Biloxi Pro Hockey.
Born and raised just outside of Chicago, Illinois, Joe’s interest in hockey began when his dad started taking him to Chicago Blackhawks games at around six months old. Joe then went on to say he pretty much became a regular at the games at age two.
“I think my dad said I didn’t miss a game from when I was two and a half to age till I was like six”.
Joe’s playing career so far has spanned 18 years, across 8 leagues, and with 17 teams. He has appeared in 631 games, tallied 43 goals, 142 assists, and racked up 1,867 penalty minutes. During his time with the Rockford IceHogs, Joe was teammates with former Mississippi Sea Wolves forward Dave Paradise. He has also spent time on teams with such players as Mike Oliveira, Eric Lind, Steve O'Rourke and Bill Zaniboni.
Joe has played defense his whole career but says he stills enjoys shifts where he can play up as a forward.
"I still love when I can take a shift at forward and run around, try to block some shots and hit some people but you know there are guys who can’t play every position and I don’t understand that because I feel like that's what makes you a hockey player. Knowing how to play every position which helps you play your position better because you know where everyone else is going to be”.
Joe has described himself as a gritty grinder defenceman type and compares his play style to Brent Sopal.
“You know I’m barely chipping in any points but you know just staying back being that at home D-man, you know taking pride in blocking shots and stuff like that. Now that I’m older you know I look how I wasn’t as big as Brent Sopal but we played very similar, blocking shots, staying at home and making that first pass and letting everyone else take it up the ice and taking all the glory”.
Joe’s leadership has been seen in the locker room as he began his role as a player/assistant coach during the 2011-2012 FPHL season with the Danville Dashers. Since then he has continued that role for a total of six seasons in the FPHL with Danville and the Port Huron Prowlers. After one season as player/assistant in Port Huron, Joe would receive the promotion to head coach where he would serve as a head coach and player with the organization. Joe is bringing his leadership to Biloxi and wants to do everything in his power to bring a professional hockey team back to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
To end the interview we asked Joe what message he had for fans of the Sea Wolves and Surge and for potential new fans and had this to say.
“The FPHL is going to bring exciting hockey down here so come out and support. You know, if you missed hockey whether it was the Sea Wolves or the Surge these are your chances to prove to the coliseum that we want hockey back down here. I came down here to help bring hockey back but there’s a lot of people that have been here for years wishing we could get it back and this is our opportunity. We have three days and we have to average a couple thousand fans a night and I think we can do it but the main thing is yeah you gotta come out but you have to bring a friend or a family member who's never seen a hockey game before because we have to grow the game”.
Biloxi Pro Hockey and the Mississippi Coast Coliseum will host three FPHL neutral site games on December 2nd, 17th, and 30th. The games will feature the Carolina Thunderbirds, Port Huron Prowlers, and Columbus RiverDragons. Tickets are on sale now at the coliseum box office and at Ticketmaster.com with tickets starting as low as 9 dollars with Military and Senior Discounts.
To view photos of Joe Pace's in-game career, click here.