When the Richmond Generals joined the USPHL in 2014 an instant rival was renewed. Though it had been many years since the cites of Richmond and Hampton Roads had competed against each other in ice hockey, everyone involved felt like it was an excellent chance to rekindle the I-64 War that had been made so famous by the ECHL Richmond Renegades and Hampton Roads Admirals. This was a combustible combination that had all of the makings of a rivalry that even former Admirals coach John Brophy would be proud of.
The War of I-64 will return to the Norfolk Scope Arena as part of an all day triple header on Saturday January 25th as the Richmond Generals take on the Hampton Roads Whalers in a USPHL Elite match-up at noon, a USPHL Premier match-up at 2:45pm followed by the ECHL Norfolk Admirals taking on the division leading South Carolina Stringrays at 7:30pm. The Admirals, Whalers, and Generals will help promote the Bring Pro Hockey Back to Richmond movement.
“It’s a match-up sure to keep every hockey fan on the edge of their seat with the high flying, hard hitting action between 2 championship caliber organizations”, stated Whalers GM Brad Jones. “The Whalers have won 3 of the last 4 USPHL Premier titles, while Richmond took the Elite Championship last season, with the Whalers winning it the year before”.
“As the new Owner of the Norfolk Admirals, my aim is to bring back the energy, pride and representation of Admirals hockey to the 757, stated Patrick Cavanagh. “Richmond was a big part of the same culture in their city that I also shared in as a player. We have successfully continued the I64 tradition at the Junior hockey level over the last decade, we now have the opportunity to share that Junior hockey rivalry and the New Era of the Admirals while assisting the “Bring Pro Hockey back to Richmond” movement which I fully endorse and hope to assist. It will be a great day for Virginia Hockey to celebrate what we have accomplished and place into motion what we hope to accomplish in the coming years”.
The two teams continue to be in a dog fight in the hotly contested Southeast Division of the USPHL. Having just split their weekend series at both the Elite and Premier levels the weekend of December 7th & 8th, the two organizations head into the holidays battling for playoff positioning. At the Elite level, the Whalers handed the league leading Generals their first regulation loss in 20 games on Dec. 8th, while the Premier teams sit just 3 points apart in the division standings.
“As a long time hockey fan from Richmond, one of the biggest memories I think about is the Admirals/Renegades rivalry. Those game nights at the Scope and Coliseum were absolutely electric and they were a big part of my inspiration to begin the Bring Hockey Back to Richmond initiative. Currently the Facebook page has almost 8000 followers and there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t miss having a professional hockey team. However, over the years a good number of the Renegades fans have discovered the Richmond Generals and the I-64 War has had a bit of resurgence. When you have two powerhouse programs like the Generals and Whalers there’s bound to be a spark that ignites that rivalry. I’m very excited to bring the Richmond hockey fan base to Scope on Jan 25th. This will be the first time in 20 years that a Richmond hockey team has skated on Scope ice and these games will be epic.” - Alan Sams (Founder, Bring Hockey Back to Richmond).
Tickets are $23 and get you admission to all 3 games.
Doors open at 11am.
Jan 25th- Schedule
Noon- Hampton Roads vs. Richmond- Elite
2:45pm- Hampton Roads vs. Richmond- Premier
7:30pm- Norfolk Admirals vs. South Carolina Stingrays- ECHL