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Baton Rouge Zydeco wraps up inaugural season

1 month 14 hours 27 minutes ago Tuesday, April 16 2024 Apr 16, 2024 April 16, 2024 7:23 PM April 16, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — The Baton Rouge Zydeco missed the Federal Prospects Hockey League playoffs in its inaugural season, but swept the Mississippi Sea Wolves to end the year and set an attendance record for the 14-year-old league.

The Zydeco brought hockey back to Baton Rouge 20 years after the Kingfish left for Victoria, British Columbia, and became the Salmon Kings.

The team's average attendance of 3,958 was two more than the crowds in Binghamton, New York. The league's previous per-game attendance was set last year, when Binghamton drew an average of 3,507 fans.

The Zydecco won six of its last eight games and finished the season 10 points out of the last playoff position in the league. 

“You know, a lot of people thought that we were kind of just dead in the cellar here, as it was when I got here," coach Everett Thompson said. "We've really taken steps from getting our new culture established going into next year, which is huge for us, taking some big steps and building some locker room guys, you know, finding the guys that are going to be here, finding some of our core for the future and whatnot."

Fans of the new team included the "Zydegals," who sometimes traveled to support the team and provided players with care packages.

“The Zydegals kind of came to be just a bunch of girls who just really liked hockey," Susie Seagar said. "We have kids who got involved with it as well and we all kind of got involved with the booster club and became a sisterhood who just really support our players and we’re loud.

"It’s just been fantastic and we plan on keeping going, supporting the players and making it bigger year-by-year.”

Zydeco broadcasters Joseph Furtado said it was obvious Baton Rouge was ready to return to the River Center for hockey after the Kingfish departed two decades ago.

“They’ve opened their arms up and welcomed it back with a smile on their face. That’s been the people here," he said. "They’re super nice here down South, I came from California down here and the people here will give the shirt off their back for you. A team that has a losing record, could you say you fill up the arena if you have a losing record like the Zydeco and be as passionate as their fans have been? You can really say they have the best fans in the league."

Hockey returns in about seven months.

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