While Thanksgiving is just around the corner, the Icepack had something bigger on their minds on a chilly Monday night in November: winning the Governor’s Cup. The Carolina Hurricanes may not have been in town at PNC Arena this Monday, but the Icepack made sure to keep the locker room warm, squaring off against the UNC Tar Heels on the big stage in the state’s capital.
As is often the tradition for the Governor’s Cup, the matchup highlighted the final game of the fall semester for both teams, and they certainly were each looking to finish their semesters with a win. The Tar Heels came into the game with some extra motivation, however, as they had been held winless in the five Governor’s Cups that’ve been held since its creation going into Monday’s tilt.
It’s not too often the Icepack is looking for redemption in matchups against UNC, but a 5-3 loss on home ice earlier this season at the hands of the Tar Heels gave the team a chance to redeem themselves in front of thousands of their loyal fans. Tag that onto a 5-3 win at home against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday night, and you’ve got the recipe for a potential rebound for the boys in black and red.
Rivalry games can often be expected to be tight-knit, hard-fought battles early on. Unfortunately, this was most certainly not the case for the Icepack on Monday, as the Tar Heels controlled the tempo for nearly the entire opening frame. Despite being outshot 15-5 in the first period, sophomore netminder Isaac Tawyer stood tall between the pipes, allowing only one goal just before the halfway point in the first.
The second period looked much more like Icepack hockey, with the team controlling the play and getting multiple power play opportunities to boot. However, the momentum the Icepack built up was quickly stalled by two goals by the Tar Heels in the second half of the middle frame, extending the enemy lead to 3-0.
The Icepack was in desperate search of life entering the third period, with not much time to complete a 3-goal comeback. Thankfully, senior forward Alex Robinson answered the bell early, scoring a slick backhand tally just two minutes into the final period, cutting the UNC lead to two. True freshman Zach Herman continued the Icepack’s newfound momentum, notching a short-side tally to bring the score to 3-2. Unfortunately, the early onslaught of goals proved not enough, as the Tar Heels held onto the narrow lead through a back-and-forth third period and emerged victorious.
While life is certainly more fun when the Icepack is in action, some time to reflect on the previous semester may be just what the team needs to get out of their current funk. The loss at PNC Arena drops the Icepack’s overall record this season to 6-10-2, as well as a 3-3-0 record in ACCHL play. With just over a month until their next matchup, the Icepack certainly have plenty of time to recoup and gear up for a better second semester. The group returns to action just after New Years, where they will head to St. Louis to face off against Lindenwood, Davenport, and Trine University in the Lindenwood Showcase.
It’s never easy to lose a close game to your rivals, let alone two within a two-day span. Unfortunately, this is reality for the Icepack, as they come out of a weekend duel with the Liberty Flames winless. The Icepack took on Liberty in the recently-dubbed “Wagon Wheel” series, an annual contest between the two southeastern ACHA DII clubs aiming to be perennial National tournament contenders, suffering two one-goal losses in the process.
The series began last Friday at LaHaye Ice Center in Lynchburg, Virginia, with the NC State Icepack looking to find some steady ground and build momentum as the fall semester of play winds down. However, the game started off in opposite fashion, as Liberty took advantage of the traveling Icepack team, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after one period of play.
The group continued to demonstrate their season-long resilience, as goals by sophomores Philip Bailey and Zack Robinson would bring the game to a tie early in the third period. The game went back and forth for the remainder of the final frame, but saw the Icepack receive the short end of the stick, losing 5-4.
Game two shifted to Invisalign Arena in Raleigh, where the Icepack would seek to redeem themselves on home ice after a hard-fought loss a day prior. Despite changing locations for the second game, the team found themselves in familiar territory as game one, falling behind 1-0 early in the contest.
Another key Zack Robinson goal brought the game to 1-1 later in the first, which would prove to be the final goal of regulation. The team fought valiantly for 60-plus minutes, but found themselves on the bitter end of defeat once again, with Liberty scoring late in OT to seal the game, 2-1.
As is often the case with the densely-packed schedule the Icepack accrued this season, there’s little time to dwell on tough results. The University of Cincinnati Bearcats come to town for a two-game contest this weekend, a team the Icepack defeated in decisive fashion in Cincinnati last season, notching 7-1 and 8-3 wins. The teams face off this weekend at 8:35PM EST on Friday night and 8:15PM EST on Saturday night at Invisalign Arena.
Invisalign Arena was the place to be Friday night as the Icepack took on the UNCW-Seahawks in another highly anticipated ACC Hockey matchup this season.
NC State pulled out the 4-1 win over the Seahawks, redeeming itself from Thursday's 4-0 loss to two-time defending champ UMary also here on home ice.
Sophomore Isaac Tawyer had a brilliant performance in the net all night, recording saves on 24 of the 25 shots on goal he faced.
Despite being the lone team to spend time in the penalty box in the opening period, the Icepack struck first with 2:22 left before intermission.
Freshman Kameron Langefels opened the scoring for the night, his first as a member of the Icepack, allowing him the honor to remove his yellow laces.
The second period is where things truly got interesting as NC State had three power play opportunities in the first seven minutes of action.
Senior Matt Miller was able to capitalize for the Icepack, picking up the second goal of the evening and his first of the season.
UNCW had a couple of man-advantage opportunities as well in the opening half of the middle period, but it was NC State sophomore Emery Oliver who raised the scoring margin to a 3-0 lead for the team in red, picking up a shorthanded goal with 10:41 left to play.
Langefels notched his second of the night a little less than halfway through the final period, raising the Icepack lead to 4-0.
Wilmington ended Tawyer's shutout run with 5:08 left in the third period, but it was too little too late for the Seahawks as they were simply overpowered by the Icepack all night.
Despite missing a few key players due to injury, the Icepack was still able to pick up a big win over an ACC Hockey League foe, bringing the team's overall record to 3-3-1 this season and 1-1 in the ACCHL.
Next up for NC State is the ACCHL-TSHL Showcase in Lancerlot-Vinton Virginia from October 21st to the 23rd where the Icepack is set to play Indiana University, University of Louisville and Ohio State.
(Raleigh, NC) - Despite a valiant effort, the Icepack’s marquee Thursday night matchup against the UMary Marauders resulted in a hard-fought 4-0 loss. The team seeked to redeem themselves after a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Marauders in the 2020 Nationals Quarterfinals, but unfortunately fell short in their pursuit of redemption.
After a dominant effort throughout the first period by the Marauders, they finally broke through with a goal from assistant captain Isaiah Thomas with 8:07 remaining. The Marauders continued their dominance with a goal by Liam Massie at the 5:13 mark, extending their lead to two.
The Icepack gained some momentum early in the second period, but it soon began to unravel when the team accrued a 5-minute major penalty with eight minutes remaining in the second frame. UMary didn’t take long to take advantage of their extended power play, scoring twice within a two minute span to expand their lead to four.
The Marauders opened the door for the Icepack to creep back into the game with multiple minor penalties past the 9-minute mark of the third period. Unfortunately, the team was unable to capitalize on these opportunities, leaving the final frame of the game with no goals scored, and bringing the final score to 4-0.
Thursday night’s loss brings the Icepack’s overall record to 2-3-1 in ACHA play this season. Being under “.500” is not something this team is used to, especially not this far into the season. Thankfully, they won’t wait long to have an opportunity to rebound, as they take on the scrappy UNC Wilmington Seahawks at 8:15pm at Invisalign Arena on Friday night.
(RALEIGH, NC) – Oftentimes in life, it’s easiest to move on from a tough loss by quickly jumping right back into action. Thankfully, this is the opportunity the Icepack have this upcoming weekend. After a tough outing for the Icepack against the rival UNC Tarheels, they look to redeem themselves with a 2-game road trip to Kentucky.
The Icepack fell to the Tarheels by a score of 5-3 in a back-and-forth affair at Invisalign Arena last Friday, a game the Icepack isn’t used to losing all too often. Since head coach Tim Healy took the reins in April of 2020, the team’s been nothing short of excellent against UNC, posting a 4-0 record and a plus-17 goal differential before last week’s tilt. A combination of an improved UNC team and a tough Icepack performance brought this streak to an abrupt end.
Luckily for the team, they have little time to dwell on the result of last week’s game, as they take a quick road trip for a two-game swing to face the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. The team will make their 8-hour bus drive to face off against the Kentucky Wildcats in a midnight game on Friday at the Lexington Ice Center. The team then travels another hour to Louisville, where they’ll take on the Louisville Cardinals at 7:00PM EST on Saturday at the Iceland Sports Complex.
While rebounding is certainly front of mind for the Icepack, it won’t be an easy task. The Kentucky Wildcats have opened the season with a 7-game winning streak, including two dominating wins over the UNC Tarheels. The Louisville Cardinals haven’t had a shabby start themselves, winning 5 of their opening 6 contests so far this season.
Though this weekend’s competition may be far from a cakewalk, this Icepack team is well prepared for the challenge. A weekend tilt against quality opponents is just what the doctor ordered for this hungry squad, and the team is itching to take advantage.
Despite grabbing the first two goals of the evening, the Icepack fell 5-3 to rival UNC back on September 30th.
NC State jumped ahead 2-0 first, but the Tar Heels gained momentum late to score five goals in the last 22 minutes of action.
It took almost an entire period for either team to find the back of the net, but it was Garrett Auriene who gave NC State the 1-0 lead with just over a minute left in the opening period.
Drew Bresingham joined in on the fun one minute later, capitalizing on a great pass from teammate Zack Robinson to give the Icepack a 2-0 advantage entering the first intermission.
The second period was more of an uneventful one. Only one goal was scored in the closing two minutes, cutting the NC State lead in half and bringing the score to 2-1 right before the final period.
Things unfortunately didn’t go the same for NC State in the remaining 20 minutes of play.
UNC tied the game at two 36 seconds into the third, and the Tar Heels took a 3-2 lead two minutes later.
One bright spot for NC State though was Thomas McEneny’s game-tying goal, his first as a member of the Icepack, a huge slap shot to tie the game at three with a little over 16 minutes left on the clock.
NC State had a chance to take the lead again on its final power play opportunity of the evening following a penalty against UNC halfway through the third, but the Icepack was unable to convert in this crucial scenario.
The Tar Heels had the last laugh, as they took the lead again with five minutes left to play and went up two goals on an empty netter with 23 seconds left of action.
Despite having plenty of opportunities to change the outcome throughout the game, this was not Icepack’s night.
The team will look to bounce back this upcoming weekend on its trip to Kentucky with matchups against the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
(Raleigh, NC)- In its first home matchup of the 2022-2023 season, the NC State Icepack defeated the Drexel Dragons 7-1.
It was a special night in Raleigh as Philip Bailey notched his first three goals of the season, completing the hat trick.
Cameron Lohr, Ricky Frosch and Zach Herman also all grabbed their first goals of the year tonight, while the Icepack defense held down the Dragons to secure its first victory of 2022-2023 in its return to Invisalign Arena.
Drexel had the initial power play opportunity of the night, but it was the Icepack who found the back of the net first as Bailey grabbed his first goal of the game at 14:24 in the opening period.
Less than thirty seconds later NC State doubled its lead as Cameron Lohr, the freshman from Switzerland, put it past the Dragons' goalie to go up 2-0.
Continuing a dominant first period, Bailey scored his second of the night with 11:48 left.
The Dragons finally made it on the scoresheet with 2:22 left in the period, but a late penalty gave the Icepack another man-advantage opportunity, allowing Frosch to bring the NC State lead back to three goals.
As much scoring as there was in the first period, it was much quieter offensively in the second. Both teams had a couple of close chances, but except for one moment where the Drexel bench thought the puck had crossed the goal line, the score remained the same until the start of the third.
The Icepack brought the energy back to the ice in the third period, scoring three more times before the end of the game.
Zack Robinson started the scoring frenzy for his first goal of the night, and second of the season, and newcomer Zach Herman continued the first goals trend raising the lead to 6-1 two minutes later.
The biggest goal of the evening though, came with 5:17 left in the third period as Bailey found the back of the net again, securing the first Icepack hat trick of the year.
Senior Eric Daniel was the netminder tonight, holding the Dragons to just one goal on 21 shots faced in a very chippy and physical matchup.
Next up for the Icepack is rival UNC-Chapel Hill who will make the short drive to Morrisville next Friday, September 30th for its first of four matchups together this year.
It’s official. After a long and daunting 224 days, the NC State Icepack is finally making its return to Invisalign Arena for a home game against the Drexel Dragons this Friday, September 23rd at 8:15PM.
A lot has changed for the Icepack since their last game at home, a resounding 6-0 win over the West Virginia Mountaineers in mid-February. The team lost several veteran pieces from their corps, including the likes of two time All-American Chris Solomon. However, that has done little to slow down the team’s ambition and urgency for the upcoming season.
“We’re going to be a fast team,” said junior defenseman Jackson Cowen. “We’ve got a lot more young guys this year, guys who bring tempo and physicality to their game.” When asked what the team’s identity will be heading into the home opener, Cowen’s answer was simple: “fast, physical, and fun to watch.”
While the team may have plenty of new faces this season, they are certainly not lacking chemistry. “We’re a unit,” sophomore forward Thomas McEneny responded when asked to describe the team in one word. “We’ve developed a lot of chemistry in the little amount of time we’ve had with each other already, and it’ll only continue to grow as the season goes on.”
There’s no need to tell the Icepack how important home ice advantage can be in the ACHA, as the team posted a whopping 13-1 record at home last season, with their only defeat coming at the hands of the rival Liberty Flames. They’ve also learned just how important the team’s fans are. “We’re really looking forward to being able to play in front of our great fans again,” said sophomore forward Zack Robinson after Tuesday’s practice. “We look forward to having the opportunity to bounce back from a tough game in Virginia, and there’s no better way to do that than in front of our crowd.” Robinson scored one of the team’s three goals in a 9-3 loss to the Division I Liberty Flames team last Friday.
The Icepack are entering what can best be described as a “gauntlet” of a schedule at home. This year’s schedule features several games against opponents that are perennially viewed as nationals-bound teams, most notably the University of Mary Marauders, a team the Icepack fell to by a score of 5-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2021 ACHA M2 Nationals Tournament.
While it’s hard to not look too far into the future, the team knows they need to focus on this week’s game first, and the fans will need to help set the tone for what will undoubtedly be an intimidating home crowd all season long. “Tailgates, we need tailgates,” said sophomore forward Charles Monteith on Tuesday. “We need people getting rowdy before and during the game.”
Despite the cultivation of several different personalities, backgrounds, and ages, the team has one common goal in mind: a National tournament appearance, and a deep run at the championship to boot. However, their regular season schedule needs to be taken care of first, and there’s no better way for the Icepack to kick off their 2022-23 Division II Schedule than in front of their loyal and passionate fans.