Update: Pack fall in regional final 5-2 to Indiana.
UPDATE: Pack knocks off #6 Ohio on home ice 4-2, advances to play Indiana University at 4:00 PM Sunday to punch a ticket to ACHA Nationals in St. Louis.
UPDATE: Pack wins round one over Rowan, 3-1. Plays Ohio University at 8:45 pm on Saturday.
The Icepack is headed back to the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) post-season for the sixth consecutive year! The Pack will enter Athens, Ohio, as the 8th seed of the 12 teams battling it out in Ohio for two tickets to the ACHA National Championships in St. Louis, MO. For complete details, click below.
Powered by a Garrett Auriene hat-trick, the pack Pack throttled the UNC 6-2 in front of 6,299 fans at the Carolina Classic at PNC Arena Monday night. The win was especially sweet after dropping the continuation game 3-2 in overtime, making it a three-point night for the Pack.
Last weekend proved to be a successful one for the Icepack, sweeping the Delaware Blue Hens in their two-game series in Newark, Delaware. Following the weekend, NC State flipped their record from 10-11 to 12-11, marking the first time the team has been over .500 since mid-October.
The most notable aspect of the weekend was the immense collective effort it displayed, as a staggering 16-out-of-19 dressed skaters recorded points during the two-game stretch. On top of that, 10 of those 16 players had multi-point performances, showcasing the immense talent, depth, and potent offensive firepower the team can possess when clicking.
Forwards Zach Robinson and Zach Herman stole the spotlight this weekend, putting up matching 2-goal, 2-assist weekends. Rookie goaltender Addison Lawrence turned in yet another strong performance, earning a 16-save shutout in the second game, leaving him with zero total goals against in the new semester.
Additionally, the penalty kill unit demonstrated excellent efficiency, going a perfect 10-for-10 through both games. Special teams is key for any team seeking to place themselves in the Nationals tournament, and the Icepack demonstrated their ability to perform in that category this weekend.
The Icepack now shifts their focus to the upcoming pair of games against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. With a season record of 7-5-1, the ‘Pack is seeking to build off their current momentum against another conference opponent. History favors NC State in this matchup, boasting a 2-0 record against the Deacons over the past two years.
Game 1 is set to kick off at 8:00pm at Invisalign Arena tonight, with Game 2 shifting to Winston-Salem at 12:30pm tomorrow.
As the winter break comes to an end and the new year ticks on, anticipation is building for the upcoming semester of Icepack hockey. The ‘Pack is eager to put the past behind them and set the stage for a successful playoff run as they enter the crucial stretch of the season.
Jackson Cowen, senior defenseman and assistant captain, emphasized the need for a defensive overhaul in order to yield more wins this semester.
"I think we have to be harder defensively. We have to win more battles in our zone and make it harder to score. We need to help out our goalies."
The Icepack has allowed 68 goals so far this season, a middle-of-the-road mark in the ACCHL Premier Division. If they seek a better record in 2024, it’ll have to start from the crease-out.
Isaac Tawyer, the junior goaltender with plenty of starts under his belt, echoed the team’s dissatisfaction with their first-semester performance.
"None of us are satisfied with our first semester performance. We're looking to become a more consistent, winning team and punch a ticket to nationals."
Consistency is certainly another point the Icepack needs to improve upon this semester if they are to make a serious nationals push. The team has had difficulty stacking wins in this campaign, only managing to string together multiple wins in a row twice in the first semester.
Noah Scherff, one of the team’s many freshman defensemen, looks ahead with optimism, emphasizing the undoubted potential of the team.
"Our hope is to start coming together as a team. We have a young and skilled team with a ton of potential, and, if we live up to it, there isn't a team we can't beat. Once we start clicking as a group in all 3 zones, the sky's the limit."
The Icepack’s emphasis on synchronization bodes well for the team's future outlook, as a more cohesive and well-coordinated effort, along with their immense talent across the board, will likely lead to more success and, most importantly, more wins.
As the Icepack looks forward to the new semester, the team is committed to strengthening their defensive game and developing a sense of unity, both on and off the ice. With a collective goal of reaching nationals and a renewed determination, the group is poised to turn things around and notch a better effort in the second half.
With the Icepack's second semester kicking off tomorrow night in Morrisville against Rowan, be sure to mark your calendars of the team's remaining schedule, and purchase tickets ahead of time for home games to ensure you can watch the ‘Pack on game days.
RALEIGH — As the first quarter of the hockey season draws to a close, it's time to take a closer look under the hood at the thrilling journey the Icepack's undergone thus far.
In this brief yet comprehensive recap, we will delve into the statistics and team awards, as well as highlight some key quotes from an array of the team's players as they reflect on the young season.
Player Statistics Leaders
LEADER — Garrett Auriene (6)
RUNNERS UP -- Nick Shook (5), Zach Herman/Philip Bailey (4)
LEADER — Caid Cox (7)
RUNNERS UP -- Joey Gouveia (7), Zach Herman (7)
LEADER — Zach Herman (11)
RUNNERS UP — Garrett Auriene (10), Caid Cox (9)
LEADER — Caid Cox (9)
RUNNERS UP — Nick Shook (8), Joey Gouveia (7)
LEADER — Caid Cox (9)
RUNNERS UP — Ricky Frosch (5), Alex James (4)
LEADER — Addison Lawrence (.946)
RUNNERS UP — Isaac Tawyer (.882), Eric Daniel (.853)
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE:
LEADER — Addison Lawrence (1.71)
RUNNERS UP — Isaac Tawyer (3.51), Eric Daniel (3.95)
TEAM RECORD — 4-4-0
WIN PERCENTAGE — .500 (4th in ACCHL Premier, 69th in ACHA M2)
GOAL DIFFERENTIAL — +13 (3rd in ACCHL Premier, 32nd in ACHA M2)
POWER PLAY — 25.0% (6th in ACCHL Premier, 61st in ACHA M2)
PENALTY KILL — 80.8% (2nd in ACCHL Premier, 46th in ACHA M2)
First Quarter Awards
FORWARD OF THE QUARTER — Zach Herman
What's the Team's Feeling on the Season So Far?
RALEIGH — Another week of Icepack play has come and gone, and there's plenty to reflect on from the team's most recent battles with the Liberty Flames.
Here's a look back at the weekend prior, as well as what's in store for the team tonight as they kick off their ACCHL league play.
Icepack Splits Series with Rival Flames
As mentioned in the previous edition of "Icepack Insider," the 'Pack sought to gain a leg up in their bitter rivalry with the D2 Liberty Flames, a team they have remained on relatively equal ground with for the past three years.
The series' first game kicked off at Invisalign Arena, where the Icepack sought to take advantage of a Flames team who had yet to play a game on the road this season.
A tumultuous first 25 minutes of the game saw three different lead changes between the Flames and Icepack, two of them in favor of the visitor. However, late second period goals from rookie Aiden Brenner (shorthanded) and assistant captain Jackson Cowen helped the Icepack regain the lead and ride the momentum to a 5-3 win. Forward Zach Herman had himself a day, notching a goal and two assists in the statement win.
The second game shifted to LaHaye Ice Center, as the Icepack traveled north in attempt to complete the sweep of the "Wagon Wheel" series with the Flames for the first time in its existence.
Game two, unlike game one, was deadlocked for roughly 42 minutes total, as one power play goal for either team was all that stood through 59 minutes of play. The Flames finally broke through with 50 seconds remaining in the contest, holding on to win the game by a score of 2-1.
A diamond in the rough of the heartbreaking loss was a dominant performance by rookie goaltender Addison Lawrence, stopping 50 of 52 shots (.962 SV%) in his Icepack debut, earning him the honor of Primo X Hockey "Player of the Week."
Icepack Opens ACCHL Play with UNC Wilmington
The Icepack draws their first league game of the season tonight, as the UNC Wilmington Seahawks flock to Invisalign Arena for a Thursday night matchup.
NC State has had the Seahawks' number recently, going 4-0-1 in their last five head-to-head games and outscoring Wilmington by a colossal margin of 24-9. The Seahawks are 5-3-0 on the young season, as well as 1-1 on the road.
A major key to victory for the Icepack will be activating their power play. The team operated at a measly 14.2% (1/7) on the man advantage last weekend, a mark the 'Pack will certainly seek to improve as the season drones on.
Puck drop is at 9:00 p.m. at Invisalign Arena tonight. Make sure to pack the stands, pun fully intended, and give the team the best home ice advantage possible for a strong start to league play.
Written by: Connor Corrigan-Webster
RALEIGH — The Icepack's 2023-24 season campaign is in full swing, and it won't be slowing down anytime soon.
With a handful of games in the books since our last check-in, let's take a look at how the season's unfolded in the meantime, as well as preview the big pair of games coming up this week.
Tough Losses at Liberty, vs Kentucky
As we covered in our previous installation of "Icepack Insider," NC State traveled to Lynchburg nearly three weeks ago to face the Division I Liberty Flames. The annual early-season matchup at LaHaye Ice Center is never an easy one, and this year was no different, as the Icepack suffered a compelling 7-2 loss.
On the brighter side of things, goaltender Eric Daniel shined in the matchup, recording a .923 (24/26) save percentage in relief and notching an assist on the second goal. The loss dropped their record against the D1 Flames to 0-4 all-time, being outscored 33-13 in the process.
The team didn't have long to dwell on the loss, however, as the Kentucky Wildcats came to town for the Icepack's first test at home.
The Icepack started the game by putting up two goals in the first 21 minutes, but difficulty scoring on the power play (1/8, good for 12.5% efficiency) allowed the Wildcats to storm back from the deficit, resulting in a 5-2 loss, the first on home ice this season.
Forward Philip Bailey had a big night for the club, recording two goals in the narrow loss to a highly-respected Kentucky team.
Icepack Splits Road Series With Penn State
The busy schedule continued rolling on the following weekend, as the team traveled north to State College for a two-game series with the Penn State Nittany Lions. The series had "revenge" written all over it for the Icepack, as they sought to defeat a Nittany Lions team that had knocked them out of the ACCHL Tournament the season prior.
The first game, similar to their game against Kentucky the week before, saw the Icepack jump out to a 2-0 lead early in the game. This time, however, the group held their ground, notching a 3-1 win and their first road victory of the young 2023-24 season.
The team couldn't achieve the road sweep, unfortunately, as a 4-2 loss evened up the series with the Nittany Lions. The teams met twice last season too, splitting those games as well.
Forwards Zach Robinson and Garrett Auriene had convincing weekends, putting up two goals and two assists, respectively. Defenseman Caid Cox continued an extremely impressive rookie campaign, notching an assist in the second game, bringing his season total to six points in five games played.
Home-And-Home With D2 Flames On Deck
Despite a less-than-deal start to the season in terms of physical record, the Icepack has the chance to make a statement this weekend with the D2 Liberty Flames coming to town for their annual "Wagon Wheel" home-and-home series.
Since 2020-21, the Icepack and Flames have met six times, three times at home and three times on the road for either team. The rivalry has been about as evenly matched as one could imagine, with each team going 2-2-2 and a slight goal differential advantage in favor of the Icepack (+1).
The Flames have had an excellent start to their season, going 3-0-1 (.833 win percentage) and chalking a goal differential of plus-12. The red-hot Liberty squad has yet to play a game on the road this season, however, so a raucous crowd in Raleigh will be crucial for the Icepack to start the series off strong.
The series' first game is tonight at 9:00 p.m. at Invisalign Arena, while game two shifts to LaHaye Ice Center tomorrow night at 10:15 p.m.
The Icepack is excited to launch a partnership with Ticket Sauce. By moving to this new platform the Icepack will deliver an improved fan ticketing experience. The best news is that unlike traditional ticket platforms with Ticket Sauce there are zero user fees. If you have already bought tickets through our website, look for an email from Ticket Sauce with your new tickets, they will automatically be transferred over. We anticipate less and less availability of walk-up tickets so we highly encourage purchasing ahead of time. In particular we expect the UNC game to sell-out in advance. If you are bringing a fan 17 and under, they must be ticketed as well, however, there is a category that provides free tickets through Ticket Sauce. Season Ticket Members will continue to utilize their wristbands. Purchase your tickets here.
It's been a big week for the Icepack. From putting up a football score in their home opener to naming the team's tangible leaders, a lot went down behind the doors of Invisalign Arena.
Here's the latest scoop on what's been going on, as well as a look into what will likely be the team's biggest challenge this season.
Icepack Opens Season With 17-3 Home Win vs. ECU
Season openers are fun regardless of the final score. That being said, it’d be tough to open the season in a better way than the Icepack did last Friday.
The Icepack kicked their 2023-24 campaign off with a bang, dismantling the visiting East Carolina Pirates by a whopping score of 17-3. Yes, you read that right. 17.
It was a team effort all night long, as 15 separate skaters managed to record a point. 12 players notched multi-point games, including this week's "'Primo X Hockey' Player of the Week", junior forward Thomas McEneny (three goals, one assist).
Yellow skate laces are a rite of passage for the team's rookies, as first-year players are only allowed to sub them out for the traditional white laces once they record their first goal with the team. FIVE different rookies managed to get their yellow laces off during Friday's home opener, including Nick Shook, Aiden Brenner, Holden Koufman, Caid Cox, and Spencer Harman.
A massive night for the Icepack, and a season opener to remember for the players and 1,500+ fans in attendance.
Team Names Captain, Three Alternates For 2023-24 Group
During practice this week, the team revealed their captaincy for the upcoming season, including one primary and three alternates to serve as the leaders of the up-and-coming Icepack squad. Here's a quick look at the letter representatives:
CAPTAIN - Garrett Auriene (#17)
The newly announced, grizzled leadership group will attempt to lead the Icepack to new team heights this season.
Icepack Ships Off to Lynchburg
While East Carolina may not have posed much of a threat to the Icepack's high-octane talent, their next matchup, the Division I Liberty Flames, is equally as bolstered. In what has become an annual matchup between these two teams, the Icepack heads to Lynchburg, Virginia in attempt to take down a perennial powerhouse in their own building.
This matchup isn't one that's favored the Icepack in the past. Since the two teams first faced off in the 2020-21 season, NC State has lost all three matchups, tallying up to a combined score of 24-9. This is no indictment on the Icepack, however, as the Flames are widely seen as one of the best club hockey organizations in the nation. It all starts with the Flames' top team, who has has gone 50-24-2 since the 2020-21 season, good for a .658 win percentage.
While the team has yet to pull out a win against this particular Liberty group, this is most certainly one of their best chances to do so. The Flames come into Friday's matchup yet to play a game, meanwhile the Icepack will be arriving firing on all cylinders and riding high from their home opener. Combine that with the Icepack trotting out one of the most talented rosters the program has ever seen, and it may just be enough to shock the college hockey world on Friday night.