Harrison Eaton - Media Intern
After a preseason unlike any other, the NC State Icepack are fired up and ready to go awaiting the season-opening puck drop against Dallas Baptist on Thursday, January 21st at 7:00 PM.
The Icepack have been gearing up for this long-anticipated moment for over 4 months now since the tryout period ended. During tryouts, the team broke in the ice at the newly built state of the art facility at the Wake Competition Center. The new home of the Icepack holds its own team locker room thanks to generous donations and fundraising. At the conclusion of tryouts, the Icepack coaching staff chose 26 men to bring into battle for the 2020-2021 season, with 7 newcomers.
Now that tryouts have ended, it is time to get to work. The Icepack started training camp with a speed skating session from our friend Coach Ryan DuPraw, who set the tone for how the Icepack pace of play would look like this season. After a few weeks of conditioning, special teams work, play install, and intrasquad scrimmages, the Icepack put that hard work to test on October 23rd when they traveled to Lynchburg to take on the Liberty Flames.
On that night in October, the boys were put to test against the #2 team in Division 1 ACHL hockey. After a tight first period, the Flames were able to open the flood gates and win the game by a score a 7-2. Colby Pederson (#26) and Chris Solomon (#27) were the two Icepack goal scorers that night in a hard-fought battle. The Icepack head back home after starting the preseason off 0-1.
Gearing up for a huge weekend where they will play the Liberty Division 2 team twice and a new member to the ACCHL Coastal Carolina. After a few weeks of practice, the Icepack hit the road once again to Lynchburg. The boys started off the weekend by dropping the first game to the Flames D2 team 6-2. Riley Johnson (#11) and Colby Pederson (#26) were able to find the back of the net in game 1 but it was not enough. Game 2 was a similar result. The Icepack fell behind quickly and lost the game 5-1 against the Flames D2 team. Riley Johnson (#11) was able to secure his second goal of the weekend as he was the Icepack’s lone goal scorer. However, Sunday's matchup against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers was a different story. The boys were able to end the weekend on a high note winning the game 13-1 in an offensive dominating performance. The Icepack were led by a terrific performance by goalie Griffin Hunt (#33) and forward Griffin Burke (#23). Burke’s 3 goal outing earned him the title of ACCHL player of the week.
On January 7th the Icepack returned to practice from the winter break to gear up for the regular season. The team wasted no time in getting physically and mentally prepared. Now with one practice to go before the regular season, the Icepack boys are locked in and ready for battle to defend the ACCHL title and to make a Nationals run.
The NC State Icepack will head into the 2021 season looking to defend their ACCHL title, kicking things off against the Dallas Baptist Patriots from the TCHC in a 3 game home slate this weekend
Following the home opener, the boys will play Liberty in a home and home matchup on January 29th (home) and January 30th (away) to continue a developing rivalry between the two clubs. Earlier this season, the Icepack dropped both games when going against the Division 2 team, not including the earlier loss to the Flames Division 1 team.
The team will then play East Texas Baptist at Wake Competition Center on February 5th before gearing up to play its toughest opponent yet, the 2019 ACHA D2 National Champion Florida Gulf Coast Eagles.
The boys will be put to a big test going up against the 4 time ACHL Division 2 National Champions. The Icepack will play the Eagles a grand total of 4 times this season starting February 12th and 13th in Florida and later on will face the Eagles at home, March 5th and 6th.
The last portion consists of ACCHL games which will be vitally important for the Icepack to win in order to defend their champion status. The Icepack will play a mix of teams from the ACHL. The Opponents during these games are not confirmed yet, however, these games will be a mix of Virginia Tech, Coastal Carolina, UNC Wilmington, and UNC Chapel Hill.
You can find out more about the Icepack and the offseason by checking out our YouTube channel @NC State Icepack to keep up with our new behind the scenes show Icepack: All Access.
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PackTV will be live streaming our games this year! The link is posted below.
Link To Games