(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.
(Lynchburg, VA) - The Icepack lost 9-3 in its first game of the 2022-2023 season, taking on the Liberty D1 squad on the road.
Despite a fast start from NC State and a lot of back-and-forth action, the Flames took control in the second period and didn’t look back.
Zack Robinson grabbed the first goal of the season just over five minutes into the action, taking advantage of the first power play opportunity of the year.
Liberty quickly adjusted though, tacking on three goals of its own to take a 3-1 lead with a little under nine minutes left in the opening period.
Determined to keep it close, Emery Oliver picked up his first goal of the season with under a minute left of play in the first, giving the Icepack some momentum as they entered the intermission.
Things were looking up to start the second period as Alex Robinson put one in the back of the net to tie it less than five minutes in, but it was all Liberty the remainder of the night.
The Flames took the lead back quickly, scoring just one minute later and grabbing three more goals before the end of the second period.
Despite a couple more power play opportunities in the second, NC State was unable to convert and was set to enter the final period down 7-3.
Liberty kept up the momentum the rest of the game, scoring two more goals before the end of the third.
NC State had one final power play opportunity with 5:10 left in the final period, but once again it was unable to convert on the man advantage leading to the 9-3 final.
This was the lone D1 team the Icepack will play all season.
Next Friday the team will return to home ice and host Drexel University at Wake Competition Center. Puck drop is slated for 8:15 and both season and single-event tickets are available on the team website.
(Raleigh< NC) - We are only a few short hours away before the start of a new Icepack hockey season, and there is a lot to discuss before the boys hit the road for the first time this year and travel up to Lynchburg, Virginia.
Led by a new group of veteran captain's, NC State is on the path to redemption, hunting for a fifth-straight ACCHL Championship and another shot at the national title.
Victor Hugo will serve as captain, and this year’s team president, while Garrett Auriene, Matt Miller and Alex Robinson will back him up as alternates.
“It means a lot,” said Hugo. “It means that all the boys look up to me and they think I’m deserving of a leadership position, and you know I just hope that I can keep up to those standards and help them any way I can.”
As a quick refresher for those who may have missed the news from last month, the Icepack will now compete in the Premier Division of the ACC Hockey League, alongside other top Division II teams such as, Rowan, Penn State and North Carolina.
Penn State and Rowan are new additions to the league, creating an even more challenging schedule and road to another ACCHL title.
Following some heartbreaking losses last season, the mindset this year has shifted with an intent to be on the gas at all times.
“I think last year we definitely took away to not take anything for granted, '' Hugo said. “I think we took UPenn pretty lightly, thought we had it in the bag, and ended up losing so I think we’re gonna come back in here and really be fired up for the season.”
The 2022-2023 campaign kicks off Friday, September 16th as the Icepack will be taking on the Liberty DI squad.
“Yeah, this is like the third year in a row we’ve done this,” said Robinson. “It’s always helped us a lot at the beginning of the year just to get us ready for our games, get us in good game shape and kind of test to see where we’re at at the start of the season.”
This will be the lone Division I matchup NC State will play in all year, providing some great competition and a learning experience for those new to the team.
2022-2023 also features four matchups against UNC, obviously a huge school rival, which always creates a great hockey atmosphere in The Triangle.
“Those are always the games we’re looking forward to the most, '' said Miller. “Obviously we want to beat them. It’s been a few years since they’ve been able to do that so we’re just gonna try to continue the streak and show up for our fans every time they come out for us.”
The rest of the fall schedule features a number of other exciting games, including an October 13th matchup against two-time defending national champ, U of Mary, and back-to-back contests against Liberty’s Division II team.
On the other side of winter break the boys will play in 11 games against teams such as Virginia Tech, the University of Delaware and Lindenwood, before competing for their shot at a fifth-straight ACCHL Championship.
The stakes have never been higher, and the competition has never been fiercer, setting up the expectation for an incredible 2022-2023 season.
Mark your calendars for September 23rd against Drexel University, your first chance to catch the Icepack at home this year. Tickets are available at icepackhockey.com, including season passes which offer a 25% discount per ticket for all Wake Competition Center games.