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.