(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.
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