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.