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.