NC State club hockey is building a legacy in the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League. The team has two consecutive ACCHL postseason championship game appearances and has won four out of the past five regular season championships. Because of the team’s success on the ice, what goes on behind the scenes for the club is often unnoticed.
Club president and senior defenseman Chris Wing came to NC State to get a degree in business management and continue his hockey career after growing up playing the sport.
“My dad is from Toronto so I was born on skates,” Wing said. “I’ve been playing hockey ever since I was six. I started out actually playing roller hockey, and when I was younger I moved over to ice and I’ve been playing ice ever since. I played for the Junior Hurricanes growing up in their travel organization.”
With the sport of hockey growing in the south, Wing was searching to continue his playing experience at a reputable program.
“I was looking at a lot of colleges in North Carolina,” Wing said. “State’s hockey team was one of the factors. I definitely wanted to continue playing hockey at a great level.”
With all the success the NC State club hockey team had through Wing’s first three years, it has been a surreal experience for the senior.
“I never thought I would play on a team as important as this,” Wing said. “I really have to thank the people that came before me who built this team up to be something that was really great and all the other players that have made this team awesome like [senior forward] Luis Gimenez and [senior forward] Sam Banasiewicz. It’s just really cool to play for a team like this.”
While this team has been successful on the ice, the behind the scenes work is also something that Wing is very involved in through his club presidency.
As president, Wing is responsible for a list of things including planning games with the league, team finances, social media and team equipment.
While the entire process during the season takes a lot of work, Wing is always optimistic about how things will turn out during the season.
“My favorite part is seeing the finished product when it all comes together,” Wing said. “When we step on the ice for a home game, we’ve got the home crowd, everyone is out there, we are playing a collegiate hockey game.”
Wing is involved in many different aspects that make NC State hockey at the Raleigh IcePlex what it is on many different levels. It has proved to be a rewarding experience to Wing’s presidency.
“Something about stepping out there and knowing I was a big part in making sure it happened,” Wing said. “There was an announcer for the game, there were scorekeepers, there were people running the clock, someone marketed to get the fans out there. That’s the coolest part. To see everything come together as a finished product.”
Being president doesn’t take away from Wing’s leadership and only adds to the experience for not only him but other players as well.
“Chris is a fun guy. He always laughs and jokes around and makes the team fun,” Banasiewicz said. “You have guys that are serious and constantly scream when they get mad and then you have guys that are fun and joke around, like Chris.”
Wing is looking forward to making his mark on this season’s team in multiple ways; through play and through leadership.
“I’m definitely looking forward to being a positive role model for the younger guys,” Wing said. “I want to be someone that they can look at my playstyle, the way I am on the ice, how I treat others with respect and hopefully they take that and put it into their play. I want to be a role model and help the team win a championship.”
According to Banasiewicz, Wing’s leadership on and off the ice is a crucial part of the team’s successes.
“Being a senior and president, Chris's leadership is key,” Banasiewicz said. “He speaks up at the right time in the locker room when he has something relevant to say. Administratively, we'd be lost without him.”
Wing is proud of the legacy he has helped create at NC State including last season’s game against the UNC-Chapel Hill, the largest collegiate hockey game in the state of North Carolina that was held PNC Arena. History is looking to change again this season as the Pack takes on the Tar Heels in PNC Arena Nov. 20.
Madison Bell (via http://www.technicianonline.com/sports/article_45ceeb04-a7d4-11e7-a01b-af443aac28b6.html)