The Pack get set to ground the Delaware Blue Hens in the home opener of the Spring Semester.
After almost two months off, the Icepack (8-4, 5-1 ACC) is back, ready to start off the 4 game month of January at the Raleigh Iceplex. With puck drop at 8:45, this game is an important game for the team. This game will not count for points in the standings towards the ACCHL tournament, but Coach Gazzillo has stressed that this game will be a test and an important precursor to the double header road trip next weekend against Charlotte (10-4-1), and Clemson (5-9).
The Scoop on Delaware
Delaware begins their North Carolina road trip against the Icepack, before traveling to Charlotte after tonight's game. The team fields a 14-9 record (6-4 on the road), and has relied heavily on the strong performances of Stephen Bryson (20-22-42 in 23 GP), Ryan Morse (16-20-36 in 23 GP), and Eric Birnberg in Net (5-6 with a GAA of 3.1 and a sv% of .908). Coming off an 11-3 victory against Stevenson University, the Blue Hens are on a 2 game winning streak.
The Scoop on North Carolina State
NC State has been nothing short of spectacular this season. After a disappointing, injury riddled season where we saw the Pack go 10-10-2, Coach Gazzillo has led his team to 8 wins last semester, and have clinched a spot in the ACCHL Tournament. The Icepack currently are riding a 3 game win streak after a theatrical 5-3 win against the UNC Tar Heels in the Governor’s Cup at PNC Arena. The entire team has chipped in on the action, including Eric Webb, Cam Mazikowski, Hayden Dewey, and even Matt Costigan. The dominant duo of Sam Banasiewicz and Luis Giminez were nearly held scoreless at the Backyard Brawl, and will be looking to make their presence known throughout the match tonight.
Sam Banasiewicz (C) Eric Todd Luis Gimenez (C)
Tyler Alfonzetti Will Biberdorf Trevor Merchant
Andrew Kristof Ryan Lenzmeier Hayden Dewey
Eric Johnston Matt Costigan Eric Schwartz
Ellis Rushford Ian O'Rourke
Cam Mazikowski Chris Wing
Davis Hudson Jon Kokkelenberg
Coach Gazzillo and his coaching staff plan to keep this lineup as close to this as possible, but they will make adjustments as necessary before the opening faceoff at 8:45PM.
Keep an Eye On:
Delaware: Shane Moran. While there are players who are major point producers, Moran is one of the fastest skaters on the team, and can easily turn over the puck and make a threat down the middle. Expect the defensive unit to be watching him carefully. (4-8-12 in 19GP)
State: Will Biberdorf. After returning to the lineup midway through this season, the star second line center will be looking to use his size to his advantage and be an anchor to lethal wingers Tyler Alfonzetti and Trevor Merchant. He’s been scratching the surface, but with State’s offensive abilities from depth slowly arising, expect a breakthrough.
State special teams and discipline has been on the weaker side this season, went 0-4 on the PP and only killed 6 of 8 penalties against Chapel Hill, will be looking for a stronger performance… Sam Banasiewicz only registered 1A in the last game, still looking for goal #100 of career… State has gone 5-2-0-1 in the month of January in the past 2 seasons… Delaware will be beginning their 3 games in NC with tonight’s game against the Pack… All stats provided by achahockey.org.
8:45 puck drop at the Raleigh Iceplex. $5 for general admission, $3 for students with Valid ID.