Postgame: Tigers Pounce on the Pack

Pack can't avenge Charlotte loss; falls to Clemson 3-2.

In one of the latest matchups of the season, the Icepack (9-6, 5-2 ACC) couldn’t get used to the bad Ice Surface here in Greenville, South Carolina, as the Clemson Tigers (8-9-1) took the game 3-2. This was a game in which there were several notable absences due to flu related symptoms, including Captain Sam Banasiewicz, Will Biberdorf, Ryan Kinney, and Ellis Rushford. The team was without 4 of it’s 7 top forwards, and allowed for Trevor Merchant and Tyler Alfonzetti to see top line minutes.

This was another game defined by bad ice and bad bounces, but 3rd line winger Eric Johnston gave a spark to the Icepack in the first 5 minutes by beating Clemson goaltender top shelf on the far side for one of his firsts of the season. Not too long after, Matthew Wilson from the Tigers took a soft snap shot on Josh Cannon, and it bounced just under his pad into the net. As the Icepack regained some possession and arguably was the better team following that goal, Alex Schrieber killed the momentum quickly, and found the back of the basket behind Cannon to make the game 2-1.

But wait, there’s more.

Luis Giminez came charging in the side boards and made the quick pass to Ian O’Rourke, and took a quick slap shot that was stopped initially, but it was none other than the hard working 1st line promotee Tyler Alfonzetti who potted the juicy rebound to get the game tied up at 2. That period was wild.

Yes, you heard me right. It was 2-2 at the end of one.

The second period remained scoreless, and it wasn’t until the third period that the Icepack truly showed some life, after being behind on shots virtually all night. Clemson potted one, and had the Icepack shaken up for the rest of the period, until the final breakout of the third period. Andrew Kristof was able to put one behind Tigers goaltender Ian McHugh, but it scored after the whistle. No one was sure of what happened, but the extended Ice Surface made pulling Josh Cannon for the extra attacker a bit more difficult. It turns out that in order for the extra attacker to come onto the ice, the goaltender must touch the bench. The Icepack starter was near 25 feet out. Nonetheless, even though the pack will head home 0-2 for the weekend long road trip, Josh Cannon was by far the player of the game, stopping nearly over 40 shots, in which included many high quality opportunities.

“I think Josh came out strong tonight, played really well… this is the best start he’s had all year,” said Goaltending Coach Alex Rosetto. “[Cannon] controlled his rebounds, made some really key saves… I’m really proud of the way he played.”

As the Pack head back home to begin preparations for the 3rd Backyard Brawl, Coach Gazzillo and team hope to spend time working on special teams, which gave up a goal on the penalty kill and went 0/5 on the power play.

The Backyard Brawl will be on Monday, January 29th, with puckdrop at 7PM. For those who aren’t able to make the game, the PackTV crew of Ethan Barry and Zak Selwaeh will be on call for the YouTube livestream, which will begin around 6:30. There is no charge for admission, but there will be a suggested 5 dollar donation. Stay tuned on twitter with @intothepack and @icepackgameday, which will provide all the information you need to know about the match.

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