Gameday: Tobacco Road Showdown at PNC Arena
The Heels look for revenge against the Carolina Division leading Icepack
When and Where: PNC Arena, 7PM puck drop, doors at 6PM. $5 suggested donation
How to Watch: PackTV’s YouTube Livestream (with Ethan Barry and Zak Selwaeh) starting at 6:40PM
After the Tobacco Road feud began at the Carmichael Arena this past Saturday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Ice Heels (6-11-1, 2-5-1 ACC) seek to bite back against State (9-7, 5-2 ACC). A highly contested battle for both teams, even more nerves are added on to both teams for the big stage event. This will be the Icepack’s final “road” contest before the ACCHL tournament in a few short games, and an important test for rebounding from the heartbreaking losses on the road last weekend.
The Scoop on the Heels
The Tar Heels have been eliminated from play in the ACCHL tournament. They have gone 1-3 in the past 5 games (1 forfeit), and are sitting in third position of the 4 team Carolina Division. While this game is mainly for the marketing of the biggest rivalry in college, the Tar Heels are hoping to play spoilers to the Icepack, who are seeking to maintain and gain their bid in the ACCHL tournament. Led by Richard Chen (7G-9A-16P in 16GP), and Gabe Harousseau (4.58 GAA, .892 SV%, 1-5 in 8 GP), expect the Heels to get to a speedy and quick start to capitalize on the Icepack’s early first period woes.
The Scoop on State
The Icepack were dealt their first ACC loss since UVA back in November (the Pack lost 5-3 on the road) against Charlotte in the deafening Extreme Ice Center. After a failed third period comeback, State attempted to carry the momentum from that third period against Clemson without 4 of their top 7 forwards (including Sam Banasiewicz), and fell to the Tigers 3-2. The good news is that State still has their playoff spot. The bad news is that they’re on a 2 game winless streak following a shocking 5-3 win over the Delaware Blue Hens. As Hayden Dewey continues his torrid goal streak (5g in his past 6GP), and Sam Banasiewicz looking for his first in 3 games, expect the Pack to match the Heels tempo quickly in the first period.
While Coach Gazzillo has not confirmed the starting lineup for tomorrow, expect it to likely mirror this, with a few adjustments and Eric Todd most likely centering the first line.
Sam Banasiewicz (C) Will Biberdorf Luis Gimenez (C)
Tyler Alfonzetti Ryan Kinney Trevor Merchant
Andrew Kristof Ryan Lenzmeier Hayden Dewey
Eric Webb Matt Costigan Eric Johnston
Ellis Rushford John Kokkelenberg
Cam Mazikowski Ian O'Rourke
Chris Wing Davis Hudson
Keep an Eye on:
Heels: John Beeson. The 6’1 forward dominated in the most previous backyard brawl, registering a hat trick, which are 3 of his 4 goals this season. The Icepack had trouble this weekend controlling tall and speedy forwards in Andrew Miller (49ers) and Chandler Paff (Clemson), so they cannot let Beeson capitalize on any opportunities.
Icepack: Andrew Kristof. The cornerstone grinding forward in Kristof is still looking for his first regulation time goal (shootout winner in 5-4 victory over Wilmington last semester) this season, and ripped a beautiful snap-shot glove side against Liam McHugh last weekend against Clemson before it was waved off. Kristof has had many opportunities this season, and the raging environment of the PNC Arena could be where he finally breaks the Ice.
Banasiewicz still riding season long point streak, but now 3 games without a goal… Hall expected to make the start after Cannon’s strong weekend… Tyler Alfonzetti registered his 3rd of the season against Clemson… Heels are on a 1 game losing streak after losing to the Georgia Institute of Technology 8-4…