#2 seed for the Pack on the line against Duke
How to Tune in/Attend: Raleigh Iceplex, Puck drop at 8:45PM. $5 general admission, $3 students (with valid ID)
Ethan Barry and Zak Selwaeh will also have the call on PackTV’s YouTube livestream, starting at 8:30PM.
It’s a groundhog day match, and most NC State Icepack fans will definitely want a repeat of the intensity from Monday Night’s Backyard Brawl. The Carolina Division leading Icepack (#3 ACCHL, 10-6, 6-2 ACC) seek to gain one spot higher in the standings for the ACCHL tournament against the struggling Duke Blue Devils (0-13, 0-8 ACC) that still shows a lot of promise. It’s a great game with a great cause, as State has pledged to donate 30% of ticket sales to Duke Pediatric Hospital following the game.
The Scoop on Duke
It’s no secret Duke has struggled this season, due to the loss of several players and the difficulty of their schedule. Statistically this season has been subpar, but it could also be considered a rebuilding year, as last season the team went 8-13-1 last season. Duke has only had 12 goals this season, with ⅓ of them being by the goals leader Alex Voloshin (4-1-5 in 11GP). They’ve given up 103 in 13 games. Still, the Pack need to be wary of goaltender Nick Barra (0-4, 6.39 GAA, .795 Sv. %), who will most likely get the start. The last time these two teams fought it out on ice, Barra made it very difficult for the Pack to land goal scoring opportunities, especially down low. Expect Duke to give it their all to play spoiler with tools they have that consistently fly under the radar.
The Scoop on State
The team finally snapped it’s two game losing skid by coming out on top against UNC at the PNC Arena. Not only does the team have bragging rights in the Battle of Tobacco Road, the dominant duo of Sam Banasiewicz and Luis Giminez got back on track. The two had 9 combined points on the night (4G-5A), with Luis having a hat-trick and Sam getting his first in three games. Joey Hall was a brick wall in net as well, stopping 28 shots in a game where the Tar Heels came out swinging. Entering the game tonight, the power play and penalty kill are continuing to develop and get consistently better, as the team registered a power play goal and killed a majority of their penalties, a blatant upside over the performance of the special teams in Charlotte and Clemson. Expect State to keep their feet on the gas and take the first 10 minutes of the game by storm.
With a healthy lineup back in place, Coach Gazzillo will most likely be icing lineups mimicking earlier this semester. That said, this is subject to change before game time, as decided by the coaching staff:
Sam Banasiewicz Eric Todd Luis Gimenez
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
Keep an Eye On:
Duke: Chris Gallo. The 5’8 forward from Prescott Arizona is not unknown to the team game, as he leads the team with assists with 4. Gallo presented a formidable threat to State back in October due to his quickness. He most likely will not be on the scoresheet, but watch for how he can contribute to the quick breakout.
State: Eric Todd. The dominant duo and the return of Will Biberdorf has near drowned out the sheer fact that a freshman is centering the first line. Todd has been a strong anchor to Banasiewicz and Giminez, getting into dirty situations down near the net on a frequent basis (5G-8A-13P in 14GP). Todd had a goal and three assists last time when the Pack traveled to the Orange County Sportsplex to face the Devils, so expect him to get in the heads of the Duke players fast, and continue to be a threat crashing the net.
Notes: Coach Gazzillo’s club went 2-2 in the month of January… Ian Hutchison got the start last game against Duke, may see some time tonight… Hayden Dewey’s point streak was snapped against UNC...