Gameday: Pack go Bird Hunting
Streaking Icepack look to defeat Seahawks.
How to attend/watch: Raleigh Iceplex, puck drop at 8:15. $5 general admission, $3 student admission (with valid ID)
Ethan Barry and Zak Selwaeh will have the call starting at 8PM on PackTV’s YouTube livestream.
After a short turnaround, the Icepack (11-6, 7-2 ACC) are looking to stretch their winning streak to three games against the D3 UNCW Seahawks (14-1). Conference games are over for the Icepack, so the final games of the season will be mainly used to put into practice the things taught in practice, and improving all areas of the game for the ACCHL tournament. Tonight’s match is also pink in the rink, where State will be donning their Pink home jerseys in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Along with this, the Icepack will be donating 30% of their ticket sales to Breast Cancer Research following the game.
The Scoop on Wilmington
Wilmington is good. Like, really good. They’re among the best D3 teams, and currently are on a 5 game win streak. Their last lost? Against the Icepack, 5-4 in the shootout. Lead by Joey Alexander (11-26-37 in 15GP) and Ryan Besemer (12-0, 2.88GAA and Sv% .902), the seahawks are a dangerous team. They gave State trouble in the last game, before the heroics of Sam Banasiewicz and Hayden Dewey contributed to the comeback that the Icepack had been looking for. Wilmington is a speedy team, and a high scoring team as well, scoring 84 GF and 43 GA. That’s a rough average of 5.6 goals for per game. State cannot allow their defense to give up in front of the net tomorrow and lapse defensively, because UNCW will capitalize. Expect the seahawks to make it hard for State early on.
The Scoop on State
Fresh off it’s second highest scoring game this season, the Icepack are riding a mental high. Beating Tobacco Road opponents in UNC and Duke, the Icepack are not only looking extremely good in the standings, but they’re feeling good as well. With Sam Banasiewicz having tallied 4G and 3A in the past two games, and Luis Giminez having recorded 5G and 4A in the past two, the dominant duo is clicking and finding ways to create high quality opportunities. With strong goaltending coming from Joey Hall, Josh Cannon, and now Ian Hutchison, the Icepack is looking bright heading into the month of February. State has nothing to gain from these games except more experience and putting their depth to the test, so expect the dominant duo to spark the rest of the team tonight against a tough D3 foe.
Coach Gazzillo plans to have options tonight with this lineup, and here is a rough look. As always, lineups are subject to game time decisions:
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
Keep and Eye on:
Wilmington: Benjamin Cooperrider. He may be lacking in size at 5’8, but Cooperrider has been a player that the seahawks have relied on religiously. Ben had a goal and an assist the last time these two teams met in Wilmington, and he is currently on a 3 game point streak (3-1-4). A quick and lethal forward, expect State to be watching him carefully throughout the game.
State: Ryan Kinney. The silk man himself, Ryan Kinney has been another under the radar player. Absent for a long period of time, Kinney has slowly been finding himself creeping back into the lineup on a 2 game point streak (2G-1A-3P). Strong puck moving skills serve his niche well, so expect Wilmington to be watching out for Kinney setting up Alfonzetti and the rest of the second line.
Notes: UVA defeated Virginia tech, gain 1st place in ACCHL… Joey Hall expected to get start after night off… Cam Mazikowski expected to play after night off… Eric Todd recorded 4 assists last night against Duke…