Gameday: Pack v. Mountaineers
State takes on West Virginia on Military Appreciation Night.
Where to watch: $5 general admission, $3 student (with Valid ID), FREE with Military ID. 30% of admissions revenue being donated to Wounded Warriors. Raleigh Iceplex, puck drop at 8:45PM.
How to tune in: Zak Selwaeh and Ethan Barry will have the call on PackTV’s YouTube livestream, starting at 8:30PM.
After a weekend in which the Icepack (12-6, 7-2 ACC) took both games at home against Duke and UNCW, State now faces off against a interesting foe in West Virginia (9-9-1). This will be one of the first times these two will play against each other, and promises to be a great game for a great cause for Military Appreciation night. The Mountaineers are entering this game on a 4 game losing streak, while State has done the opposite, winning their last 3 games. This game will not be for points, as ACC play is done for State.
The Scoop on West Virginia
West Virginia’s D2 program is streaky. They’ve had several strong games, like their 7-1 rout over Kutztown University. Likewise, guys in yellow also had several bad games, like their 13-3 loss in the first game of the season. Though the Mountaineers have had success from their leading assist and point getter in Brian Dickman (13-18-31 in 19GP), goal leader Alex Ventura (16-13-29 in 19GP), and goaltender in Matt Meyer (5-8, 7.28 GAA with sv% of .788 in 13GP), the looming question is if they will be able to snap their 4 game losing streak this weekend. If the club can overcome their -26 goal differential in their past 4, and capitalize on a flat start that State may be prone to after a week off, expect West Virginia to move mountains on the scoresheet.
The Scoop on State
The Icepack have clinched the #3 seed in the Carolina Division. State is now waiting for the loser of this saturday’s match between Wake Forest and James Madison to determine their first opponent in the ACCHL tournament. Winning their final ACC game this past weekend against Duke was huge, not only for team morale and points in the standings, but Sam Banasiewicz (23-16-39 in 16 GP) finally found the scoresheet. His hat trick propelled the team to an 8-1 blowout over the struggling Blue Devils, and inspired Ryan Kinney (5-2-7 in 11GP) and Luis Giminez (14-20-34 in 17 GP) to spark up their scoring game as well. With the dominant duo reconnecting once again, and Kinney making his miraculous return, not to mention a well rested Joey Hall, expect the Pack to push West Virginia to play the kind of hockey they haven’t played in their recent losing skid.
Not much changing for the Icepack lineup. With the ACCHL tournament next weekend, a few players may be game time decisions. As always, the lineup is subject to change from Coach Gazzillo and crew:
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
Healthy Scratches: Alex Vedetta, Eric Mura, Ian Hutchison, Will Trolle
Keep an Eye on:
West Virginia: Alex Ventura. This isn’t just because he leads the team with 16 goals, but a more important statistic: he is tied for the team lead in power play goals, with 4. State’s penalty kill did improve well this past weekend, but against a more lethal team like West Virginia, the Icepack need to box out on the penalty kill to stop the 5’11 West Greenwich native.
NC State: Luis Giminez. The dominant duo has reconnected, and Luis has done an incredible job on and off the ice, making simple plays and being the primary assist getter to his partners in Sam Banasiewicz and Eric Todd. Having a 3 game goal streak (7 goals in that time frame) is no easy feat, and the Senior captain will be making the Mountaineers worried about their forecheck and State’s breakout.
Notes: Banasiewicz has 5 goals and 4 assists during State’s 3 game win streak… Joey Hall had last weekend off, expect him to start to get prepared for ACCHL tournament… State’s first ACCHL tournament game will be played at 4:30PM next Friday…