Banasiewicz, MacDonald lead State to 6-2 demolition of West Virginia
In another game that had a blowout second period, the Icepack (13-6, 7-2 ACC) took control of the game and sent the West Virginia Mountaineers (9-11-1) home with a lot to work on before the second half of the home and home. Fans packed into the Iceplex tonight for the Military Appreciation Game, as spectators saw the Icepack’s very own Ellis Rushford being honored for his service as a Marine, and goaltending coach Alex Rossetto being honored for his service in the Air Force.
That optimism, that honor, that pride carried the pack through this game, but not without a few slip ups. In the early going, West Virginia’s team captain Brian Dickman struck first, picking up some loose change in front of Joey Hall. Not too much later, Ryan Kinney responded off a fluky goal from behind the net, just shoving it towards Mountaineer goaltender Hunter Ivey. Ian O’Rourke recorded the first of his career not too much later.
The power play improved tremendously tonight, as Ellis Rushford tallied one of his first goals of his career tonight from the point. Ellis has been scratching the surface for much of this season and finally broke through tonight, and spoke to Ethan Barry following the match.
“I didn’t do it for the recognition, but it’s nice to be appreciated,” said Rushford talking about being honored on Military Night. “Sacrificing my time and effort… being appreciated is really cool.”
Jack McDonald found the back of the twine tonight in his first game back this entire season. After McDonald got his goal, in a surprising turn of events, the Mountaineers switched their goaltender out for the night. That didn’t stop Sam Banasiewicz though, as he tallied two more after that and closed off the game 6-2.
“We wanted to get off strong,” said Coach Gazzillo following the game. “We wanted to build and gain momentum, and carry it into tomorrow and into next weekend… I think the guys did a pretty good job tonight.”
The Pack have finished off in the third spot in the ACCHL, and await the result of tomorrows match to find out who they will be playing next Friday to start off the tournament. The PackTV broadcast crew will be traveling with the team as well, to bring you closer inside State’s biggest weekend of the year.
Notes: Luis Giminez sat out today’s game… Sam Banasiewicz continued goal streak, now at 4 games, 7 goals in that time frame… Eric Mura in the lineup today, 7 defensemen dressed… team again without Will Biberdorf and Andrew Kristof, team hopes to have them back in lineup before ACCHL Tournament...