Giminez, Biberdorf lead Pack to a 9-5 victory in the Regular Season Finale.
A warm and humid Friday night drove fans inside the cool Iceplex, as they had the chance to catch the Icepack (14-6, 7-2 ACC) down the West Virginia Mountaineers (9-12-1) on the second half of the back to back. State had the advantage coming into the game, already dominating the night before from a 6-2 victory on military appreciation night.
As much as fans wanted a change of pace for the Icepack’s start, it was a huge de-ja-vu moment, as Brian Dickman from WVU picked up the games first goal, only 47 seconds in. That rattled state for sure, as the team donning the red jersey’s couldn’t find hope for the first 10 minutes of the game. That long lost hope was found when Sam Banasiewicz tipped a pass from Ian O’Rourke out in front, and that’s when the floodgates opened. Luis Giminez and Davis Hudson scored within 14 seconds of each other, then a beautiful neutral zone trap lead to Eric Johnston shoveling a breakaway pass to Ryan Lenzmeier who put the biscuit in the basket.
“I thought we did well,” said head coach Mike Gazzillo. “We got a lot of shots, it’s something we’ve been talking about a lot in practice. It’s good to see that… moving the puck pretty well… couple of defensive lapses… but for the most part it was pretty good.”
Pretty good seemed a bit too much for West Virginia, as they swapped goalies at the start of the 2nd period to hope to change some momentum. Giminez stopped that momentum, as he notched one of the teams first powerplay goals of the night. After a goal from the Mountaineers was scored, the rest of the second period was mostly back and forth.
Jack MacDonald opened the scoring for the Icepack, with assists from Banasiewicz and Ian O’Rourke. The Mountaineers did register 3 goals against Josh Cannon, but Tyler Alfonzetti redeemed the team by scoring one on the penalty shot. While this is all good news, the even better story is that Will Biberdorf scored his first goal of the season after sitting out much of the 1st half and latter half of last season due to injury. The funny thing is, Will wasn’t even supposed to play in this game.
“I just went out on the bench to be with the guys, have fun with them…” said Biberdorf. “I wanted to get on that scoresheet… I hope to get another one.”
This win tonight will be a huge morale booster for the Icepack, as they will enter the ACCHL tournament on a 5 game win streak. Their next test will be against JMU, after they defeated Wake Forest 7-2 last night.
“Consistency,” said Biberdorf about the prep for the big weekend. “Getting out there… putting in the hard work, playing our A game… a full 60… we need to play our game.”
The Pack will be back in action next Friday at 4:30 to take on JMU. The game will be streamed live on PackTV’s YouTube livestream, with Ethan Barry and Zak Selwaeh having the call starting 15 minutes prior to puck drop.
Notes: Banasiewicz now has 8 goals in his past 5 games… Joey Hall scratched tonight, Ian Hutchison played backup… Jack MacDonald now has 2 goals in his last two appearances…