Please also check out the dueling blue preview for the UNC Hockey side of the game.
On Monday night at 7pm at PNC Arena the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina State will square off again for local hockey bragging rights. The game is round three of the “Backyard Brawl” series that kicked off last winter.
For those with an open slot on their calendars for Monday night, the event is highly recommended as a great way to both enjoy and support our local hockey community. Parking is free and admission is just a suggested $5 contribution at the door to help support local hockey.
Update from NC State Icepack Head Coach Mike Gazzillo
Canes and Coffee: How has the NC State’s Ice Pack’s 2017-18 season played out thus far?
Mike Gazzillo: I’m happy with the season overall. We have 11 new players which really changes the dynamics of the team from last year. The new guys have been solid players and also positives in the locker room.
Canes and Coffee: What are the highlights of your season to date?
Mike Gazzillo: We had a great Stephen Russell tournament. With Stephen having been a member of the Wolf Pack, and his parents such a big part of the tournament, it’s important to us to get off to a strong start that early in the season. Sam Banasiewicz scoring 6 goals in one game, and doing it 5 different ways, was a highlight for all of us. What got lost in that performance was the fact that one of those goals was the 100th of his college career, and he did this in his Junior year. Beating a highly-ranked team in the University of Delaware was also a big win for us. The guys really put forth a complete game. And as always the game against UNC at PNC — everyone gets up for that.
Canes and Coffee: Which players have led your team during the 2017-18 season?
Mike Gazzillo: Offensively, we have our captains, Sam Banasiewicz and Luis Gimenez-Madill who really spark the team. I’d also like to give attention to senior Andrew Kristof whose relentless forechecking and incredible work ethic sets the bar for our guys.
Canes and Coffee: What does Monday’s game mean for your 2017-18 season?
Mike Gazzillo: If we win we clinch our division and a #3 spot in the End Of Season Tourney. The game is also for bragging rights that we’d like to hold on to.
Canes and Coffee: From your familiarity with the UNC hockey team, which opposing players would you recommend that fans watch out for?
Mike Gazzillo: I think UNC has a good team, and the emotion of the games makes them a little better. #14, John Beeson, had a hat trick against us last game so we better be prepared for him again.