Tonight at PNC Arena, local hockey takes the center stage when Carolina Hockey and the NC State Icepack face-off. The game starts at 7pm with free parking and a (recommended) $5 donation at the door.
The atmosphere was electric for this game/event last year and comes highly recommended for Monday night hockey entertainment.
This preview is the NC State side. Please also check out the Carolina Hockey side HERE.
About the interviewee
Ethan Barry (Twitter=@ejoebarry) is a junior at NC State and major in communications with a concentration in media. He is the play-by-play voice of NC State hockey for PackTV which covers all home games and streams them live on YouTube and/or broadcasts them on the radio on WKNC 88.1 FM. The 2017-18 season represents Ethan’s third year covering the hockey team for PackTV first as a director for two years and now calling the games in 2017-18.
Check in on NC State Hockey heading into Monday’s match up with UNC-Chapel Hill
Canes and Coffee: How has NC State Hockey fared thus far in their 2017-18 season?
Ethan Barry: The Pack comes into Monday’s game at 8-4 and 7-3 in the ACCHL. However, the way the ACCHL works, only divisional games (and games in the Stephen Russell Memorial Tournament) count towards making the ACCHL tournament. State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke and Charlotte are in the same division and play each other twice. The Pack went 2-1 in the Stephen Russell Tournament and have beaten both Duke and Charlotte so far this year.
In a nutshell, State has won 4 of the 5 games that help them qualify for the end of season tournament, and they have 4 games remaining, beginning Monday. Two of the Pack’s losses have come to the University of Virginia, who also defeated State in the ACCHL championship game last year. State has won two games in a row, after beating Charlotte 8-5 on November 10th and defeating UNC-Wilmington 5-4 in a shootout thriller on Saturday night.
Canes and Coffee: Which returning players are leading the team right now?
Ethan Barry: Sam Banasiewicz is the team’s best player and leading scorer and leads the team in points. He scored 6 goals in the win over Charlotte last weekend. Banasiewicz was named an All-American last season. He plays on the top line with Luis Gimenez. Gimenez is the second leading scorer and gets the majority of his points from setting up Banasiewicz. Joey Hall is the top goalie and is in his third season in net. He started his freshman year, split time last year, and has been the starting goalie again this year. He has a knack for making incredible saves.
Canes and Coffee: Which newcomers are making an impact thus far in 2017-18?
Ethan Barry: About half of State’s roster is newcomers. Eric Todd plays on the top line with Banasiewicz and Gimenez and has fit in seamlessly. He benefits from the attention Gimenez and Banasiewicz draw from other teams and is the fourth leading scorer. Cam Mazikowski has provided an offensive presence from the blue line with 7 goals so far this season. Trevor Merchant has provided offensive depth on the third line and at times the second.
Canes and Coffee: Aside from the all-important bragging rights and rivalry, what does Monday’s match up against UNC mean to the Icepack’s hockey season right now?
Ethan Barry: State wants to finish the semester on a high note. This is the last game for two months, so whatever happens on Monday will be the taste left in the team’s mouth until January. State is in excellent position to be one of 8 teams to make the ACCHL tournament (14 total teams), but one slip-up can cost the team a spot or two in the standings. Seeding is crucial in the tournament which is a three games in three days format. I also know that the Pack would absolutely love to keep UNC-Chapel Hill out of the tournament and they have two games against the Tar Heels where they can help that cause.
Canes and Coffee would like to extend a huge thank you to Ethan Barry for sharing his insight into Monday night’s game from the NC State Hockey side.