That time of year is here and earlier than usual compared to recent years. On Monday night at PNC Arena, local hockey takes center stage as the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill takes on North Carolina State in men’s hockey. The ‘Backyard Brawl’ as it was termed a few years back has always been a great showcase of local hockey and a fun event that brings the competitive local sports rivalry onto the ice.



When: 7pm on Monday, October 22

Where: PNC Arena

Cost: Parking is free and admission is only a modest donation at the door (no advance tickets required)


Game preview — The NC State side

Thank you to Zak Selwaeh for providing an update for the NC State side.

Preview provided by Zak Selwaeh

Zak Selwaeh (Twitter=@TheOfficialZMP) is currently the Play by Play Broadcaster for NC State Hockey after traveling with the team last season as the Color Analyst. Zak is a huge fan of hockey and his favorite team is the Carolina Hurricanes. Zak also stays up to date with the latest happenings across the NHL. Aside from hockey, Zak spends time playing guitar and writing/recording/producing his own music and also may have a slight obsession with freshly baked pita bread and hummus.


North Carolina State Icepack preview

Canes and Coffee: How has the North Carolina State hockey team started the 2018-19 season?

Zak Selwaeh: State has had by far and away their best start in the past several seasons. The team is currently 7-0, is ranked at the top of the Carolina East Division, and is second in the league behind only powerhouse UVA. And this has not been from victories by a slim margin either. State has a +42 goal differential after their most high scoring game Saturday night against Richmond where the IcePack throttled the opposition 11-1. State also came in 2nd at the annual Stephen Russell Memorial tournament, going 3-0.


Canes and Coffee: What are the team’s strengths?

Zak Selwaeh: First and foremost, you cannot look past the prolific scoring. Along with having such a positive difference between the goals, the Icepack has potted in the twine at a high rate averaging about 6.88 goals a game. Boasting four goaltenders with Senior Joey Hall leading the Pack, and reigning ACCHL rookie of the year Cam Mazikowski manning the blue line alongside Ellis Rushford, State has dominated not only their offense but also with their daunting defense as well.


Canes and Coffee: Who are the team’s leaders so far this season?

Zak Selwaeh: It is hard to imagine the team without Captain Sam Banasiewicz to be quite honest with you. After potting 25 goals last year and 100 in his career, he is tied for the team lead with 11 goals. It is sinking in that this is his last year with the guys in Red and White, but the newest wave of IcePack members are nothing short of brilliant. Riley Johnson is in the running for ACCHL rookie of the year, also being tied for the team lead with 11 goals and having some of the most incredible zone entries I’ve seen in some time. Laythe Jadallah is lacing up his skates again after taking a short hiatus to focus on his education, and he looks like he has not missed a day of practice. He also has been feeding extremely well off of Banasiewicz, as he continues to pile on to his 10+ points on the season.


Canes and Coffee: What are the keys to the game on Monday from the North Carolina State side?

Zak Selwaeh: NC State needs to make sure their four offensive units are firing on all cylinders. Alex Vedetta scoring his first career goal against the University of Richmond proves that the depth is capable of producing just like their powerhouse teammates on the first three lines. More importantly, they cannot get off to a slow start. Fans may remember that it took the Pack quite  few periods to get their legs under them last season. The current season has been the opposite. The team has begun to take their foot off the gas towards the end of the game instead of having trouble getting started from the get go. Finally, they need to feed off the crowd. This is another big two points in the Carolina East standings, and this will be one of the highest attended games this season. No team wants to give its fans a bad showing.


Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else that fans should know about the NC State Icepack heading into Monday’s match up against the UNC Tar Heels?

Zak Selwaeh: All I can say is expect grit, expect speed, and expect a lot of scoring. This is a group of guys that love the game and is incredibly excited to face off against their biggest divisional opponent once again. It’ll be a night that won’t disappoint!


Game preview — The UNC-Chapel Hill side

Thank you to Scotty Bonner for providing an update for the UNC-CH side.

Preview provided by Scotty Bonner

Scotty Bonner is the Play by Play Voice of the Tar Heel Hockey club, and if you think King Kong has a shot against Godzilla you and I cannot be friends. Scotty is also the voice of The GlendaLove Broadcasting Company (Twitter=@GlendaLoveBC)where you can find a variety of local coverage ranging from youth hockey up to college. From any device and for $0 cost, fans can find Tar Heels hockey and other local coverage. Please check out and subscribe to the channel on YouTube HERE and also check out coverage at Boxcast HERE.


University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Tar Heels preview

Canes and Coffee: How has the Tar Heel hockey team started the 2018-19 season?

Scotty Bonner: The Tar Heels started off hot and looked poised for a huge campaign, but then the injury bug hit a bit and the team lost a few in a row. But with the time off the group is healing up nicely in time for the big one Monday, and the team is looking to get back on track which I feel it will.


Canes and Coffee: What are the team’s strengths?

Scotty Bonner: Netminding. I am an old former goalie, so I will always answer this question with goaltending, but honestly they have three solid goalies all of whom have given them quality starts and all of whom give the squad a good chance to win nightly. It is a difficult choice time for the coaching staff to select who will be starting on a nightly basis, but this is a good problem to have.


Canes and Coffee: Who are the team’s leaders so far this season?

Scotty Bonner: Two leaders pop up for me off hand. First is Jesse Aney. She is really good at both ends of the ice and is in my opinion the hardest worker on either squad each night. Second is Andrew Jordan. He wears the “C” on his sweater for a reason. I have loved his game for years and early this campaign has been no different. His game earns him the “C” and the “C” is represented well by him. As far as stats go I truly don’t know I’m not a stat guy I’m more of a “how does this player make me feel when I’m watching/rooting for them?” And these two play the game the way I like it played – 100 mph and without fear of making a mistake.


Canes and Coffee: What are the keys to the game on Monday from the UNC Tar Heel side?

Scotty Bonner: First is weathering the storm. State is on fire right now and will come out trying to run the Tar Heels out of the building. They will try to get the big crowd into it early, so the first 10 minutes are key.  Second, there will be power plays, and the Heels need to convert when given the opportunity. I think it takes two power play goals on Monday and pressure for a full two minutes for every power play. Finally, the Heels must win the faceoffs especially in their own zone. Puck possession is so important especially when playing a team with the speed of State. It takes a lot more energy to chase the puck than possess it.


Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else that fans should know about the UNC Tar Heels hockey team heading into Monday’s match up against the NC State Icepack?

Scotty Bonner: Yeah! The UNC hockey team really needs support at the game and as much Carolina blue as possible in the stands because the State fans show up, show up in droves and are rowdy. Our fans need to match their numbers and intensity. The atmosphere along with the bands on hand will create an electric environment that needs a good balance of Tar Heel fans.


The puck drops at 7pm at PNC Arena. Who is in for local hockey on Monday night?

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