By Brendan Seppey
Friday night at the Raleigh iceplex, the undefeated NC State Icepack take on the Duke Blue Devils in their second meeting of the season. Going into this match up the Icepack had an overall record of 19-0 and an ACCHL division record of 8-0, while their opponent entered the match up 1-7 in division play and 1-10 overall.
The first period was a hard-fought battle between both teams with the Icepack controlling the play down in the Blue Devil’s zone. Duke did manage to work the puck up the ice into State’s zone and with a screen in front of Pack’s goalie #1 Jesse Tart, #67 Spencer Diaz, of the Blue Devils took a wrist shot from the blue line clanging off the post and into the net. Blue Devils managing to strike first, but the lead would be short lived. It did not take the Icepack long to answer back with #5 Alex Vedetta carrying the puck down the ice and passing to #7 Matt Costigan who took a wrist shot from the slot. The puck snuck through Duke’s goalie #36 Samuel Freder, giving Costigan his third goal of the season and tying the game at one a piece. Coach Tim Healy for NC State stated in an interview with Packtv, “I think two or three of the last games now where the other team may have gotten the jump on us a little bit and Costi was the one who opened up the bank for us”. The score set at 4-1 as the teams head into the locker rooms.
The Icepack did not stop there, #22 Ryan Kinney gets a pass from #27 Davis Hudson and gets his seventh goal of the season, making it 2-1 in favor in the Icepack. Both #25 Parker Szarek and #23 Laythe Jadalah find the back of the net making it 4-1 to close out the first period. The second period allowed for the flood gates to open with the Icepack commanding the game and scoring six more goals throughout the period. Number 13 Alex Fong picked up his first goal as a member of the Icepack early in the period to increase NC State’s lead to 5-1.
In the third period Duke pushed back but to no avail. NC State still managed to put up four more goals with their last one coming in under the two-minute mark. The Icepack picked up their twentieth win on the season with a final score of 14-1. The Icepack improved their already flawless record to 20-0 and clinched the Carolina East division. The Icepack has two more regular season games left, Clemson at the Raleigh iceplex with an 8:45pm puck drop and Wake Forest in Winston Salem with a 1:00pm puck drop, and the Icepack is also looking to pick up their last two wins to complete their undefeated regular season run. In two weeks, NC State will be going back to Winston Salem to compete in the playoffs as they look to bring a championship back to Raleigh.