Ice Pack Bring Home ACC Crown

By Logan Ward

On a rainy Sunday afternoon at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, the still undefeated NC
State Icepack take on the Virginia Cavaliers in the championship game of the 24th Annual
ACCHL Championship Tournament. The Icepack enters the game undefeated in both divisional
(9-0) and overall play (24-0), as well as the #1 seed in the tournament, while the Cavaliers enter
the championship (8-1) in divisional games, with an overall record of (15-3-2). The Cavaliers
won their previous two matchups in the tournament to reach the championship, with Virginia
defeating #6 George Washington in the first round by a score of (4-3), and #2 Georgetown by a
score of (5-4) following a dominant third period, scoring three unanswered goals to win in
dramatic fashion. Similarly, the Icepack was also dominant in the first two rounds of the
tournament, winning their previous matches against the St. Joseph’s Hawks by a score of
(11-1), and Wake Forest by a score of (5-2). The Cavaliers have increased stakes in this one,
as they make the ACHA Regional Tournament in Lynchburg, Virginia with a win, but face the
end of their season if they lose today.
The first period was a defensive battle between the two teams, with both the Icepack and
Cavaliers playing tough, physical defense. The two goalies (#33 Joey Hall for the Icepack and
#30 David Voight for the Cavaliers) were dominant in the period, saving almost everything
thrown at them, save for an excellent mid-range strike from Assistant Captain #22 Ryan Kinney
off of a behind the net feed from #17 Tyler Alfonzetti around five and a half minutes into the
game. The Icepack enter the 2nd period with a large lead in shots on goal, and a lead of (1-0)
over the Cavaliers going into the Second period.
The second period began on a power play for the Cavaliers, who were unable to take
advantage of the special teams opportunity. It was another incredible period for Cavaliers goalie
#30 David Voight, who didn’t allow any goals in the period. Plenty of offensive opportunities
between these two teams, as the Icepack took 48 shots on goal through two periods, while the
Cavaliers took 22, but the only goal was converted by forward #21 Thomas Dale off a feed from
Captain defenseman #4 Nicholas Tuzinkiewicz late in the second period to tie the game at (1-1)
going into the third period. Plenty of physical play, with the Icepack receiving four penalties
throughout the period to Virginia’s two.
The third period began with a goal by #14 for Virginia, Jack Yager taking a feed from #28 Jacob
Fishman to get a quick goal about three and a half minutes into the final period to give the
Cavaliers a (2-1) lead early on. Club President #28 Ian O’Rourke sniped a shot in from outside
around a minute later off of assists from Captain #2 Sam Banasiewicz and #8 Nikita Anistratov
to even the score at (2-2) with 15 minutes remaining in the third and final period. #2 Sam
Banasiewicz would then score with 7 minutes remaining to give the Icepack a lead, off of a feed
from #8 Nikita Anistratov to put the Icepack ahead (3-2). Rookie of the Year #11 Riley Johnson
would finish things off, scoring on an empty net to put the Icepack ahead for good, giving them
the lead (4-2) with 55 seconds remaining.

The Icepack finish the tournament with a win over the Virginia Cavaliers, with three unanswered
goals in the third capping off their championship with a victory, the third in Icepack history.
Defenseman #4 Eric Mura won tournament MVP, finishing an awards season for the Icepack
which also included regular season Most Valuable Player #8 Sam Banasiewicz, Rookie of the
Year #11 Riley Johnson, and Coach of the Year Mike Gazzillo. The Icepack now turn their
attention towards the AHCA tournament in Lynchburg Virginia, where they play on Friday,
March 1st.

Published in News.