The North Carolina State University ice hockey team is a club hockey team for students attending NC State University which provides them with the opportunity to represent their school on the ice! NCSU’s hockey team was founded in the late 1970’s and is based in Raleigh, NC. Home games and practices are held at the Raleigh IcePlex.
The team currently competes in the ACCHL (Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League) along with other ACC schools, such as rivals: Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill. One highly anticipated event this season is the first annual ACC/Stephen Russell Kick-Off Tournament which initiates the start of the ACCHL season. The event will take place October 10-13.
NCSU’s hockey team hopes to carry the momentum from last season after finishing as ACC regular season champs, as well as ACC Tournament runner-up. The success isn’t all as of recent. In 2013, they once again finished as ACC regular season champs and runner up in the tournament, third in the 2012 ACC Tournament, and in 2011, were ACC Tournament Champions.
The head coach behind the last four years of success, Mike Gazzillo, who was named 2013-2014 ACC Coach Of The Year, has been with the team since 2010. He holds a level 5 coaching certification from USA Hockey and brings 30 years of playing and over 18 years of coaching experience. He previously served as assistant and head coach at the Freshman, JV, and Varsity levels of SCHSHL in New York. He has been coaching at the college level since 2005.
Assistant coach Bates Battaglia, former professional ice hockey player, was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 1994, and later played for the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, and Toronto Maple Leafs during his NHL career. The season of 2001-2002 became Battaglia’s break through season where he delivered his first 20 goal, 40+ point season, contributing to the Carolina Hurricanes first playoff run. Battaglia also spent some time overseas playing for professional ice hockey team, Jokerit.
With Gazzillo’s coaching experience, Battaglia’s playing experience, and the recent success of the team, it is guaranteed to be an exciting season! NCSU has a total of 23 games this season; 10 of them being home games. Home opener against Wake Forest University is scheduled for September 19th 9:45 pm at Raleigh IcePlex. Don’t miss the Wolfpack in action!