The North Carolina State University Hockey Team welcomed Elon University to the Raleigh IcePlex to kick off the season and they definitely did not disappoint. Energetic fans packed in the rink, lining the glass, excited for the season to begin. Fans chanted multiple cheers throughout the game which motivated the team even more.
“The Wolfpack chants going back and forth, it’s always a great feeling,” said Garrett Sunda of NCSU.
NC State entered the first period strong with Dan Blue scoring two goals. They carried the momentum into second period with Garrett Sunda scoring a power play goal early on, followed up with goals from Chris Nelson and Jack Macdonald. With less than two minutes remaining in second period, Elon answers with two goals. NCSU once again, came back strong and showed no signs of slowing up; with goals from Sean Blye, Reed Faraht, Danny Fredenburg, Sam Banasiewicz and Tom Stryker, making the final score 10-2.
“Nice first win. It’s always good to come out strong; 10-2 at the beginning of the season,” said Sunda.
Not only was this NC State’s first game of the season, but also the team’s first game at this location.
“Well we had a brand new sheet of ice,” said head coach Mike Gazillo. The team relocated this season to an Olympic size sheet of ice at the Raleigh IcePlex; which provides them with more space to work with their skills and speed.
Mike Gazillo also spoke about the game plan going into Friday night’s game and stated he was overall happy with the way the team played.
“We have quite a few new guys,” said Gazillo. “We worked on a new forechecking system, which was new to the guys that had been on the team previously.”
“We also talked about the plus-minus stats per game dictating what lines will start the following week,” continued Gazillo. “So, what it does is it puts emphasis on the guys getting pucks to the net and scoring, but also a bigger emphasis on defensive play because no matter how you do offensively, we need to do a good job defensive play. I always say the ways to win a game is not always scoring goals, but also good defensive playing and limiting opportunities.”
NC State hits the road next week for their upcoming game against James Madison University Saturday October 4th.
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