The NC State Icepack beat the Cincinnati Bearcats 5-3 at Invisalign Arena on Saturday, Nov. 19.
After losing its previous five games, the Icepack desperately needed to secure its first win since Nov. 4. The team started the weekend off poorly by blowing a third-period lead to lose 6-3 the night before.
A 50-minute puck drop delay took place due to the Carolina Junior Hurricanes taking on the Charlotte Rush in a doubleheader on the Icepack’s home ice. Once the matchup finally got underway, it looked like a repeat of the previous night with the Bearcats securing an early lead on the power play midway through the first.
However, the Robinson brothers' connection came alive as senior forward Alex Robinson fired a puck on net to Bearcat goaltender Ian Cozby, who failed to secure the rebound, and sophomore forward Zack Robinson was in position for the easy clean up to tie it up for NC State.
This triggered a scoring frenzy for the Icepack in the first as the team put up another two goals during the second half of the period. Sophomore forward Phillip Bailey scored on a breakaway, and Alex Robinson scored his second point of the night via a two-on-one chance with an assist by sophomore forward Emery Oliver.
That boy bad news 🤧 pic.twitter.com/RBF0ZKWKMu— NC State Icepack (@NCStateHockey) November 20, 2022
After a flaming hot start, the Icepack lost its momentum in the second period, giving up two goals to the Bearcats and allowing them to tie the game.
Cincinnati made a crucial mistake at the end of the period as Bearcats defenseman Jacob Guptill was called for a roughing penalty with just 2:03 left in the second. The Cincinnati bench went ballistic with protest, resulting in multiple ejections, including Bearcats assistant coach Steve Perkins. By the time all the penalties were dolled out, four Bearcats sat in the penalty box, along with three members of the team ejected from the game for abuse of officials.
The Icepack made the most of its opportunities down the stretch. Senior defenseman Victor Hugo scored a buzzer-beater at the end of the period to give NC State a 4-3 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.
The Icepack finally proved that it can hold a lead as it added one more in the third via senior forward Alex Robinson. Zack Robinson got an assist on the goal that secured a much needed victory for this team.
“The spirits are good,” said Icepack head coach Tim Healy. “It gives us some confidence going into Monday night in a big game against UNC. I just liked the way we played all night tonight. We had 40 shots on goal and hit a lot of posts. I thought we were really dynamic offensively. I liked how we kept our composure with some stuff that went on out there on the ice. All phases of the game were good tonight.”
The Icepack faces a quick turnaround as it will take on UNC-Chapel Hill Monday, Nov. 21 for the Governor’s Cup, which is the Icepack’s last game of the calendar year. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at PNC Arena.