Preview: ‘Icehawks’ ready for pair of Triangle opponents


UNCW Club Ice Hockey

Brian Carpenter, Staff Writer

UNC Wilmington club hockey (1-3-1) will return to the ice this weekend to play two games against two of their Carolina East division opponents. On Friday night, the team will travel to the Raleigh Iceplex to play their familiar opponent, North Carolina State (6-0). On Saturday, the team will host Duke (1-6) at the Wilmington Ice House.

Hunter Phillips named Team Captain

The team has announced their new team captain in junior forward Hunter Phillips. Phillips was not a part of the captaincy group last season, but the coaching staff wanted to pick a captain that could lead both on and off the ice.

“Going into this year, we wanted somebody that could lead by example and is mature in their school work and how they focus on that as well as in practice and how they listen to coaches and willing to make adjustments in game,” said assistant coach Tony McCabe. “I thought he (Hunter) was a good leader in that manner.”

Icehawks able to string a few practices together following Hurricane Florence 

With the team not being able to hold an official practice in a month because of Florence, the hockey team has been able to spend the last two weeks working on chemistry and the power play and penalty kill.

“It’s good to start getting practices where we can work on special teams in particular,” said McCabe. “We are really trying to rely on what we did last year but we are missing some core pieces from that. It has been great to have four straight practices and be able to do what we want and start to get this team to have an identity.”

McCabe added before the storm, the power play was terrible, especially when it came to efficiency and structure, but he is looking forward to seeing how the power play looks this weekend.

“We really haven’t been able to have the chemistry we wanted because we haven’t been able to be together,” said Phillips. “It’s a learning process for all of us but we are excited for this weekend. It will be interesting to see how it goes.”

Seahawks, Wolfpack renew rivalry

The Seahawks will meet up with a team they are familiar with in the Wolfpack, who UNCW played frequently when they were in Division Three of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). Over the last four years, UNCW and NC State have battled on the ice for a total of eight times. NC State holds the record edge by a count of 4-2-2.

Phillips is looking forward to the challenges that NC State brings to the table especially with them now being in the same division as UNCW in the Atlantic Coast Collegiate Hockey League (ACCHL).

“State is a good team there is no question about it. We definitely are going to come out and give it all we got,” said Phillips.

IceHawks pick up their first-ever win in Division II

During the Stephen Russell Memorial Tournament in Raleigh the weekend of Oct. 5-7, the Seahawks made history on a Sunday morning at the Raleigh Iceplex.

UNCW was able to defeat West Virginia University by a final of 6-4 to pick up their first ever win in Division Two. West Virginia is the other newest member of the ACCHL, after they were announced at the same time as UNCW back in March. UNCW’s Jonathan Backus finished with a hat trick while Joey Alexander finished with a goal and two assists.

Following Friday’s game against NC State which is scheduled to begin at 8:45 PM, Saturday’s game against Duke will start at 4:30 PM at the Ice House. As always, tickets remain $5 for students, $8 for adults and $3 for kids 10 and under.