Indiana club ice hockey had a long weekend, playing three games in Vinton, Virginia for the Atlantic Coast Conference Invitational. While the first two games went in favor of the Hoosiers, the third didn’t follow pattern. The Hoosiers beat North Carolina State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University on Friday and Saturday night, respectively, and lost to the University of North Carolina on Sunday morning.
On Friday, the club took on NC State who ranked seventh among all D2 ACHA teams last season. The game got off to a high-scoring start with Wolves’ sophomore forward Zack Robinson shooting one past junior goalie Sammy Bilis. The Hoosiers retaliated a few minutes later when sophomore defenseman Griffin Timmons picked up his first goal of the year.
Near halfway into the period, Zack Robinson was able to score his second of the game, putting the Wolves up 2-1. Sophomore forward Zachary Herman added to the lead with a minute and half remaining in the first period, forcing the Hoosiers to face a two-goal first period deficit. However, freshman center Nicholas Castracane fought back and scored his fourth of the year, making the score 3-2 as the period ended.
The second period was all Indiana, as sophomore center Andrew Chambers scored eight minutes in off a pass from freshman defenseman Austin Williams. With a chance to take their first lead of the game, the Hoosiers went on a power play and freshman defensemen Henry Whittlef capitalized, putting one past senior goalie Eric Daniel. The third goal of the period came from Chambers — his second of the night — and put the Hoosiers ahead 5-3.
NC State scored twice to close the gap and tie the score at five in the third period, but the Hoosiers prevailed in the game’s last minutes, with sophomore forward Jack O’Flaherty breaking away for a go-ahead goal and winning the first game of the weekend.
Saturday, the Hoosiers faced off against Virginia Tech for the second game of the weekend triple-header. Indiana won the game 9-3 and never trailed.
The Hoosiers scored first on Saturday, with goals from sophomore left wing Drew Micheli and sophomore left wing Ithan DeLorenzo. Sophomore forward Dominic Fantozzi followed minutes later with a goal of his own and the period ended 2-1.
Freshman right wing Matthew Spears opened the second period with a goal assisted by O’Flaherty and sophomore center Will Gerami. The Hokies’ senior forward CJ Hathaway made it a one-goal game with 16:25 remaining in the second period. Gerami then scored for the Hoosiers and the period ended with the Hoosiers ahead 4-2.
The third went heavily in the Hoosiers favor as they were able to give sophomore right wing Tommy MacDonald and Will Gerami a hat trick in the game, with the lone goal by Virginia Tech coming from senior forward Myles Walther. The club ended the game 9-3 against Virginia Tech.
After starting the weekend with two wins and no losses, the Hoosiers fell to North Carolina in a high-scoring game.
Tarheels’ freshman left wing Zach Mangel opened the scoring 12 minutes into the first period, but it was followed by Gerami responding with a goal of his own to tie things up. Before the period ended, the Tarheels flooded Indiana freshman goalie Jack Thomson with three more goals to put North Carolina up 4-1.
The Tarheel’s scored twice to open the second period and Henry Whittlef responded for the Hoosiers, but the Tarheels kept pouring it on as they took a six-goal lead to close the second. The Hoosiers had a four-goal third period with goals from Tommy MacDonald, freshman right wings Emiliano Arana and Luke Slaven and Will Gerami, but it wasn’t nearly enough as freshman forward Patrick O’Shaughnessy had a hat trick of his own to beat the Hoosiers 10-6.
After the weekend, Indiana club ice hockey is 7-4 on the year and looks poised to make a push in the heart of its season. The team has been competitive against every opponent it has played and has shown signs of being a hot-hand team when they have the momentum on their side.
The Hoosiers will be on the road against the University of Kentucky for its next matchup, with a pair of games on Friday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Oct. 29.