NC State, UNC, and Duke Hockey began playing annual league games at the PNC Arena (Home to the Carolina Hurricanes), in Raleigh last year. These events have been strongly supported by the Hurricanes, the universities, the student bodies, local fans, and families to the point where the games have become annual staples in Raleigh.
Last week was no different when NC State hosted UNC the Monday prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Despite many students and fans already on the road for the upcoming holiday, 4,100 fans filled the PNC Arena to enjoy an evening of ACC Hockey - and they were not disappointed. Joining the Hurricanes management to enjoy the game, taking an evening from his busy schedule, was North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper. The ACC Hockey League was honored to have the Governor in attendance to drop the ceremonial puck, present the Cup to NC State, and deliver a holiday address to the players and fans after the game.
NC State broke a 2-2 tie in the second period, with a one-timer in the slot by Senior Captain Luis Giminez, and held on to win 5-3. NC State is 2-0 in the North Carolina Backyard Brawl, winning last year, 3-1.
The event also featured the Triangle Special Hockey, as players and coaches from both teams assisted these special youngsters, both on skates and sleds to enjoy the game of hockey. J.V Cotterell, the founder and president of the organization, expressed his gratitude. "These kids are experiencing a memory they will cherish for a lifetime - we sincerely appreciate all that ACC Hockey, the teams, and players do for our kids. We couldn't do these sorts of events without the ACCHL". At the annual ACC Stephen Russell Tournament, Kelly and Brady presented a $1000 check to J.V. and Triangle Special Hockey on behalf of the Stephen Russell Foundation and ACC Hockey.
The ACC Hockey League would like to thank the Governor, the Carolina Hurricanes, NC State University, University of North Carolina, J.V. Cotterell, NC State Coach Mike Gazillo, UNC Coach, Jeff Volkman, the players, and most importantly, the fans for making this event possible.