By: Cameron Addertion ’20, communications
“My life revolved around this team for five years and I loved every bit of it. It’s helped me make my friends and connections to people on campus,” said Sam Banasiewicz ‘19 as he explains his experience with the NC State club ice hockey team. Through his involvement with the IcePack Banasiewicz found community with his teammates.
When Banasiewicz was five years old he fell in love with ice hockey. Banasiewicz craved being on the ice and the feeling of success after scoring a goal. To satisfy his enjoyment for the game, he joined and played for multiple teams growing up. However, it wasn’t until he became a member of NC State’s club ice hockey team that he found true adoration for the game. Not only did the club provide physical fitness, but the team also provided a community and friendships that made a significant impact on Banasiewicz college career.
“This team was the best team on and off the ice that I have been a part of. The chemistry amongst our group was truly outstanding this season and for my final year on the team, I couldn’t be more proud,” said Banasiewicz.
Banasiewicz says NC State club ice hockey has shaped his experience in college. The team introduced him to his circle of friends and helped him create long-lasting connections with students that are not involved with the team.
The team used their chemistry to their advantage on the ice to lead them to victory. After a season of hard work and dedication, the team victoriously won their way to American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament in Frisco, Texas for the first time in the program’s history. This was the first national championship NC State’s club ice hockey team participated in. An opportunity that would not have been without a strong sense of teamwork.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds, the team found themselves in a dilemma to raise funds in order to compete. Eager to not let this hold them back, the team worked together off the ice to raise enough money.
Reaching out to the community who backed the IcePack proved to be very successful. Fans of the club were quick to support the men’s victory. From NC State students to the Carolina Hurricanes, the club was supported through multiple fundraising events at restaurants, donating a percentage of sales to the team. The team proudly raised $25,000 within 24 hours of creating a gofundme page for donations, making it the most successful attempt. “Having a team that gets such a large following is such a great feeling,” said Banasiewicz.
Going into the tournament, the team knew they were going to be up against tough teams. However, they took their confidence and went to nationals feeling strong and competitive.
“Everybody came out with the determination to win this year regardless of who we played,” said Banasiewicz.
“If you take a group of guys and put them together to accomplish the same goal a lot of wonderful things happen. That’s what you have with this group.” Banasiewicz feels grateful to be a part of such a memorable team. Being his final year on the ice hockey team, he is especially proud of all they have accomplished on and off the ice this season.
It became clear to Banasiewicz that the team would not have made it to the national championship without their collaborative efforts. “There are no individuals on this team,” said Banasiewicz. The team had high expectations and everyone knew their role on the team to exceed the standard that had been set.
Although the team did not receive the outcome desired they were proud of themselves, and the support they received from the Wolfpack community. Banasiewicz believes this is only the beginning of championships for the IcePack.