Carolina Hockey bounced back from an 0-2 start to their season with a statement performance in the Jim Sapikowski Memorial Tournament in Hillsborough last weekend, winning two of their three games.
During the tournament – which fielded teams from Duke, Elon, the Citadel, Christopher Newport University, and Kentucky – the Heels posted a record of 2-0-1, winning their first two games before dropping a nail biter to CNU in overtime on Sunday.
The Heels were carried by multi-goal performances from leaders Andrew Jordan, Ricky Chen, and Joe Baglio, who lifted Carolina to a 6-5 victory in sudden death over Kentucky on Saturday in the teams' first ever meeting. Baglio, a graduate student in the Kenan-Flagler Masters of Accounting program, forced a turnover at the Wildcats' blue line and snapped a shot over the Kentucky netminder's glove to seal the win for Carolina.
Kicking off the tournament on Friday, the Heels maintained their dominance over the Citadel spanning recent performances. Including Chris Bakolia's 5-0 shutout performance over the weekend, Carolina hasn't lost to the Bull Dogs in five meetings since 2014.
Gabe Harousseau kept the competition tight for the Tar Heels during a thrilling contest with the Wildcats on Saturday evening. After a scoreless first period, both teams traded goals and leads, including a Wildcat breakaway goal to tie the contest at three goals at the end of the second period. The Heels would hang on to win with an exclamation point tacked on by Baglio.
Although the Heels fell on Sunday to the Captains of CNU, they played sound defense and had solid goalkeeping throughout the 2-1 loss. The game was marked by several penalties taken by both sides that ultimately haunted the Heels and hampered their chances. Christopher Newport went on to win 2-1 in overtime, handing the Heels their only loss of the weekend.
Nevertheless, Carolina will carry momentum forward after a strong trio of games. The Heels will open up the Stephen Russell Memorial Tournament against St. Joseph's in Raleigh on Friday afternoon. They'll continue ACCHL play with marquee match-ups against Georgetown and the defending ACCHL Champions, the Virginia Cavaliers.