Two power-play goals lift Flames to 3-1 win at West Chester
November 30, 2017 | West Chester, Pa.
Junior defenseman Zane Schartz's unassisted empty-net goal with 13 seconds remaining in regulation clinched a 3-1 victory for Liberty University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team in Thursday night's opener at ESCHL South Division rival West Chester in the IceLine Quad Rink No. 1.
"It was a tight game, a lot tighter (than we would have liked)," Flames Head Coach Kirk Handy said. "West Chester played well tonight. You have to give them credit. Their goalie made a lot of big saves."
Liberty (14-6, 12-2 ESCHL) was held scoreless for the first 12 minutes before sophomore defenseman Jacob Fricks capitalized on the first of the Flames' two power-play goals on the night. Fricks finished feeds from senior forward Victor Blomberg and freshmen forward Cole Gammer on an odd-man rush for a 1-0 advantage.
Senior forward Grant Garvin doubled Liberty's lead with its second power-play goal less than seven minutes into the second period by controlling a pass from Schartz and weaving his way through the offensive zone before putting away a rebound of his own blocked shot past Golden Rams goalie Breandan Colgan.
"It was a nice goal, but I felt like we needed to have a little more," Handy said. "We didn't play very well tonight. Maybe it was post-turkey (recovery). It wasn't a great effort."
West Chester (4-11-1, 1-9-2) trimmed the deficit back to a 2-1 by ending the shutout bid for junior goalie Cole Burack with just over a minute to play in the second period.
Liberty outshot the Golden Rams 27-10 on the night with Colgan making 25 saves and Burack repelling nine.
"He played really well for us," Handy said. "It was a big ESCHL game and it'll be another big one (Friday) night. It starts with me on down, we have to be better tomorrow."
The puck drops at 9:15 p.m. for Friday night's rematch at the IceLine Quad Rink No. 3.