Reigning champion Lady Flames to enjoy more home ice time
July 31, 2018 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's reigning ACHA Division I women's hockey national champions will face one of their most challenging schedules to date in preparation of defending their title, should they qualify for the March 21-31 tournament near Dallas.
The Lady Flames, who open their season before any of Liberty's other four ACHA teams when they welcome the Hamilton Hawks to the LaHaye Ice Center on Sept. 1, will play a total of seven regular-season games against the other three 2018 ACHA Final Four teams and have seven additional dates with national qualifiers Lindenwood Belleville (four) and UMass (three).
Liberty will play two home and two away games against national runner-up Adrian and will travel to Miami (Ohio) University, which has won three of the past five national titles, and host Colorado, which the Lady Flames trounced 12-1 in the semifinals in Columbus, Ohio.
"We're just excited to get started," Lady Flames Head Coach Chris Lowes said. "We know we're going to have some challenging weekends and will have to battle adversity. That should give us more motivation for the grind because we know we will be tested regularly. We'll have a big target on our backs and look forward to getting everyone's best efforts."
Liberty's 35-game schedule includes 20 home games, nearly twice as many as it had last season, when it finished 31-3 despite playing 23 of 34 games away from LaHaye.
"That will be good to travel a little less because it was a long season for our student-athletes keeping up with travel and school," Lowes said. "Our record from last year is going to be hard to match based on our opposition, but it is more about giving our girls the highest-quality games week-in and week-out and the best experience possible as a hockey team."
The Lady Flames will play seven games against non-ACHA opponents — the Hamilton (Ontario) Hawks, Washington Pride, and Carolina Eagles — and two at NCAA Division III opponents Neumann (Pa.) and Stevenson (Md.) universities.
Liberty's players are scheduled to report back to campus on Aug. 26, with most of its six freshmen recruits arriving a few days early.
Lady Flames' ACHA DI women's hockey 2018-19 schedule
(Home games in bold)
Sept. 1 Hamilton Hawks, 4 p.m.
Sept. 7-8 Washington Pride, 5 p.m., 10 a.m.
Sept. 22-23 Carolina Eagles, 7 p.m., 11 a.m.
Oct. 5-7 Lindenwood (Ill.) Belleville, 6 p.m., 4 p.m., 11 a.m.
Oct. 12-14 at UMass Showcase, TBA
Oct. 18 at Neumann (Pa.), 4 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Stevenson (Md.), 5:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 at Michigan State, 10 p.m.
Oct. 26-27 at Adrian, 3 p.m., noon
Nov. 10-11 Rhode Island, 1 p.m., 11:30 a.m.
Nov. 16-18 Liberty Showcase: vs. Colorado, 7:30 p.m.; vs. Davenport, 2:30 p.m.; vs. Penn State, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at Grand Valley (Mich.), TBA
Dec. 2 at Davenport (Mich.), 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 11-12 Massachusetts, 6 p.m., 4 p.m.
Jan. 18-19 at Miami (Ohio), TBA
Jan. 25-27 Liberty Showcase: vs. Denver, 1 p.m.; vs. Lindenwood Belleville, 2 p.m.; vs. Bishop's University, 1 p.m.
Feb. 15-16 Adrian, 9:45 p.m., 1 p.m.
March 2-3 at Washington Pride (Md.), 5 p.m., 10 a.m.
March 21-31 at ACHA DI National Championships, Frisco, Texas