Flames cook Hens in second game of DII showcase
January 19, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
In the second round of Liberty University's Division II showcase, the Flames DII men's hockey team turned up the heat following a narrow victory over Kennesaw State, beating the Blue Hens of Delaware 8-5 at the LaHaye Ice Center.
Liberty lit up the scoreboard first six and a half minutes into the game when Bobby Cervone made good on a feed from Brad Docksteader. It was the beginning of a big night for Docksteader, who tallied four points including two goals for the home team.
Delaware knotted the score at 5:51 in the first before the Flames went on a hot streak to close out the period. First, with just under three to go, Peter Kazmierczak, fired one right past the glove of Blue Hens goalie Patrick Rochefort. Then, DJ Dinnison got fans out of their seats for the highlight play of the game. In a brilliant display of puck handling and slick skating, Dinnison juked two defenders, causing one to slip, before deking the goalie for the finish.
Early in the second period the Blue Hens stilled the increasingly excited home crowd momentarily, slimming the margin to one. But five minutes later Docksteader swung the momentum back in Liberty's favor. After forcing Rochefort to dive, Docksteader fired a shot into an open net after having been denied the five hole on the previous play. Lucas Ebel recorded the assist on the play and Brandon Cox the second.
Liberty pushed the spread to three after Jeff Boschman put in a rebound off a Kyle Burman shot. Celeb Allison had the second assist. Less than a minute later the Hens slipped one past Flames netminder Nick Devine, cutting the score to 5-3.
With a minute and a half to go in the second, Docksteader notched his sophomore goal on a power play, assisted by Aaron Semiao and Kazmierczak. Both teams grew increasingly aggressive as the tempo heated up in the final moments of the period, but Liberty held on to its 6-3 lead entering the break.
In the first eight minutes of the final period the Flames built their lead up to five. Four minutes in, Clinton Nigh skated all over Delaware and finished a feed from Docksteader. Then, Neal Henderson got the crowd on its feet with a slick move in front of the net. He beat all other skaters to the UD net on a breakaway before a deke finish on an assist from Dinnison.
The Blue Hens refused to accept defeat and slimmed the deficit back to within two in a span of 40 seconds. At 10:48 Delaware scored on a power play and right after Liberty killed the penalty the Hens put another one past Devine.
Despite whittling the score to a more manageable spread, penalties and mental errors cost the Hens opportunities down the stretch, while the Flames controlled the puck well in the final minutes.
Devine went the distance in goal for the Flames, blocking nearly 20 shots and picking up the win.
Liberty will conclude the DII showcase at home Sunday against Christopher Newport University with a 12:30 p.m. start time.