Club Sports News

Flames' 2013-14 slate stacked with ACHA DI teams in top 20

May 1, 2013  |  Lynchburg, Va. 

Among the Flames' returnees for the 2013-14 season are (from left) Bram Erickson (63), Lindsay LeBlanc (16), Matt Sherry (11), Ryley Egan (91), and B.J. Pirus (4).

Another extremely strong schedule awaits Liberty University's American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I men's hockey team for the 2013-2014 season that opens Sept. 20.

The 37-game slate, including 22 home dates at the LaHaye Ice Center, is highlighted by four games against 2012 ACHA DI national champion Delaware, Arizona, Stony Brook, and Oakland — which beat Liberty in the 2006 Division II title game and Penn State in the 2007 Division I final. It also features three games against 2011 ACHA DI champion Davenport and Arizona State, and two at Ohio.

"The kind of talent we're playing throughout the year includes a ton of top-20 teams again," said Flames head coach Kirk Handy, who is entering his 14th season at the helm. "I would say there's more top teams (than last season). Arizona State had a great run this year and we'll play them three times — once out there and twice here. Every week, we're going to have to be ready to play and that's something we want to pride ourselves on, being ready to go."

This past season, Liberty (24-14-2, ranked No. 13) upset one top-ranked team in the ACHA Division I poll, Ohio, before losing to another, ASU, in a Jan. 10 shootout in Tempe, Ariz.

The Bobcats eventually eliminated the Flames in the second round of the national tournament, played in Chicago, and finished fourth, one spot behind the Sun Devils.

Liberty hopes to extend its six-month season to seven by qualifying as one of 20 teams in the ACHA Division I national tournament field for the seventh time in the eight seasons it's had a DI team.

"We want to be playing in the middle of March," Handy said. "Nationals are going to be March 6-10 at the University of Delaware. We're excited about that."

While the Flames are anticipating a strong recruiting class, which will be finalized by the beginning of June and should be ready to contribute right away, Liberty's returning roster is loaded with talented players, including a handful that missed significant stretches of last season with injuries.

"We've developed a very, very good off-ice conditioning program and we feel that's going to be a huge part of our success," Handy said. "Based on the guys we have who are another year older with our program, we're going to be fine. Obviously, I don't think we're going to have one guy replace Rick (Turner's) scoring (Turner, a forward, was the fourth-leading scorer in ACHA Division I this year), but we're going to try to do it by scoring by committee.

"Our hope is we have three lines that can score and one shut-down line and we feel like we'll have more depth next year than ever," he added. "Our players will be, skill-wise, very close, which is an exciting thing to have."

Here is the complete 2013-14 schedule with home games at the LaHaye Ice Center in bold:

Sept. 6 Atlanta Jr. A Knights

Sept. 7 Atlanta Jr. A Knights

Sept. 13 Hampton Jr. A Whalers

Sept. 14 Hampton Jr. A Whalers

Sept. 20-21 at West Virginia University

Sept. 27 Towson University

Oct. 4-5 at Ohio University

Oct. 11-12 University of Arizona

Oct. 18-19 Davenport University

Oct. 25-26 Rochester College

Nov. 1-2 Eastern Michigan University

Nov. 8-9 University of Delaware

Nov. 15-16 Stony Brook University

Nov. 21 at Davenport University

Nov. 22-23 at Oakland (Mich.) University

Dec. 7 Virginia Tech

Jan. 11-12 at Stony Brook University

Jan. 16 at Arizona State University

Jan. 17-18 at Arizona University

Jan. 24-25 Arizona State University

Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at University of Delaware

Feb. 7-8 Oakland University

Feb. 14-15 West Virginia

Feb. 21-22 Monroe Community College


By Ted Allen/Staff Writer

Men's D1 Hockey Links
Sep 21, 7:00 PM - LaHaye Ice Center
Men's D1 Hockey
Penn State University
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Penn State University
Sep 21, 7:00 PM - LaHaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Sep 28, 11:59 PM - LaHaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Sep 29, 7:00 PM - LaHaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
at University of Delaware
Oct 5, 7:00 PM - Newark, DE

Men's D1 Hockey
at University of Delaware
Oct 6, 3:45 PM - Newark, DE

Full Schedule

Mar 10
Men's D1 Hockey
at Nationals: University of Central Oklahoma
L (1-2) OT

Feb 25
Men's D1 Hockey
at ESCHL Playoff Championship vs. Stony Brook
W (2-1)

Feb 24
Men's D1 Hockey
at ESCHL Playoffs vs. University of Delaware
W (4-2)

Feb 17
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. West Virginia University
W (10-1)

Feb 16
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. West Virginia University
W (9-1)

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