Flames surge past Demon Deacons with a five-goal flurry
October 19, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
Typically a slow starter, Liberty University's ACHA Division III men's hockey team netted the final five goals, the last three of which in the third period, in Friday night's 7-4 victory over Wake Forest at the LaHaye Ice Center.
A pair of Flames seniors — defenseman Austin Wagner and forward Brandon Cockburn — tied the game at 1-1 and 2-2 in the first period, responding five minutes after scores by the Demon Deacons.
Cockburn, who played in Liberty's Division I game against Rochester earlier in the evening, put away a pass from behind the net from Kyle Burman past Wake Forest goalie Trevor 3:45 before the first intermission.
"It seems like that's a go-to move this year: Burman feeds me back door on the power play," Cockburn said. "I think that's pretty much how I got 90 percent of my goals this year. I feel like I'm not doing too much. He just feeds me back door and it's an easy bury for me."
Wake Forest, which moved up to DII this season, seized a 4-2 lead on two scores by John Hennessy late in the first period and midway through the second, the second shorthanded. Burman, who switched from the Flames' DII team this season, then tallied the tying scores within a span of 3:17 of the second period off assists from Austin Crossley and Kade McDaniel, respectively.
"Burman had a huge game today," Crossley said. "He carried the team. He told everyone what to do and he came out and proved it."
Starting the third period on a power play, Liberty wasted a five-on-three before finally converting with a minute left on a five-on-four when Crossley threaded a shot from the right circle between Brown's pads and the right post.
"Crossley's been really good this year," Cockburn said. "Our whole power play has been the lifeline on our team. When we go on power plays, we seem to be able to capitalize."
"Our power play, when we can set up, is deadly," Liberty head coach Tristan Chambers added. "We can definitely put points on the board. It's just a matter of getting set up and guys being able to read if there's pressure out on them or if they're playing passive and they can use that back-door play."
Crossley's goal snapped a 4-4 tie and the Flames went on to score twice more — the first just 38 seconds later by McDaniel off a perfectly placed fast-break crossing pass from Crossley and the last by junior forward Chad Docksteader off an assist from Burman.
"Third period was big," Crossley said. "That's the way we have to play the whole game. That's the way we were looking at it. Me and (McDaniel) play on the power play together and we usually have a nice connection, so I was able to make the pass, and he burned the guy on the outside and just buried the empty net."
Although the Demon Deacons are now in a higher division, Crossley said the Flames should have jumped out ahead of them, rather than playing catch-up for most of the game.
"We've just got to focus before we get out there," he said. "That's our problem right now. They came out flying and we were slow and we've got to change that. We're going to do that (come from behind to win) sometimes, but not every time. We're trying to change our game, maybe it's before the locker room or maybe it's just our warm-up or whatever we're doing, we've got to fix that."
Liberty had its game against James Madison University postponed on Saturday and the Flames will next take to the ice against Elon, another DII team, next Friday at 10 p.m. and Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at LaHaye.