DII Flames win two straight league games at Maryland, UMBC
November 9, 2013 | Reisterstown, Md.
Goals by freshman forwards Jordan Barstead and Devon Docksteader and senior forward Brad Docksteader lifted Liberty University's ACHA Division II men's hockey team to 3-0 leads after the first period of Friday night's 6-2 victory over Maryland and Saturday afternoon's 5-3 triumph over UMBC.
The Flames (15-3), who were ranked No. 3 in the first ACHA Division II Southeast Region poll, started the three-game weekend road trip against Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey rivals with huge back-to-back wins against the 10th-ranked Terrapins and sixth-ranked Retrievers on their home ice.
"That was a very big win," Liberty Head Coach Chris Lowes said Saturday after opening a 5-0 lead on UMBC midway through the third period. "It was almost identical to (Friday) night. We were up 3-0 after one period and we held them off."
Barstead scored the Flames' first goal against the Retrievers off a beautiful pass from sophomore forward Jeff Boschman on a two-on-one, seconds after sophomore forward Peter Kazmierczak, who distributed two assists in both games, started the fast break.
Devon Docksteader then finished a scramble in front of the net off assists from sophomore defensemen Parker McIntyre and Nat Arbour before Brad Docksteader, who scored twice in both games, made it 3-0 with a power play goal. Barstead and Boschman won a battle for the puck in traffic in front of the cage as UMBC's defenders tried to clear before the Docksteader used a screen from his younger brother, found a lane, and put the puck in the back of the net.
Both teams took 25 shots on goal and Liberty sophomore goalie Justin Gortman made 22 saves on the night. Gortman also got the assist on the Flames' fourth goal, sending a long breakout pass to Kazmierczak who chipped it ahead to Brad Docksteader on an odd-man rush, which he finished with a wrist shot.
Sophomore forward Eric Burke extended the Flames' advantage to 5-0 early in the third period after freshman defenseman Daniel Huntington and junior defenseman Lucas Ebel started a fast break beside the Liberty cage. They hit Burke in stride with an outlet pass up the right wing before he beat the goalie to the five hole from a sharp angle.
"They're good, we're just playing well right now," Lowes said. "They're a perennial top-10 team and we'll have a chance to see them in league playoffs. We just came out flying. The guys came out with urgency to put goals in the net."
Liberty played conservatively the rest of the way, trying to protect the lead, and UMBC took advantage. It scored a power play goal with 12 minutes left and another off a turnover with three minutes left before scoring on a shot from the blue line in the closing minute.
Friday at Maryland, in a rematch of a 4-2 win at the LaHaye Ice Center last Saturday night, the Docksteaders each scored first-period power play goals. Devon Docksteader's came just five minutes into the game off assists from Brad Docksteader and Kazmierczak before Brad Docksteader netted his unassisted. Barstead made it 3-0 with his goal off feeds from sophomore forward Johnny Cotton and freshman defenseman Bannon Lynott.
In the second period, the Terrapins got two goals back at the 13- and three-minute marks, the second on a power play that cut Liberty's lead to 3-2. However, Brad Docksteader put away Kazmieczak's feed to return the momentum to the Flames.
Liberty put the game out of reach in the third period on a power play goal by Devon Docksteader off an assist from his older brother eight minutes into period before Boschman netted an unassisted empty-net goal in the closing minute.
"The guys made the most of our chances," Lowes said. "We played a good team game. (Sophomore forward) Paul Ingles is out, (sophomore goalie) Cary Byron is injured as well and (freshman defenseman) Roger Roulette is lost for the season, so some guys really stepped up and played a lot."
Gortman made 34 saves as the Flames outshot Maryland 42-36.
The Flames, who clinched an MACH playoff berth with Friday's win and improved to 4-1 in league play Saturday, conclude their weekend road trip Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at No. 14-ranked Delaware, which is coming off an upset of fifth-ranked Penn State.