ESCHL powers Flames, Seawolves duel this weekend in N.Y.
January 24, 2020 | Hauppauge, N.Y.
A clash between two of the top teams in the nation awaits Liberty University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team this weekend when the Flames — which remained at No. 2 in this week's national rankings — travel to Long Island to challenge ESCHL rival Stony Brook. The Seawolves. fresh off Sunday's and Monday's road sweep of No. 5 Michigan-Dearborn, rose five spots to No. 6.
"We played them earlier, but they're going to be a different team when we play them this weekend," Flames senior forward Andy Clarke said. "We have the skill; we've just got to bring it."
"We thought last weekend was going to be a game-changing weekend for us, but really this weekend is going to put us to the test early in the second semester," senior forward Cody Clarke said. "Stony Brook's got good defense, so we're going to have to find other ways to put the puck in the net than just on pure skill alone. We've really got to bear down. It's going to be a rough game, physicality-wise. We're just going to have to grind through it. It's a top-10 matchup, so we know what those games are like and we're going to be ready for it."
Scouting Preview for Games 24-25: No. 2 Liberty (20-3, 11-1 ESCHL) at No. 6 Stony Brook (14-6, 6-4 ESCHL), Saturday (8:30 p.m.) and Sunday (3:30 p.m.) at The Rinx in Hauppauge, N.Y. Both games will be webcast live on Stony Brook's YouTube channel.
All-Time Series: Liberty leads the series with Stony Brook, 29-16-3.
Liberty Scouting Report Senior forward Quinn Ryan, who had three assists in the first meeting with the Seawolves, leads the Flames in scoring with 14 goals and 29 assists. He is followed by junior forward Jordan Bochinski (11G, 25A), sophomore forward Arturas Laukaitis (12G, 19A), senior defenseman Garrett Nelson (6G, 19A), senior forward Brock Thompson (13G, 10A), and junior forward Cole Gammer (12G, 11A).
"We have an arsenal of guys that can score," Andy Clarke said.
Between the pipes, the Flames have platooned first-year goalies Cédric Le Sieur (10-1, 2.11 goals-against average, 90.4 save percentage) and Tyler Myers (10-2, 2.30 GAA, 90.0, two shutouts), with freshman transfer Hunter Virostek waiting in the wings for his first start.
Stony Brook Scouting Report: The Seawolves have sandwiched two seven-game winning streaks around a six-game skid that included being swept by Liberty and top-ranked Adrian in back-to-back series in November. They moved back into the top 10 after sweeping UNLV on the road to end the fall semester and jumped to No. 6 by starting 2020 with 4-3 and 3-2 (OT) wins over Michigan-Dearborn.
Offensively, Dustin Rinaldo paces the Seawolves with 15 goals, including three game-winners, and 12 assists, followed by Joseph Slevin (5G, 18A), Brendan Pepe (4G, 16A), Charles Peck (7G, 12A), and Nick Belger (12G, 6A).
In goal, Richard Shipman (10-3, 3.63 GAA, 89.0 SP) has logged the most minutes with excellent backup from Sean Keating (3-1, 2.45 GAA, 89.5 SP) and Robert Lockwood (1-2, 3.73 GAA, 89.8 SP).
Coaches: Kirk Handy is in his 20th season as Liberty's head coach and has compiled an overall record of 452-183-29. Chris Garofalo, who is in his 10th season as the Seawolves' head coach and 23rd year as the team's general manager, is 218-84-22 at the helm.