DII Flames welcome Turner, sweep Maryland and St. Joseph's
November 3, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
Facing the University of Maryland, which ended its season last year in the second round of the Southeast Regional tournament, Liberty University's ACHA DII men's hockey team evened the score against the Terrapins with a 4-2 victory Saturday night at the LaHaye Ice Center.
"We're focused on this year, but we have a lot of guys that were a part of that game and realize we were part of the reason that they were able to punch their ticket to (the ACHA DII National Tournament)," Liberty Head Coach Chris Lowes said. "They're a good team. I think they matched, if not exceeded, our intensity. We were fortunate to get the win. We had a couple guys put a couple pucks in the net at key times."
The Flames (13-3) got two goals from freshman forward Jordan Barstead and one each from a pair of senior forwards — Brad Docksteader (Liberty's leading scorer with 37 points), off an assist from freshman brother Devon Docksteader (who ranks second with 29 points), and Rick Turner, playing in his first game with the DII team.
Lowes, who lost one of his top scorers from last season, DJ Dinnison, to the DI team during preseason tryouts, welcomes Turner's return and scoring production.
"It gives us another weapon," he said. "I think we're real happy with our forwards and our scoring punch, but Rick's been really successful and we foresee that continuing, so we're excited about that."
Turner was excited to be a part of the Flames' payback victory over Maryland, which won two of three games against Liberty last year, knocking it out of the regional game that determines the national qualifier for the third season in a row.
"They wanted this win and so did I, so we came out and played well," said Turner, who put the Flames up 4-1 15 seconds before the second intermission by rifling a shot from the right wing off a drop-back pass from Bobby Cervone on transition. "Bobby actually dropped the pass to me and Peter Kaz(mierczak) is a good set-up man. He moves the puck pretty well, so I've got two good linemates. They're very solid guys."
Barstead scored both of his goals off assists from junior forward Johnny Cotton and sophomore forward Jeff Boschman, the first just 3:17 into the first period.
"We had scoring from all three lines tonight, so that's going to be key for us, just having that depth," Lowes said. "Early on, they were focusing on (sophomore forward Paul) Ingles, Docksteader, and Docksteader, and Barstead pulled through with two there and his line really played well, especially early on. Johnny Cotton and (Jeff) Boschman bring that intensity and a strong forecheck and it led to a couple scoring chances."
Maryland (5-6) tied it at 1-1 just 46 seconds after Barstead's first score on a shot by defenseman Jake Kaplan from mid-ice that skipped past Liberty sophomore goalie Cary Byron.
"It was the oddest bounce I've seen here in this rink," Lowes said. "It was a dump-in, a shot from the red line that basically hit the ice and it was low but it bounced up over his shoulder."
Ten minutes later, Barstow netted the game-winner before the Docksteaders went to work in the second period.
"Docksteader, Docksteader, and Ingles had a lot of possession and a lot of high-end scoring chances," Lowes said. "Brad got one goal, but they could have easily had a couple each. They put that kind of pressure on Maryland's defense tonight."
Liberty outshot Maryland 48-41 on the night with Byron making 39 saves for the Flames.
"He made quite a few post-to-post saves and his pad reaction, covering the bottom part of the net, was really good, especially early in the game," Lowes said. "They could have easily put four or five on the board."
On Sunday, the Flames overcame a first-period 1-0 deficit against St. Joseph's (0-12) with two goals in the second and four in the third for a 6-2 triumph.
Brad Docksteader scored one goal and assisted on four other goals.
"He was the big reason for most of our goals and for us getting the win today," Liberty Assistant Coach Josh Tucker said. "He was able to keep everyone going in the right direction."
The Docksteaders worked with four or five other players rotating in for an injured Ingles and Devon Docksteader, Jeremy Miller, and Kazmierczak were the recipients of Brad Docksteader's assists, with Turner also netting a goal.
The Flames outshot St. Joseph's 52-17 with Byron recording 15 saves in Liberty's cage.
Next weekend, Liberty takes one of its most important road trips of the season to play at the University of Maryland Baltimore County on Friday, Maryland on Saturday, and Delaware on Sunday.
Images by Liz Benson/Liberty University