No. 4 Flames suffer second straight loss to No. 9 Stony Brook
January 11, 2014 | Hauppauge, N.Y.
Penalties put Liberty University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team's defense against the wall in Saturday night's 7-4 loss to Stony Brook at The Rinx on Long Island, N.Y.
The Seawolves (15-3-3) scored three goals on a five-minute power play following a major penalty against Flames junior forward Christian Garland four minutes into the third period, stretching its three-goal lead to 7-1 on senior forward Nick Deresky's backhanded shot in the right crease with 11:31 to go.
"Our penalty trouble hurt us all night," Liberty Head Coach Kirk Handy said. "Five on five, we were OK, but when we let them go on the power play, they capitalized, so we have to stay away from that, correct that and work on our discipline and sticking together as a team. We have to understand the situation. We aren't concerned about who we're playing, but what we're doing and how we're executing and we didn't execute well tonight."
Despite being down six goals, as they were in the third period of last year's ACHA DI second-round loss to Ohio, the Flames didn't quit, showing some resilience by scoring three times in the final 7:35.
Liberty senior defenseman Jackson Kuhn netted the first on a power-play goal by off a feed from beyond the endline from junior forward Lindsay LeBlanc. Jackson scored again with 1:57 to go from inside the right circle before sophomore forward Kyle Garcia won a faceoff and freshman forward Brandon Mistal scored from the top of the right circle off an assist from sophomore forward Tyson Street.
"There's positives going to take from the game and we were real happy with the way we finished the third period," Handy said. "We have to be more disciplined and more focused on the goal at hand, which is to continue to improve on who we are day-in and day out. We're going to try to get back to the things we need to do to be successful and we're excited to have another opportunity (on Sunday)."
Late in the second period, Kuhn fired the initial shot that junior forward Ryley Egan finished on a power play to trim Stony Brook's lead to 3-1. But Nick Barbera put the Seawolves back up by three goals less than a minute before the second intermission with a nifty backhanded finish of a crossing pass in front of the cage, beating goalie Blair Bennett.
Stony Brook outshot Liberty 38-33 for the game, with Bennett making 31 saves on the night.
The Flames and Seawolves return to The Rinx at noon on Sunday for the fourth and final game of the series. Liberty will seek to salvage a split at Stony Brook as the Seawolves did on Nov. 16 at the LaHaye Ice Center, dealing the Flames their first shutout defeat in more than two years.