Feb 3, 2009

Men's Hockey

by BJ Williams

The Liberty Flames hockey returned home to the LaHaye Ice Center this weekend following a split against the No. 4 ranked University of Delaware last week. However, their schedule did not get any easier this weekend as they were met by the No. 2 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions.

Head Coach Kirk Handy’s Flames were hoping to get off to a fast start against the No. 2 team in the ACHA. In front of a packed house on Friday night inside the LaHaye Ice Center, that is exactly what they did.
In the first period, junior Dave Semenyna took a rebound and stuffed it past the Penn State goalie and put the Flames up 1-0. However, Liberty was not done in the first period. After a Penn State penalty, freshman Kyle Dodgson slammed home a rebound to put the Flames up 2-0.
The offensive pressure continued into the second period as senior Kevin Hendrix lit up the scoreboard one more time, this time on a power play, giving the Flames a 3-0 lead. Sophomore Adam Docksteader put Liberty up 4-0 as he picked up a loose puck in front of the net and sent it past the Nittany Lion goaltender’s glove.

Penn State finally ended the Flames scoring run with a power play goal from Lukas DeLorenzo, while Marek Polidor also added a goal to cut the deficit to 4-2 in the second period. Liberty increased its lead to three again on Hendrix’s second power play goal of the evening. Tim O’Brien pulled Penn State to within two, but Jonathan Chung iced the game for Liberty as the sophomore scored the Flames’ third power play goal of the night.

The two teams traded shots the remainder of the game but none found their way into the back of the net as the Flames picked up the 6-3 win. Dodgson finished the game tied with Zac Bauman for the team high with four points (one goal and three assists) while Bauman notched four assists.

“It was huge to get a win over a quality team like Penn State,” Dodgson said. “We wanted to show that we aren’t a No. 7 team, but a team that could be in the top five.”

Docksteader agreed with his teammate, adding, “We need to play with the same intensity tomorrow night if we want to get another win.”
“When you beat a No. 3 team like Penn State, they’re not going to be happy,” Associate Head Coach Jeff Boettger said.
The Nittany Lions came out as hot Saturday night as the Flames had on Friday night.

Penn State jumped on top of the Flames in a very physical game and kept the pressure up. The Flames got within two at 5-3 thanks to a pair of goals from freshman Joe Smith and one from senior Josh Ahier, but Penn State added three power play goals late and picked up an 8-3 win.
“We kept fighting and kept battling but eventually we lost sight of what we are supposed to be doing and why we are here, and that is to prepare for Nationals,” Boettger said.

Polidor led the Penn State attack with a pair of goals on the night.
Liberty returns to the LaHaye Ice Center Feb. 6 and 7 to host the Duquesne Dukes for a pair of games. Both games are slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Contact BJ Williams at


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