The Liberty Lady Flames women’s hockey club defeated the Buckeyes of Ohio State by a score of 7-1 in a Saturday afternoon matinee at the LaHaye Ice Center.
Much like the first game, Liberty controlled the final game of the series with the same final score of 7-1.
“It was a good game to get under our belt, and it was significant because everyone got to play,” Head Coach Paul Bloomfield said. “Beating a team like Ohio State, that was in the top five last year, shows what we can accomplish this year.”
In the first game, Liberty went one for eight on the power play, recorded seven goals and seven assists and out-shot the Buckeyes 45-9.
“This game was an important game for us and puts us in running for top five in the nation. This gives us a good barometer of where we are,” Bloomfield said. “We had great fan support, which makes a difference in a game like that.”
Freshman Kristin Frescura led the way with a hat trick and an assist, freshman Andrea Joyce contributed two goals and an assist, and freshman Jamey Mihalich had a goal and an assist. Sophomore Patti Smith earned the win in goal, stopping eight of nine shots.
“There was a lot of hype and adrenaline going into the game,” Mihalich said. “When it turned physical, we liked it better, because most of us have size.”
Liberty had a slipup 40 seconds into the game when the Buckeyes stashed home a rebound, but the Lady Flames controlled most of the game. Later in the first period, Frescura put in a rebound goal to tie the score at one. Ten seconds later, Frescura stole the puck and scored on a breakaway, which put the Lady Flames up 2-1 at the end of the first period.
The team opened the second period with persistent pressure and physical play. Mihalich converted the only goal of the period on a five-on-three power play from just below the right face-off circle. Two Liberty goals were disallowed and numerous penalties were whistled against the Lady Flames, which were heavily protested by players.
“We felt we were competing against the officials,” Bloomfield said.
“We can’t control the calls, so we stuck our heads up and got what we deserved,” freshman Brooke Harris said.
Joyce put away a rebound off of freshman Aimee Hureau’s wraparound attempt to open the final period’s scoring. The freshman continued the scoring on the power play when she took a slap shot from the right circle and sent it into to the top right corner of the net. Frescura fed sophomore Alaina Nelson in the middle, who put her shot past the out-of-position goaltender. Frescura concluded the scoring when she slid the puck that was on the goal line past the goaltender.
“It’s starting to show that we’re becoming one,” Harris said.
Liberty’s constant pressure was more than the Buckeyes could handle, and after the third and final period, the Lady Flames claimed a 7-1 victory. The pressure put on by Liberty throughout the game led to its four third period goals, and it left the Buckeyes both frustrated and worn out by the end of the game.
“We do a lot of conditioning, and could tell their conditioning was poor,” Mihalich said. “Ninety percent of the game is mental, so when we show up we play the full 60 minutes.”
The Lady Flames won Sunday morning’s contest against Ohio State by a score of 7-1. Liberty travels to Penn State University for a one game showdown with the Nittany Lions on Friday, Nov. 2 before returning home the following day to take on the Wolfpack from N.C. State on Saturday and Sunday. Face-off for Saturday’s contest is set for 4:15 p.m., while Sunday’s game will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the LaHaye Ice Center.
Contact William Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org.