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Hockey teams host top-ranked foes this weekend at LaHaye

January 22, 2014 : Liberty University News Service

Liberty University’s ACHA Division I men’s and women’s hockey teams will both have the chance to challenge the No. 1 teams in the nation twice this weekend on their home ice.

The men’s team (23-4-1) moved up to No. 3 in this week’s ACHA Division I poll. Just a week after taking Arizona State University to overtime in a 3-2 loss in Tempe, Ariz., the Flames host the No. 1 Sun Devils (26-1) for the first time Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the LaHaye Ice Center.

Liberty ACHA Division I men's hockey team celebrates.
Liberty's men's hockey team, ranked No. 3 in this week's ACHA Division I poll, will take on No. 1 Arizona State University on Friday and Saturday at the LaHaye Ice Center.

“We’re excited for the opportunity for our program, as well as for our fans to get out and watch some great collegiate hockey,” Liberty Head Coach Kirk Handy said. “It was an excellent battle at Arizona State and we’re looking forward to the challenge. Especially since we’ve been on the road for the past couple weeks, and haven’t played at home since early December (a 6-3 victory over Virginia Tech on Dec. 7), we’re looking forward to the home-game feel again.”

The Flames have a history of upsetting the No. 1-ranked team in the nation at LaHaye, knocking Ohio from the top spot with a 4-3 victory in 2012, and beating Penn State by the same score in 2011.

Liberty bounced back quickly from last week’s overtime setback with back-to-back victories over No. 13 Arizona on Friday and Saturday in Tucson to ascend to No. 3.

Lady Flames women celebrate a goal at the LaHaye Ice Center.
The Lady Flames' women's hockey team, ranked No. 10 in ACHA DI, host No. 1 Miami (Ohio) on Thursday and Friday.

Before the men’s team entertains ASU, the Lady Flames will take on top-ranked Miami (Ohio) University on Thursday at 5 p.m. and Friday at 3 p.m. at LaHaye.

The women’s team (9-7-4), which was ranked No. 1 for the second half of last season, has won all four meetings with the Redhawks (17-1-2), a fourth-year program. Last year, the Lady Flames reached the ACHA DI national championship game. They have been ranked No. 10 in this season’s first two polls and may need to upset Miami at least once to return to nationals.

All four games will be webcast live by the Liberty Flames Sports Network. Tickets may be purchased in advance online, at Liberty University’s Ticket Office at the Vines Center, or at the door on game nights.