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Ice Center upgrades announced as LU men’s hockey team gears up for season opener

September 15, 2008 : Eric Brown

One week before its season opener with Oklahoma, the Liberty Flames hockey team took to the ice for its annual Blue and White game on Sept. 12. Fans in the LaHaye Ice Center witnessed a total of eight goals scored as returners Dave Semenyna and Jon Langabeer led the White team to a 6-2 victory.

“Returning players seemed to really step up,” head coach Kirk Handy said. “We also got a better look at our 12 new players on the team. The team is progressing at the pace we thought, which is good.”

Hockey fans entering the LaHaye Ice Center for the opening series on Sept. 19-20 will notice a few upgrades to the facility. A Chancellor’s suite and two business suites were recently installed on the right side of the rink. Surrounded by Plexiglas, each box is equipped with a heating system and seats up to eight spectators.

Improvements were also made to the rink’s upper level, with the installation of Plexiglas around the entire balcony.

The Ice Center received a gracious gift upstairs, the Chamberland Conference Room. The new conference room donated by Pete and Cindy Chamberland provides LU’s hockey coaches with office space, a players’ lounge and a meeting area for media.

And thanks to summer renovations and the construction of a new public locker room, the Liberty women’s hockey team now has a locker room of its own. The facility currently has six locker rooms, with four available to the community.

All Ice Center renovations will be completed just in time for the men’s hockey team’s season opener against a highly skilled University of Oklahoma squad this Friday at 7:30 p.m. Coming in as a top contender in the ACHA, the Sooners concluded the 2007-08 season ranked No. 6 in the league with a 29-5-3 record. The Flames also experienced a successful campaign last season, garnering 25-9 record en route to a fourth-place finish in the ACHA national championships.

“We know it’s going to be a tough series,” Handy said. “We think the preparation for the series is key and we want them to take one game at a time. We expect our guys to be successful this weekend.”

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The women’s hockey team will kick off its first game against the University of Virginia on Sept. 26.

For more on men’s and women’s hockey at LU, go to http://www.lahayeicecenter.net