DII Flames net 13 goals in back-to-back wins over weekend
December 3, 2017 | Roanoke, Va.
A seven-goal second period catapulted Liberty University's ACHA Division II men's hockey team to a 10-3 lead en route to a 13-5 triumph over Virginia Tech in the second game of the best-of-three "Battle of the Blue Ridge," Sunday afternoon at the Roanoke Civic Center.
Senior right wing Rob Ward scored the first goal of the first period and the last goal of the second, sophomore forward Drew Crilly netted a hat trick, and eight other Flames tallied one goal each to pace the attack, which equaled its output from Friday night's 13-1 victory over Stevenson (Md.) University's first-year ACHA Division II program.
Freshman forward Blake Flander (three assists), senior center Matthew Perri, freshman forward Michael Niederer (three assists), senior defenseman Ryan Sidun (two assists), sophomore forward Jamie Crane (three assists), sophomore center Caleb Toone, senior wing Paul Lamoureux (two assists), and senior wing Jeff Wilson each scored once and sophomore forward Andy Clarke distributed two assists.
"I was really proud of how the guys played," Liberty Head Coach Ben Hughes said. "We pressured them really well. Our focus going into the game was raising our competition level. We wanted to get two guys on the forecheck, establish pressure really well and continue to sustain it. Our guys were just motivated today to move the puck and shoot well. Our defensemen did a really good job of sending quick outlet passes to the forwards and, once they got the pucks, they were attacking the net and the zone."
The Flames (7-5) outshot the Hokies (13-4-1) by a 49-33 margin and junior goalie Blake Scott made 28 saves.
Against Stevenson, late Friday night at the LaHaye Ice Center, Flanders recorded his first hat trick, netting all three goals in a six-goal second stanza, to lead Liberty offensively while Crane and senior forward Marshal King both tallied twice and Crilly, Niederer, Perri, Ward, junior defenseman Nathan Glick, and freshman defenseman Kyle Martin added single scores.
"Our focus Friday against Stevenson was to build confidence," Hughes said. "We wanted to make sure we got a lot of shots and scored a lot of goals."
After forfeiting their season-opener against the Hokies at home, the Flames will seek to clinch the "Battle of the Blue Ridge" in the tie-breaking third meeting in early February back at the Roanoke Civic Center.
This Saturday at 10:30 p.m., Liberty (7-5) will conclude its Fall semester schedule by hosting Maryland in a rematch of a 5-4 loss Nov. 17 in College Park. The Flames will open the Spring semester by hosting Rowan, Louisville, and Stevenson in a six-game Division II Showcase from Jan. 12-14.