Masters will bring power, versatility to Flames' front line
May 7, 2015 | Lynchburg, Va.
Originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in Western Canada, Liberty University's newest ACHA Division I men's hockey recruit, forward Eric Masters, has already played two seasons of Junior "A" level hockey in Virginia — with the Richmond Generals.
After graduating from Hampton (Va.) Christian High School in 2011, and spending two years with the Generals, netting 13 goals and 10 assists in 2012-13, Masters split the past two seasons between the Eliot Lake Bobcats and English River Miners in 2013-14 and the Miners and the Dryden Ice Dogs — both Superior International Junior Hockey League teams in Ontario — this past year.
He played one season on the same line as Flames freshman forward Paul Lamoureux when both were with the Miners before scoring 13 goals and distributing 16 assists for the Ice Dogs.
Versatility was one of the factors Liberty's coaching staff liked about Masters, who stands 5-feet, 9-inches tall and weighs in at 175 pounds.
"He's a guy we feel is going to be a really good fit for Liberty," Flames Head Coach Kirk Handy said. "Losing four forwards, we're excited about him coming in. He can play many different roles. I can see him playing center, right wing or left wing."
Masters considers himself a role player, but also one who can make a difference for the Flames in games hanging in the balance.
"I hope to go in and bring my type of play to Liberty and make a positive impact on the team," he said after finalizing admissions paperwork in Liberty's Hancock Welcome Center on Wednesday. "I know I'm going to have to battle my way through the lineup and honestly, coming in, wherever coach wants me to be I will be. I'm definitely a role player, so I will fulfill my role, whatever it is. I'm just looking forward to playing with Liberty, for the Flames."
He likes to play a physical style of game, which should translate well to the ACHA.
"Up front, I'm what you call a power forward," Masters said. "I like to hit and get in the corners, get the puck, a fast skater. I can find people in front of the net. I have a good shot as well."
Masters visited Liberty for College For A Weekend in the spring of 2011 before improving his stock by playing back in his native Canada. He was sold on Liberty after making his second visit this spring.
"Talking to Kirk (Handy) and Lammy (Lamoureux) convinced me, being back together in a Christian atmosphere with the beautiful campus and the academics offered here, this was the place to be," said Masters, who is considering majoring in business or electrical engineering. "I'm looking to improve as a player and as a Christian."