DII Lady Flames score series split with CHE rival Blue Hens
October 29, 2017 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's ACHA Division II women's hockey team opened its season with an impressive series split against College Hockey East (CHE) rival Delaware, dropping Saturday night's opener, 6-4, before winning Sunday morning's rematch, 5-2, at the LaHaye Ice Center.
The Lady Flames (1-1) were outshot the Blue Hens, 72-34, in the opener but were competitive to the end, with three Delaware power-play goals proving to be the difference.
After falling behind in the first period, the Lady Flames seized a 2-1 lead with two unassisted goals in the first five minutes of the second. Senior defenseman Ashley Wright tied the contest before freshman forward Brittany Hegele lifted Liberty into the lead with the first of her two collegiate goals on the night. Delaware scored twice in the second period and three times in the final period, though Liberty battled with two goals of its own in the third period — junior forward Kira Rice's first career goal and Hegele netting one off an assist from Rice.
Liberty scored five goals in Sunday's rematch to bring its weekend total to nine against the Blue Hens (6-1), who had given up just two in their first five contests — including a 3-0 win at CHE opponent Navy on Friday.
The Lady Flames started Chantal Lischynski in goal in place of Faith Gerber, who made 66 saves in the opener before being sidelined by illness for Sunday's second game.
Delaware scored the game's first goal at the 5:31 mark of the first period before Liberty responded with five unanswered goals — sparked by Hegele's equalizer off assists from Rice and senior forward Karis Hicks with 2:58 left in the second period.
|Liberty senior forward Leah Wright battles betweeen two Delaware players. (Photo by Joel Isimeme)|
Junior forward Lauren Pillisch scored off an assist from senior forward Kjrstin Hoberg, who stretched Liberty's lead to 4-1 late in the second before Wright capped the Lady Flames' scoring with a shorthanded goal in the third.
"Our offense is really clicking well," Liberty Head Coach Sara Niemi said. "We have been working hard on producing goals and the lines are strong. They started to execute their plays and we were able to pull away in the second period with three goals."
Liberty outshot Delaware 39-35 for the contest, with Lischynski making 33 saves.
The Lady Flames will host Navy this Saturday at 9:45 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. at the LaHaye Ice Center.