Gammer's goals, Burack's saves help LU sweep Seawolves
November 3, 2018 | Lynchburg, Va.
Sophomore forward Cole Gammer racked up four goals, junior linemate Quinn Ryan distributed three assists, and junior goalie Cole Burack limited Stony Brook to one goal for the second night in a row to lift Liberty University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team to an 8-1 rout of the Seawolves.
It was the Flames' first sweep of Stony Brook (6-2-2, 2-2-2 ESCHL) at the LaHaye Ice Center since 2011.
"These conference games are huge and we want to keep moving forward," Liberty Head Coach Kirk Handy said after his team improved to 10-2-1, 5-0-1 in ESCHL play "We saw guys put into practice what they learned from the losses last weekend at (defending national champion) Adrian. Discipline was a big key for us the last two games. I liked our physical game, but I thought we played really smart tonight."
Junior defenseman Jacob Fricks helped set up the Flames' first score by controlling a loose puck on the defensive end and sending an outlet pass to Ryan up the left wing. He skated to the top of the left circle and timed his crossing pass perfectly for Gammer, cutting down the right crease. Gammer's one-touch finish trickled off the pad of Stony Brook goalie Richard Shipman inside the right post for a 1-0 lead with 15:40 left in the first period.
Stony Brook evened the score at 1-1 with 10:01 left in the period on a fast break started by defenseman John Hickey and put away by forward Dustin Rinaldo. But the Flames reclaimed the lead less than a minute and a half later and stretched it to 3-1 two minutes after that by capitalizing in the opening 20 seconds of consecutive power plays.
On the first, junior defenseman Garrett Nelson and Gammer worked the puck down low to Ryan left of the net, where he sent a pass to junior forward Brock Thompson in front for a five-hole finish with 8:37 left in the period.
Then, after Gammer took an illegal check against the back boards putting the Flames back on the man advantage, Fricks received assists from Nelson and sophomore forward Devin Pierce in the high slot, where he lifted a wrist shot through a screen set in front by junior forward Victor Blomberg for a 3-1 advantage at the 6:26 mark.
"Our power play got going tonight," Handy said.
Liberty capped the first-period scoring on a spectacular give-and-go pass sequence between junior forward Josh Hamilton and senior forward Zechariah Roberts on a two-on-two fast break. Hamilton ignited the rush and found Roberts in the left circle, where he sent a quick return pass to Hamilton, who pocketed the puck into an open net.
Stony Brook started the second period on a five-on-three advantage, but Burack kept the Seawolves off the scoreboard, gloving a wide-open shot out front by defenseman Frank Coscia after blocking a barrage of shots.
|Liberty defenseman Matt Cruickshank (4) skates by forward Devin Pierce (21). (Photo by Nathan Spencer)|
"(Senior forward Zach) Hayes, (sophomore forward Andy) Clarke, our whole defensive corps was awesome," Gammer said. "Everyone was getting in front of shots and, from the bench, that fired me up and fired a lot of other guys up, too. We definitely used the momentum from that to our advantage."
Minutes later, Burack stopped another point-blank shot by forward Devon Palmieri on a two-on-one break, preserving the Flames' three-goal lead.
"Defensively, Cole Burack was very, very solid for us," Handy said.
Liberty quickly extended its lead to five goals as Gammer completed his first hat trick of his Flames career by tacking on two scores in the final 2:37 of the period — ripping the first from the left circle into the upper netting off a beautiful crossing feed from Roberts on a power-play. With 46 seconds left, junior defenseman Chaydan Lauber unloaded a cannon of a shot from the high point that Gammer redirected low past Shipman to boost the Flames' advantage to 6-1.
"The whole team was awesome tonight," Gammer said."Every single line was creating offensive chances."
Liberty stretched its lead to 7-1 with 13:17 remaining in the third when Thompson received the puck from sophomore forward Jordan Bochinski and his crossing pass deflected off Lauber's skate into the back of the net.
Finally, with 1:33 left in the third, Thompson eluded the official as he skated through the left circle and threaded a sharp-angled assist across the goal mouth to Gammer, cutting through the right crease for his fourth score at the right post.
For the game, Burack made 28 saves as Liberty outshot Stony Brook, 53-29.
The eighth-ranked Flames return to the LaHaye Ice Center to take on No. 9 Ohio next Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.