No. 8 Flames set for non-conference clash with No. 6 Bobcats
November 7, 2018 | Lynchburg, Va.
Ohio visits the LaHaye Ice Center this Friday and Saturday having won the past 11 meetings with Liberty University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team, including two season-ending setbacks in the playoffs.
Flames Head Coach Kirk Handy respects the Bobcats, but believes his team has shown the drive, determination, and discipline to end the series skid.
"Ohio's a strong opponent for us," Handy said. "We're focused on refining our team and making our team better. We have a great group of guys in the (locker room), guys who create their own energy by working hard."
"I am extremely excited to play Ohio, and if we play a full 60 minutes this weekend, I am fully confident we can beat them," Gammer said. "Every guy on every line will have to be rolling."
Friday night's game will be Military Appreciation Night with free admission for active service members and military veterans. A 6:45 p.m. pre-game show will honor heroes of freedom. Saturday's rematch will be "Game Day Sign Night" with prizes awarded to fans bringing the best signs.
Scouting Preview, Games 14-15: No. 6 Ohio (8-1-1) at No. 8 Liberty (10-2-1, 5-0-1 ESCHL), Friday (7 p.m.) and Saturday (7 p.m.) at the LaHaye Ice Center. Both games will be webcast live by the Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN) with coverage carried on ESPN+.
All-time series: Ohio now leads the series, which only dates back to 2012, 13-3.
Liberty scouting report: The Flames' resounding sweep of ESCHL rival Stony Brook — their first at home since 2011 — solidified their first-place standing in the conference, but Liberty remained at the No. 8 position in the ACHA DI national rankings.
Offensively, Liberty's attack is sparked by junior forward Quinn Ryan, who leads the team with 13 goals and ranks second to junior defenseman Garrett Nelson (16) with 15 assists. Gammer moved ahead of Nelson into second place on the Flames' scoring list with 11 goals, nine assists, followed by junior defenseman Jacob Fricks (3G, 10A) and sophomore forwards Jordan Bochinski (8G, 4A) and Devin Pierce (5G, 7A).
Cole Burack (7-1, 2.55 goals-against average, 90.1 save percentage), coming off his best performance of the season, has played the majority of minutes between the pipes for the Flames. He is complemented by fellow senior Josh Halpenny (3-1, 1.75 GAA, 93.2 SP, two shutouts).
Ohio scouting report: The Bobcats jumped three spots to No. 6 in the rankings after splitting its series with No. 4 Davenport at Bird Arena. Ohio features extremely balanced scoring with nine players in double figures in points, led by forwards Gianni Evangelisti (7G, 11A), Tyler Harkins (7G, 9A), and Cody Black (4G, 9A) and defenseman Jacob Houston (4G, 9A).
In goal, Ohio is anchored by Jimmy Thomas (6-1, 1.49 GAA, 93.4 SP, 1 SO), who is backed up by Jackson Chilberg (1-0, 1.00 GAA, 93.3 SP).
Coaches: Handy is in his 19th season as the Flames' head coach and has compiled an overall record of 415-174-27. Sean Hogan is in his fifth season at Ohio, where he has led the Bobcats to a 110-34-13 record, bringing his career mark to 241-150-22. He previously coached three seasons at Arizona, going 43-66-2, and four seasons at Oakland (Mich.), where he went 88-50-7, winning ACHA DII and DI national titles in 2006 and 2007, respectively.