Flames welcome road Warriors for first home series of 2019
January 24, 2019 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team will open its spring semester home schedule this weekend against Rochester (Mich.) College, the programs' first meetings in four years.
The Warriors, in their sixth season as a program, came off a 6-26-4 season in 2017-18 but ended the fall semester with a Dec. 8 upset of No. 8 Davenport in Kalamazoo, Mich. They were swept by No. 22 Illinois State, 3-2 and 6-5, last weekend at home, however, and have been outscored 110-73 so far this season.
Scouting Preview, Games 24-25: Rochester (7-13-1) vs. No. 9 Liberty (17-4-2, 13-1-2 ESCHL) Friday and Saturday (7 p.m.) at the LaHaye Ice Center. Both games will be webcast live by LFSN and carried on ESPN+.
All-time Series: Liberty is 3-1 against Rochester, with all four previous meetings at home. The Flames swept the Warriors on Oct. 25-26, 2013, before splitting two games the following season, Jan. 16-17, 2015.
Liberty scouting report: The Flames are now 11-1-1 at home and 6-3-1 on the road this season after being swept at No. 14-ranked ECSHL rival Stony Brook last weekend, dropping three spots to No. 9 in this week's ACHA DI national rankings. Liberty's offense is sparked by junior forward Quinn Ryan (20 goals, 21 assists), sophomore forward Cole Gammer (12G, 23A), and junior forward Brock Thompson (13G, 11A).
Cole Burack (13-2, 2.20 goals-against average, 91.8 save percentage) has been an anchor for the Flames between the pipes, complemented by fellow senior goalie Josh Halpenny (4-2, 1.83 GAA, 93.1 SP).
Rochester Scouting Report: The Warriors feature a balanced attack with eight double-digit scorers led by forwards Michael DiFranco (9G, 13A), Zachary Bourcier (13G, 7A), and William Mihelich (12G, 8A).
Besides their records, Brenden Kruckenberg (7-8, 3.14 GAA, 90.8 SP) and Zakk Olvin (3-9, 3.20, 90.2 SP) have posted similar stats in goal for Rochester.
Coaches: Handy is in his 19th season as Liberty's head coach and has compiled an overall record of 422-176-28. Scott Cagnet is 45-60-9 in his fourth season at the helm of the Warriors after serving as general manager for the first two seasons after it started as an ACHA DI program in 2013.