Flames second in first ACHA DII Southeast Region rankings
November 8, 2019 | Lynchburg, Va.
A 12-1-1 start against a challenging schedule helped Liberty University's ACHA Division II men's hockey team debut at No. 2 in this week's first Southeast Region rankings.
The Flames are off to their best record through 13 games in three seasons under Head Coach Ben Hughes. Liberty began the 2016-17 season, its last under Chris Lowes before he became head coach of the Lady Flames' ACHA DI squad, at 13-0 en route to a runner-up showing at the ACHA DII National Championships.
They earned a 12.23 computer ranking, second only to defending ACHA DII national champion Florida Gulf Coast University (12.93) and ahead of No. 3 Cincinnati (11.01), a team Liberty edged, 4-3, Oct. 26 near St. Louis in the second game of a three-game showcase at Lindenwood University.
Liberty can avoid having to play in the Southeast Regional tournament — where it was eliminated by North Carolina State in the second round last year — and clinch an autobid to the March 19-24 national tournament in Frisco, Texas, by remaining in the top two in the final regular-season rankings. The Wolfpack are the only team to defeat the Flames this season, 5-3 on Oct. 13 in Lynchburg, Va.
This weekend, Liberty is hosting reigning ACHA DIII men's hockey national champion Sault (Ste. Marie, Ontario) College on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the LaHaye Ice Center. The Cougars are off to an 11-2-1 start and ranked first in the Central Region in their first season of competition at the ACHA DII level.