DII Flames sweep Stevenson to finish fall semester at 19-2-1
December 8, 2019 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's ACHA Division II men's hockey team solidified its No. 1 spot in the latest ACHA DII Southeast Region ranking by sweeping Stevenson University, 4-0 on Saturday night and 10-5 on Sunday afternoon at the LaHaye Ice Center.
Sophomore defenseman Maxx Mitchell started the scoring, finishing feeds from sophomore forward Charlie Wilkie and graduate defenseman Drew Crilly with 9:21 left in the second period, before sophomore forward Darren Carter doubled Liberty's lead at the 4:37 mark off assist from Wilkie and graduate forward Jerrell Campbell.
Then in the third, junior forward and Flames leading scorer Blake Flanders scored with 10:58 remaining in regulation, putting away passes from freshman forward Alex Schneider and Crilly, before Schneider capped the scoring off assists from Flanders and junior defenseman Alex Norwinski with 7:22 to go.
|Flames forwards Darren Carter (18) and Jerrell Campbell (14) apply pressure around Stevenson's cage.|
Sunday afternoon's rematch was tied at 2 after the first period before Liberty outscored the Mustangs 4-1 in the second period and 4-2 in the third. In a contest that featured 24 penalties, the Flames outshot Stevenson, 45-32, with Cyhaniuk making 27 saves. The five goals allowed raised his goals-against average to 1.49, which still ranks third in the nation.
Peyton Nash scored Liberty's two first-period goals, with the first assisted by Norwinski and Schneider and the second set up by Norwinski and sophomore forward Timothy Doe. Schneider gave the Flames the lead to stay 43 seconds into the second period off assists from Flanders and Mitchell before Flanders extended Liberty's advantage to 4-2 just over three minutes later, finishing feeds from Schneider and Doe.
Sophomore forward William Fortugno netted his first goal for the Flames with 14:10 left in the second period, converting assists from sophomore forward Johnny Kettelle and Mitchell, before Doe stretched Liberty's lead to 6-2 by putting away passes from Norwinski and freshman forward Jaime Ross.
After a scoreless first period in the opener, the Flames (19-2-1) netted two goals in the second and third, outshooting Stevenson, 38-22, for the game. Sophomore goalie Dakota Cyhaniuk made 22 saves to improve to 11-0 and record his ACHA Division II-leading sixth shutout of the season.
Junior forward Justin Barstead's unassisted goal started the third-period scoring before Flanders finished assists from Nash and Schneider, Ross scored unassisted, and Nash capped the Flames' offensive flurry off a feed from Flanders.
Following a month-long Christmas break, Liberty will return to action Jan. 10-12 at the Miami (Ohio) Showcase, where it will play Grand Valley State, Davenport, and Lindenwood.