DII Flames sweep DI Temple in regular-season-ending series
February 9, 2020 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's ACHA Division II men's hockey team concluded its regular season by sweeping ACHA Division I Temple on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the LaHaye Ice Center.
The Flames (27-3-1) overcame a 1-0 deficit in Saturday's late-night opener by scoring twice in the first and second periods before adding five more unanswered goals in the third period of a 9-1 triumph.
Just six seconds after the Owls scored their only goal of the series, freshman forward Luke McFarlane netted the equalizer with 3:36 left in the first period. He finished a feed from sophomore forward Peyton Nash off the ensuing faceoff by rifling a low shot inside the right post. Nash scored just over a minute later off an assist from junior forward Blake Flanders and added an insurance score at the 11:02 mark of the second off an assist from McFarlane.
Sophomore forward Alex Norwinski stretched the Flames' advantage to 4-1 with 2:55 left in the second off assists from McFarlane and sophomore forward Timothy Doe before Flanders, sophomore forward Charlie Wilkie, freshman forward Christian Sorenson, McFarlane, and sophomore forward Josh Malin capped the scoring in the third.
In Sunday's rematch, Flanders ended a scoreless contest with 5:37 remaining in regulation when his shot from the center of the right circle glanced off the glove of Owls goalie Steven Glik and trickled inside the right post. Just 13 seconds later, the Flames struck again off the ensuing faceoff when graduate forward Jerrell Campbell skated into the left crease and sent a short crossing feed to freshman forward Joshua Wagner for a one-timed finish and the final score.
Sophomore goalie Dylan Cyhaniuk improved to 16-0 with his ACHA Division II-leading eighth shutout of the season while lowering his 1.30 goals-against average and raising his 95.2 save percentage that also ranked first in the nation.
The Flames are seeded first for this weekend's Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Hockey (MACH) Tournament hosted by Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J. They will face eighth-seeded Maryland in Friday's 4:10 p.m. quarterfinal, and can advance to Saturday's 1 p.m. semifinals and Sunday's 2 p.m. championship game with wins.
If they do reach Sunday's game, they would likely set up a rematch with Penn State, the No. 2 seed that has upended Liberty in the past two MACH finals. The Flames swept Penn State on Oct. 4-5 at home this season after edging the Ice Lions in overtime for their first tournament title in 2017.