Club Sports News

Flames get stifling defensive effort in 3-1 win over Blue Hens

January 30, 2015  |  Newark, Del. 

Flames senior forward Christian Garland takes a faceoff against a Delaware player in a game last semester at the LaHaye Ice Center. test test test test
Flames senior forward Christian Garland takes a faceoff against a Delaware player in a game last semester at the LaHaye Ice Center.

Lacking its usual offensive firepower, Liberty University's ACHA Division I men's hockey team rallied from a first-period deficit and relied on a stingy defense to fend off Delaware, 3-1, in Friday night's first game at Fred Rust Arena.

Playing without freshman forwards Luke Hannon — the league's leading scorer who's in Chicago with Team USA preparing for the Feb. 4-14 World University Games in Spain — and third-leading scorer Luke Simon, who's sidelined by injury until mid-February, the 12th-ranked Flames (19-10-4) still found a way to pull out a critical win on the road over No. 17 Delaware.

"We did an excellent job tonight of doing what we needed to do in the defensive zone," Liberty Head Coach Kirk Handy said, noting defensemen sacrificed their bodies to block pucks in front of sophomore goalie Matt Pinel on a few occasions.

In a first period that featured only one penalty, Delaware (12-9-3) got on the scoreboard first with 2:52 left when left winger Michael Conte put away a short pass from forward Matthew Santucci with a left-handed forehand from out front that glanced off the glove of Liberty goalie Matt Pinel into the net.

But the Flames responded just over two minutes later when junior defenseman Steven Bellew caught the Blue Hens off guard and netted the qualizerby finishing a wraparound from the right post that beat Delaware goalie Dylan Troiano.

"That was a big building block to come back and score at the end of the first period tied 1-1," Handy said. "Steven Bellew had a really solid game for us. He played really well defensively and offensively, he scored a goal."

Just over three minutes into the second period, Liberty seized the lead by converting with nine seconds left on a power play. Freshman defenseman Ben Hughes launched a shot that sophomore forward Grant Garvin redirected out in front past Troiano, despite an interference penalty on the play that led to another man advantage for the Flames.

"It was a great shot by Ben Hughes and a great deflection by Garvin into the top left corner," Handy said, noting the Flames outshot the Blue Hens 10-3 in the second period and 40-20 for the game. "Pinel made a pretty big save early in the second period, before the power-play goal, which was pivotal." 

In the third period, Liberty maintained the one-goal lead before adding a shorthanded insurance goal by senior forward Christian Garland from three-quarters ice into an empty net with 1:32 to play.

"Any time you can win the first one on the weekend, it's big," Handy said. "We need to regroup and come back ready to go, with the same effort (Saturday) night."

The rematch between the Flames and Blue Hens will again be streamed live from Fred Rust Arena, this time starting at 5 p.m.

 

By Ted Allen/Staff Writer

Men's D1 Hockey Links
Schedule
Results
Oct 18, 7:00 PM - LaHaye Ice Center
vs.
Men's D1 Hockey
Syracuse University
DAYS
HOURS
MINS
SECS
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Syracuse University
Oct 18, 7:00 PM - LaHaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Syracuse University
Oct 19, 2:00 PM - LaHaye Ice Center

Men's D1 Hockey
at Adrian University
Oct 25, 7:00 PM

Men's D1 Hockey
at Adrian University
Oct 26, 3:00 PM

Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Stony Brook University
Nov 1, 7:00 PM - LaHaye Ice Center

Full Schedule

Oct 12
Men's D1 Hockey
at University of Rhode Island
W (5-1)

Oct 11
Men's D1 Hockey
at University of Rhode Island
W (7-1)

Oct 5
Men's D1 Hockey
at University of Alabama
W (8-3)

Oct 4
Men's D1 Hockey
at University of Alabama
W (6-0)

Sep 27
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
W (6-0)

Sep 26
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
W (10-2)

Sep 20
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Duquesne University
W (11-1)

Mar 24
Men's D1 Hockey
at ACHA Nationals vs. Lindenwood University
L (3-4)

Mar 23
Men's D1 Hockey
at ACHA Nationals - Arizona
W (7-2)

Mar 17
Men's D1 Hockey
at ESCHL Playoffs - Syracuse
L (2-3) 2 OT

Mar 16
Men's D1 Hockey
at ESCHL Playoffs - University of Delaware
W (3-2)

Mar 2
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. University of Alabama
W (6-2)

Mar 1
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. University of Alabama
W (9-2)

Feb 23
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Adrian College
L (0-4)

Feb 22
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Adrian College
L (4-5)

Feb 16
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. University of Delaware
W (4-1)

Feb 15
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. University of Delaware
W (7-5)

Feb 2
Men's D1 Hockey
at University of Rhode Island
W (6-5) OT

Feb 1
Men's D1 Hockey
at University of Rhode Island
L (3-4) OT

Jan 26
Men's D1 Hockey
vs. Rochester College
W (9-2)

More Recaps

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