Weekend a win, win for men’s hockey

fire and ice — Freshman Kaleb Shannon and the Flames scorched in 26 goals this weekend in routs of University of Maryland Baltimore County and Kennesaw State University.

Fans were treated to a one-sided affair Friday night as Flames men’s hockey team defeated the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). UMBC’s defense could not contain the Liberty Flames speed or passing.

The game got off to a quick start with the UMBC Retrievers scoring the first goal of the night within three minutes of the game. With a streak down the ice by freshman forward Kaleb Shannon, the Flames put one of the board to tie with a goal scored by sophomore forward Greg Jensen.

Freshman forward Rick Turner, assisted by Jensen, was able to break through the defense of the Retrievers, gaining another goal for the Flames to take the lead 2-1. Jensen scored his second goal to strengthen their lead to 3-1 going into the first intermission.

Turner scored his second goal of the night at the start the second period. Jensen completed his hat trick, taking the Flames to a 5-1 lead going into the third period.

UMBC was desperate to make a goal in the third period and stop the Flames from building their lead. Unfortunately for the Retrievers, senior forward Adam Docksteader scored within the first two minutes taking the score to 6-1.

In the third period, Liberty scored four consecutive goals against UMBC within three minutes. This flurry brought the Flames to a 10-point lead.

“We again did the things necessary to take it to the next level,” Head Coach Kirk Handy said.

Friday night’s final score was 12-2 with the Liberty Flames coming out on top.

Turner played a spectacular game and attributed his success to the way his teammates took advantage of different situations and opportunities.

“I utilized my speed a lot and went hard to the net,” Turner said. “With my stick down good things happen.”

Freshman goalie Blair Bennett successfully thwarted UMBC’s offense. Bennett was one of the key components that aided the Flames in holding onto their impressive lead. His performance in addition to the outstanding plays of his teammates secured another win for the men’s hockey team.

“We had confidence scoring goals,” Handy said. “I thought our defense played well and was able to shut down the team. I was pleased with the overall effort.”

UMBC had tough defensive players, but could not measure up to the teamwork of the Flames.

“We again did the things necessary to take it to the next level,” Kirk Handy said.

“Our line was just clicking tonight. We had opportunities and just buried the puck,” Jensen said. “There was a good combination of guys out there.”

To fans Friday night’s game may have looked like an easy win, but it was nothing compared to Saturday night’s blowout against Kennesaw State. The puck went up and down the ice, but only seemed to go inside the Flames goal.

“We moved the puck well, used nice speed and hit the open man,” Turner said.

Senior defenseman Mike Morrison started the scoring frenzy in the beginning of the first period.  Junior forward Joe Smith and senior forward Jonathan Chung each added a goal during the first, making the score 3-0 going into the first intermission.

During the second period, the Flames unleashed their scoring power on Kennesaw with 10 goals.  Sophomore forward Brent Boschman put in two for the Flames, Docksteader completed a hat trick and Chung scored his second for the night.

Single goals were scored by freshman forward Andrew McCombe, Turner, Shannon and Jensen, putting the Flames ahead 13-0.

Sophomore defenseman Scott Morongell scored his first goal of the season in the third period, sealing the win at 14-0.

The men’s hockey team will play at Penn State University Friday, Oct. 28.

YOUNG is a sports reporter.

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