Flames torch Whalers 9-1

The Liberty Men’s D1 Hockey team annihilated the Hampton Whalers 9-1 in their home opener at the LaHaye Ice Center Friday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. Game two of the double header was also won by the Flames, 9-3.

The Flames came out heated and were hitting hard. One late hit after the whistle by Steven Bellew sent the Hampton Whalers the message that the Flames meant business.

Rick Turner made skating through the defense look effortless, taking numerous shots on the goal. Turner was visibly upset when he missed a shot, hitting the wall in frustration.

In the first period, the Flames appeared more like gladiators on the ice than hockey players, dishing out hard intentional hits and taking the hits against them without flinching.

The first line change for the Flames did not come until 10:40 remaining in the first period. Turner scored what appeared to be the first goal of the contest with 6:45 remaining on the clock. The puck flew into the net and bounced out, but the calling was no goal, the entire arena erupted in response and booing the call.

With five minutes to go in the first period, Turner launched another puck at the goal, which bounced off the goal post. But the Flames did not waste the opportunity, rallying every skater to the net. The siren finally rang out as Matt Sherry scored the first goal of the season assisted by Tyson Street and Luke Baumgarten.

During the second period, Turner and Christian Garland scored. The Flames also scored two more goals in the second to jump to a 4-0 lead, during that time, a Hamilton goalie change occurred.

It would have appeared that Liberty seemed to take a turn for the worst, getting called for icing with 13:43 on the clock, but the Flames won the drop and came back to score yet again with 7:55 remaining.

When the third period began, Turner scored his third goal, completing the hat trick and pushing the Flames lead up to 6-0. With 15 minutes to go in the game, the Whalers pulled their goalie, desperate to score. Shortly after that, the Whalers made a goal with 13:17 on the clock, which ended the shutout.

Liberty managed to score two more goals, one by Garland and the other in a power play, and Turner scored his fourth goal as the Flames claimed an 8-1 lead.

The Flames face the Atlanta Jr. Knights Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the LaHaye Ice Center

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