Liberty Flames Hockey junior tackles World University Games
Photo by Gabrielle Calhoun | Liberty News Service
As a middle schooler in New Jersey, goalie Quinn Ryan allowed 12 goals in his first game as a starter. Now as a junior in college Ryan lived out a dream by playing against professional hockey players in the World University Games in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
Collegiate scouts traveled around the world in 2018-19, searching for each country’s highest caliber athletes to select for the World University Games. What the scouts found at Liberty was a 5’9” 170-pound forward who played the game with the heart of a lion.
Ryan accepted the privileged invitation and flew to Russia. The long plane trip was composed of connecting flights from New York to Moscow and then from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.
“I got to meet a lot of different people from different countries which was really neat,” Ryan said. “It was just a fun experience all around.”
Ryan explained that each country was given its own building to stay in within the village that was designated for the World University
While in Russia, team USA defeated Hungary and Japan while they fell to Slovakia and Russia.
Ryan’s hockey career has been filled with exciting moments and incredible memories. But none so memorable as the junior forward’s opportunity to play against Team Russia on Russian soil.
“Just the ability to play Russia in Russia was an experience I’ll never forget,” Ryan said. “It was a packed house.
Ryan and team USA were downed 3-2 by the Russians who attempted 50 shots on goal opposed to team USA’s 26.
The talent that the Russian team possessed was one of the reasons why the experience was so invigorating for Ryan.
“They had some big boys on their team for sure,” Ryan said. A lot of them played in the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League). They had one guy who played a game in the NHL. So, they were really good. But just being able to play for your country and wear those colors is something special and something I’ll never forget.”
Ryan missed the conclusion of the Flames regular season but was able to return in time for the team’s trip to Dallas, Texas where they fell 4-3 in the second round of the playoffs to No. 1 ranked Lindenwood University.
Although the Flames season did not end the way they hoped, next season has the potential to be significant for Ryan as the soon-to-be senior looks ahead to his future.
“I definitely would be interested in playing after (school),” Ryan said. “There’s a ton of professional leagues out there which is cool. There’s a lot of opportunity.”
Ryan led the Flames with 38 points in the 2018-19 season and will look to have another stellar year in 2019-20 as his professional career nears.