Flames hockey defeats NYU featuring ‘Star Wars’ celebrations from fans, players and the event staff

The Flames Empire reigned supreme over this corner of the ESCHL galaxy, defeating the NYU Violets 8-3 Friday night and 6-3 Saturday night.

Saturday night’s hockey game, the second of the weekend series, was Star Wars Night. The team wore special Darth Vader-inspired jerseys and created a series of Star Wars screen crawls that played at the beginning of each period. 

Megan Davis, a graduate assistant for the Club Sports sponsorship and promotions department, was responsible for scheduling and putting together the galaxy-themed festivities. Davis said the night was perfect for students and hockey players alike.

“I think theme nights like Star Wars gives an added level of camaraderie between the team and the fans,” Davis said. “I loved seeing kids come dressed up like their favorite Star Wars characters and then seeing the players all dressed as Darth Vader. It brings a sense of oneness between the two, which to me is a huge success.”

Many fans and students joined in on the fun, decked in their best Star Wars gear for the night. The LaHaye Ice Center also received a visit from the Lynchburg 501st Legion, a nationwide group of Star Wars cosplayers. 

Despite nursing several injuries and occasionally struggling with puck control, the Flames pulled through to outshoot and outscore the Violets in both games, led by sophomore forward Arturas Laukaitis. Laukaitis scored a hat trick in both Friday’s game and Saturday’s game.

Davis said theme nights are generally positive for the team. 

“The guys love it,” Davis said. “I think the guys feed off of the energy of the fans. Nights like these are so fun because the crowd is fired up, and that energy transfers to the guys on the ice.”

The Flames will finish their ESCHL regular season Saturday, Feb. 15, when they complete a two-game series at Delaware. After that, Liberty will host nonconference opponent Adrian College Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22.

Baker is the sports editor. Follow her on Twitter.

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