Full Club Sports Schedule

    Team News

    December 7, 2022 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Liberty University’s Collegiate Hockey Federation (CHF) Division III men’s hockey team ended its fall semester on an 11-game winning streak by sweeping Neumann (Pa.) University by 8-1 and 8-2 scores on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the LaHaye Ice Center. The Flames (11-2) improved to 8-0 in the friendly confines of the LIC and have not lost since being swept by Delaware and Kutztown at the Sept. 16-17 Neumann Showcase in Aston, Pa.

    “Our most dominant line of (junior forward Carson) Desmarais, (senior forward Kenny) Fogarty, and (junior forward Christian) Garafolo scored nine points in the second game alone,” Liberty Head Coach Josh Graham said, noting Fogarty, an alternate captain, has eclipsed 100 points for his four-year career after leading the team in points in each of the past three seasons. “They’ve been super dominant the last four or five games. We’ve been on a really good tear right now and it’s been really encouraging.”

    The Flames outshot Neumann (6-4) by a 68-24 count in the opener and 62-34 margin in the rematch, with junior goalies Dominik Jordan and Kyle Wesbury making 23 and 32 saves, respectively.

    Garafolo tallied two goals in the opener with Desmarais, sophomore defenseman Brayden Sheen, sophomore forward Luke Bessire, freshmen forwards Cayden Babcock and Michael Kornek, and junior defenseman Graham Wood adding single scores. In Game 2, Desmarais netted a hat trick, with Fogarty and Garafolo assisting the first two, the only goals of the first period. Bessire scored the game’s final two goals, and Fogarty added one along with senior forward and head captain Jaime Ross and senior wing Andrew Pacarella.

    Graham said as they go into the Christmas break, the Flames moved up five spots to a program-best No. 11 position in this week’s CHF national rankings out of just over 100 Division III programs.

    The Flames were ranked 12th going into last season’s nationals and finished 0-3 in their pool.

    “We have tried to address some of the weaknesses that we saw in last year’s team and so far, we have done a good job of that,” Graham said. “Last year, we lacked the killer instinct and the tenacity and resiliency, whereas this year, we’ve won two overtime games, including one against Coastal Carolina. Up until this year, we had lost three overtime games and tied two others and hadn’t won one since I had taken over the team (in 2020-21).”

    “Next semester, we start with a bang (Jan. 21-22 at home) against Penn State Harrisburg,” Graham said. “They’re a quality team. Then we go up to Delaware, which beat us, 5-2 (in their season opener at Neumann) on Jan. 28-29, and they’re ranked 10th in the country. Those guys are going to be a great test for us. Then, we finish the season with three conference series at College of Charleston and High Point and at home against Appalachian State before going down to Winston-Salem for (the March 3-5) ACCHL Championships and to the (March 10-15) CHF National Championships the following weekend in Philadelphia.”

    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer; Videos by Patrick Strawn/Club Sports Director of Video & Media