Former LIU commit Glassford will give DI Flames four goalies for spring semester
Jackson Glassford, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 209-pound goalie who committed to Long Island University’s NCAA Division I program this past fall, will instead join Liberty University’s ACHA Division I men’s hockey team for the spring semester. Glassford will complement senior goalies Hunter Virostek and Cédric Le Sieur and fellow freshman Scott Bird, giving Head Coach Kirk Handy and Assistant Coach Dan Berthiaume four options to rotate between the pipes.
“Jackson is someone who is going to be a solid goalie at our level, someone who gives us strength in the goaltending position with Cédric leaving next year,” Handy said. “He has great size, has played some good hockey, and he fits what we’re looking for (culture-wise) both on and off the ice.”
Glassford, 21, was born in Boulder, Colo., but grew up in northern California and started his career with the San Jose Junior Sharks AAA team before moving to Seattle and then across the Canadian border to Vancouver and Alberta.
“My family’s moved around a lot due to my dad’s work running a helicopter company that fights fires,” Glassford said. “That is based out of northern California, where I mainly grew up and continued my career before I moved to Canada to play at a higher level and have kind of stayed up there since.”
Glassford went 12-7-1 with a 3.25 goals-against average and 91.5 save percentage with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs in the British Columbia Hockey League in 2019-20 before posting an 8-7 record with a 3.12 GAA and 89.4 SP with the Blackfalds Bulldogs in the Alberta Junior Hockey League in 2021-22.
“I really enjoyed my last year there in Alberta after spending most of my juniors career in Vancouver, which is where I’ve been mainly training the past few months,” said Glassford, who heard about the Flames’ program and followed the lead to Liberty. “I did some research online and reached out and the coaches reached back out and they were interested.”
He visited Liberty twice, most recently for College For A Weekend (CFAW) in November, when he finalized his commitment to play for the Flames and to pursue a business finance degree. Glassford returned to campus in early December to train with the team and to ease his transition to college life before the spring semester, “to get in the swing of things and get a routine going,” he said.
“It is a great environment here with super nice people,” Glassford added. “I absolutely love it here, so I’m excited to get things going. I met all the guys and it’s an awesome group. They are very welcoming, and they made me feel really comfortable here. There are a lot of guys on the team who are in the business program, which will be a big help.”
Training under Berthiaume, a former NHL goalie who got his start with the Winnipeg Jets, will benefit his development on the ice.
“I’ve been working (with Berthiaume) since I’ve been here,” Glassford said. “He’s a great guy and he’s obviously played in the NHL, so he’s got a lot of experience and … is a really high-end goalie coach. He’s going to be a very key asset to my game and growing my skillset here.”
He said battling for playing time will be a challenge this spring, but he expects to work his way into the rotation by the start of the 2023-24 season.
“There is a decent amount of goalies, but it will be good competition and I’ll keep practicing,” said Glassford, who started playing goalie at the age of 6 and noted that his playing style is comparable to the other three Flames keepers. “I’m a pretty aggressive goalie when I need to be, and a really good skater and puck-handler and I use my size to my advantage to be in the right spot at the right time.”
His primary goal is to add to the healthy competition for playing time and increase the positivity inside the locker room.
“I’ve got a lot of junior experience and I’m hoping to bring a good vibe and push our teammates here and get us a national championship,” Glassford said. “I’m pretty easy-going, easy to get along with. I like to get to know all of the guys and bonding with them. Having a strong personal relationship with a lot of teammates is huge for a team’s success.”
He considers his relationship with God to be paramount.
“I believe in the Lord and that’s another great aspect here and entering that into my personal life,” Glassford said. “Faith is equally important in my life, as much as hockey and school goes; all three are (essential).”
He has started working with Club Sports Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Chris Kerr and has found the facilities and amenities available to him as a student-athlete at Liberty to be first class.
“I’ve got everything I need here to grow as a person off and on the ice at goalie, all the resources we need here to develop and recover, so I’ll be really excited to get things going,” Glassford said.
He may consider combining his studies in the School of Business with coursework through the School of Aeronautics if his schedule permits.
“My dad’s in aviation, so it would probably be good to get something like a minor in that industry,” Glassford said. “I’d like to try flying first to see if I actually want to pursue that. If I don’t, then I’ll probably be more interested in the back-end side of things, the business side of running a company like my dad does.”
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer