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    December 4, 2022 Tempe, Ariz. RSS |

    Playing another one-sided game at No. 7 Arizona State University on Saturday night at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe, Ariz., gave Liberty University’s ACHA Division I women’s hockey Head Coach Chris Lowes and Assistant Coach Justin Forth opportunities to tinker with their forward lines and defensive pairings. The No. 1-ranked, four-time-defending national champion Lady Flames (16-0) scorched the Sun Devils (7-4) for the second night in a row, following Friday’s 10-2 triumph with an 8-2 victory that stretched their ACHA-record winning streak to 56 games.

    “We’ve tried, maybe more than in past years, a lot of different combinations, even after finding success with certain lines,” Lowes said. “Having girls with good hockey IQs, and a lot of good communication and plenty of practice reps definitely helps. That is where that chemistry comes from.”

    Liberty led 3-0 after the first period and 7-1 after the second before playing evenly with ASU in the third.

    “There were no special teams goals tonight either way for either team,” Lowes said. “We spent a lot more time playing 5 on 5.”

    Sophomore forward Haley Battles netted two goals for the second night in a row, scoring her first on Liberty’s first shot of the game.

    “That was a tough way to start for them and we were able to build on that a bit,” Lowes said. “One thing as a staff Coach Forth and I agreed on was we had some really good execution and final touches around the net.”

    Senior forward Linzy Jedrzejek, who was knocked out of Friday’s opener after taking a hard hit, returned to the starting lineup and connected with junior forward Rianna Spanier on a really nice tic-tac-toe passing sequence that led to one of Spanier’s two goals in the second period. Sophomore defenseman Madison Glynn also set up Battles beautifully on a breakaway for her second-period score.

    “Those are sign that the offense is clicking and the girls are playing to form,” Lowes said. “Our execution was on point and we were making the most of our chances, which is a bright spot for us.”

    Glynn and junior forward Carly Glover also scored goals in the first period and sophomore defenseman Sammy Peebles added the second of four goals in the second before senior forward. Alternate captain Yannick Truter finished feeds from Glover and graduate forward and head captain Shelby Bradford for the Lady Flames’ only score in the third.

    Freshman Alex Keith had her shutout streak that stretched 14 periods snapped when the Sun Devils netted single goals in the second and third periods. For the game, Liberty outshots ASU, 69-19, and Keith made 17 saves.

    “That (scoreless streak) was pretty impressive,” Lowes said. “She’s been playing great.”

    The team and coaching staff and several family members who made the trip went to a Dave & Buster’s restaurant and arcade at the airport while waiting for their 3:30 a.m. EST flight back to Lynchburg on Sunday. They have a few days to recover from the trip before final exams start on Thursday, and many players got good jump starts on their studies in the down times between games.

    “Trips like this give them dedicated study time and it was a great way to finish the semester on the road, especially being out in Arizona and having days where we went on team hikes and had lots of time outdoors doing important team building,” said Lowes, who is preparing his players for their hockey and ministry trip to Finland from Dec. 27-Jan. 6. “We had a really successful semester and are looking forward to our trip to Finland and getting back for the spring semester.”

    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer

    Sophomore defenseman Sammy Peebles got in on the scoring action in the second period.