Lady Flames open ACHA play with lopsided win at Rhode Island; expect better test from UMass next
Senior forward and head captain Shelby Bradford and junior forward and alternate captain Brityn Fussy both netted two goals and Liberty University’s ACHA Division I women’s hockey team outshot host Rhode Island, 34-8, in a 6-0 shutout, Thursday night at Boss Arena in Kingston, R.I.
The Lady Flames (4-0) notched their first goal shorthanded as senior defenseman Aislyn Stretch scored unassisted in the first period before Fussy finished her first goal off a feed from junior forward Rianna Spanier for a 2-0 advantage.
Then in the second, Bradford got on the board off an assist from sophomore forward Brielle Fussy before extending Liberty’s lead to 4-0 by putting away passes from sophomore defenseman Sammy Peebles and senior defenseman Priscilla Ziefle. Freshman defenseman Emerson Oakes got in on the scoring and pushed the Lady Flames’ edge to 5-0 late in the second off assists from senior forward Linzy Jedrzejek and sophomore forward Zosia Adamek.
Finally, in the third, Brityn Fussy capped the scoring by finishing a feed from senior defenseman Julia McDonald.
“It was a good way to start the road trip and to begin ACHA play as well,” Lady Flames Head Coach Chris Lowes said. “We did some good things and found a way to get a few pucks past their goalie. We had some very good moments of possession where we looked super dialed in and there were times, as is expected early in the season, where we forced some pucks, which leads to turnovers. Overall, I was happy.”
Junior goalie Amanda Storey made eight saves to secure her second shutout of the semester for the Lady Flames.
“Amanda made a few good saves,” Lowes said. “We gave up a few odd-man rushes and a couple shots on their power play.”
Liberty was left two players down for an extended part of the third period, but emerged unscathed as the Rams (0-1) managed only two shots in the final stanza.
“To take four penalties over a six-minute stretch in the third period … We’ve got to stay out of the box,” Lowes said. “Killing off that extended 5-3 (penalty kill) was good for us.”
The Lady Flames will spend much of Friday in Newport, R.I., before heading up to Amherst, Mass., to challenge the University of Massachusetts Minutewomen.
“UMass was a national team last year, and I would expect them to be back,” Lowes said. “This is the fun part of the season when you’re seeing teams for the first time, even before you see them on film. They haven’t seen us yet either, so our job is to show them we’re going to be a team with the ability to go back and defend our title.”
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer