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    September 30, 2022 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Leading 4-0 in the third period, Liberty University’s ACHA Division I women’s hockey team didn’t let up in Friday afternoon’s series-opening showdown with Hockey Training Institute (HTI). The four-time defending national champion Lady Flames continued to apply pressure on net against the developmental team from Ontario, Canada, with successive waves of attack pouring it on more steadily and relentlessly than the remnants of Hurricane Ian falling outside the LaHaye Ice Center (LIC) in a resounding 10-0 triumph.

    Senior forward Yannick Truter manuevers the puck around a Stars defenseman.

    “It was a significant improvement from last weekend, and a pretty consistent effort top to bottom,” Liberty Head Coach Chris Lowes said. “They’re one of those high-end programs from Canada, with a lot of European players. They’re a talented young team, but I think our speed was a big factor today. Our special teams were good. We looked ready and looked motivated and looked fast. We had good decision-making as to when to try to push to the net and when to be patient and hold possession. Discipline was there and overall, I was really happy.”

    He would not be surprised to see a much different team in Saturday’s 11:30 a.m. rematch back at the LIC.

    “I expect them to bounce back tomorrow,” Lowes said. “They came off a 12-hour bus trip, right before the game.”

    The Lady Flames (2-0) didn’t give the Stars a chance to shine from the outset of Friday’s opener.

    “We definitely started off strong,” said sophomore defenseman Madison Glynn, who assisted the first two goals in the first period and one of the six in the third. “They were a hard-fought team to play against last year, so we knew what to expect and we all came out firing. Right from the start, we were at the net every time. All our D locked down and played our positions well, so the shots they did get, our defense was locked down enough that we were able to control the rebound … and to break out easily. All (the forwards and defensemen) were working well together.”

    After killing a penalty and not capitalizing on a power-play opportunity midway through the final stanza, the Lady Flames cashed in with back-to-back goals at even strength, the first on a fast-break backhanded finish by freshman forward Brookelyn Beauchamp in the right crease off a feed across the slot from junior forward Rianna Spanier with 8:46 remaining in regulation. Then, 23 seconds later, Carly Glover put away her second score of the game off a short assist across the goal mouth from alternate captain and fellow junior forward Brityn Fussy to pad Liberty’s lead to 6-0 at the 8:23 mark

    Junior forward Brityn Fussy skates into the high slot.

    With 5:44 to play, senior forward and alternate captain Yannick Truter picked up a loose puck beside a scrum along the right boards and skated across the high slot before lifting a left-circle wrist shot into the upper netting, with her second goal stretching the edge to 7-0 to match her jersey number.

    Just over two minutes later, with 3:34 to go, graduate forward and head captain Shelby Bradford received feeds from Fussy and sophomore forward Zosia Adamek and roofed a wrist shot from deep in the left circle for an 8-0 advantage.

    Lowes said he and Assistant Coach Justin Forth rotated several line combinations with similar success throughout the third period.

    “We spent a lot of that game with set lines and then there was a lot of shuffling, both with D pairs and forward lines,” Lowes said. “It’s a fun part of the job for Coach Forth and I to have different girls with different strengths and be able to mix and match and try to figure out what’s going to work long-term.”

    Sophomore forward Brielle Fussy extended the lead to 9-0 by punching in a rebound in a crowd in front of the cage with 2:03 to play.

    Finally, at the 1:00 mark, sophomore forward Isabella Hervert netted her second goal of the game, one-timing the putback of sophomore defenseman Sammy Peebles’ shot on transition from deep in the left crease, icing the dominant win.

    Junior forward Carly Glover battles for a loose puck around the Stars’ cage.

    “It was a scrum in front of the net, tapped in by me,” said Hervert, who scored her first goal off a rebound of Glynn’s shot from the blue line deflected right in front of the net. “Between the four lines, we just kept rolling. Both teams are going to come harder (in Saturday’s rematch). We’ve just got to keep up the energy that we had today. The chemistry overall was what we are looking for the rest of the year.”

    Junior goalie Amanda Storey recorded the shutout with a strong defensive shield and penalty kill unit in front of her.

    “Amanda plays her heart out every game,” Glynn said. “She’s always back there when we need her.”

    Freshman goalie Alex Keith is expected to make her first collegiate start Saturday.

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

    Head Coach Chris Lowes and members of the 2021-22 ACHA DI national championship team received their rings during the second intermission of Friday night’s DI men’s game against Niagara. (Photo by Ted Allen)