Lady Flames sweep series with Saints, extend ACHA DI-record winning streak to 54
For the second game in a row, Liberty University’s No. 1-ranked ACHA Division I women’s hockey team was locked in a tie with No. 9 Maryville University after the first period before asserting control by the end of the second, this time netting two goals in the final four minutes to seize a 2-0 lead en route to a 5-0 triumph Saturday night at the LaHaye Ice Center. Junior goalie Amanda Storey posted her third shutout in five games between the pipes this season as the Lady Flames outshot the Saints, 48-23.
“Every game we’ve had against them has been a hard-fought battle,” sophomore defenseman Madison Glynn said. “(Friday’s game, a 5-1 win) gave them some hope to fight against us, so they came out hard and we knew they were going to the whole time.”
“They’re a good up-and-coming team that’s going to give us some competition this year in our (WMCH) Conference finals,” added Lady Flames junior forward Carly Glover, who scored the last two goals in the third period after assisting the last in the second period. “They came out super hard and we just kind of were sitting back a little bit. We just have to get our feet moving a little bit more, chip some pucks and get around them. That’s what really changed our game when we started shooting a little bit more. I don’t think we tested their goalie enough in the first period, then in the second and third (periods), shots were going in and we were able to start picking our spots.”
With the Saints (6-7-3) on a power play late in the first period, Storey (23 saves) stopped a breakaway backhand opportunity before Liberty junior forward Brityn Fussy narrowly missed a turnaround shot in the slot wide of the right post.
After Storey repelled another one-on-one chance early in the second period, Liberty senior forward Yannick Truter and sophomore forward Brielle Fussy had quality chances in the slot miss just wide left and right of the goal, Fussy’s with the Lady Flames on the penalty kill. Liberty killed off two 5-on-3 opportunities for Maryville in a span of three minutes early in the second period.
Finally, with 4:06 left in the second period, Liberty sophomore defenseman Peyton Carle won a faceoff in the right circle and Glynn received a pass from sophomore forward Haley Battles out of the corner for an open wrist shot from the slot that beat Maryville goalie Kaitlyn Cadrain to the high blocker side.
“Most of (defensemen’s) shots come from the (blue) line (but) one of our key goals has been getting to the red line and getting pucks deep because we know we have a hard forecheck and we know we can give it to them once we get it down into their end, so we’ve just been emphasizing getting the puck down low and going at them,” Glynn said.
Then, with the Lady Flames on a power play at the 1:31 mark, Truter deflected Glover’s high shot from the point down inside the left post for a 2-0 advantage.
Liberty doubled its lead with back-to-back goals in a span of less than a minute with Brielle Fussy sticking in a loose puck after Brityn skated it across the slot directly in front of Cadrain. Glover threaded a wraparound shot from a sharp angle from the left side off the skate of Cadrain and through the five hole to make it 4-0 at the 11:30 mark.
With the two teams skating 4-on-4, Glover struck again on a quick counterattack at the 8:05 mark, with Glover receiving a short outlet from sophomore forward Zosia Adamek and lifting her wrist shot from the inside edge of the left circle under the crossbar to make it 5-0 in favor of the Lady Flames.
It was the 54th win in a row for the four-time-defending ACHA DI National Champion Lady Flames (14-0), stretching over three seasons.
After the Thanksgiving break, Liberty will conclude its fall semester schedule by flying to Arizona State University for a two-game series on Dec. 2-3.
“The girls are super excited for the change of scenery,” Glover said. “We’ve seen a lot of the Midwest, so it will be nice to get over to the West Coast.”
After spending 10 days in Finland from Dec. 27-Jan. 6 on a sports outreach trip, the Lady Flames will play Lindenwood, Maryville, and McKendree in a St. Louis showcase in their first action of the spring semester Jan. 19-21.
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer