Full Club Sports Schedule

    Team News

    January 27, 2023 Lynchburg, Va RSS |

    Liberty University’s No. 1-ranked ACHA women’s hockey team (19-0-1) returned to form with a 4-1 victory in Thursday night’s first bout in a three-game series against No. 3 Minot State (13-6-2) at the LaHaye Ice Center.

    This contest was only the third ever between the two squads. The Lady Flames previously defeated the Beavers on March 28, 2021, 2-1 in double overtime, to claim their second WMCH Conference Championship and 2-1 in the 2020 WMCH final before the ACHA DI Nationals were canceled by COVID-19.

    After a slow start with back-and-forth action over the first 15 minutes that included successful penalty kills for both sides, the Lady Flames finally found the back of the net when sophomore forward Haley Battles received a short pass from junior forward Carly Glover and put a move on the defenders before finishing her shot from the slot  at the 4:50 mark. The assist was Glover’s first of two on the night.

    Liberty outshot Minot State 41-29. (Photo by Brooke McDuffee)

    The Lady Flames doubled their lead four minutes into the second period with sophomore defenseman Madison Glynn’s sniping a wrist shot past Minot goalkeeper Haylie Biever off of a perfectly placed entry feed from Glover.

    Minot responded with a power-play goal by Sydney Spicer off assists by Denali Sigurdson and Makena Welby at the 9:36 mark, trimming the Lady Flames’ lead to 2-1

    “Obviously, after the second, that’s (Minot’s) period,” Lady Flames Head Coach Chris Lowes said. “We tied it 1-1, but you could feel them get the momentum.  I liked our answer and that’s why you’ve got goaltenders you trust. (Junior goalie Amanda Storey) did a great job, especially through that latter half of the second period. They could have easily had, two, three, four (goals).”

    Minot outshot Liberty 15-11 in the second period, but Storey only allowed one goal and minimized the damage for the Lady Flames.

    Minot State entered the third period looking for the equalizer, but the period belonged to the Lady Flames as two rapid-fire goals propelled them to an unsurmountable lead .

    The Lady Flames defeated Minot State 4-1 on Thursday. (Photo by Kendall Tidwell)

    A tripping penalty by Minot State set up a Liberty power play with under 10 minutes left and the Lady Flames capitalized. Sophomore forward Brielle Fussy received assists from Glynn and Battles and launched a shot from just in front of the blue line past Biever and the Beavers to double Liberty’s lead with 8:45 to play.

    Glover immediately picked off a Minot State pass for an uncontested breakaway goal to further extend the lead with 8:21 to go.

    This backbreaking 24 second stretch proved too much for the Beavers to bear and an unsportsmanlike penalty by Minot State forward Riley Ball at 6:56 demonstrated the team’s frustration.

    A lower body injury to Glover with three minutes left in regulation was the only negative report from the third period.

    The Lady Flames outshot their opponents 41-29 in the game, with Storey recording 28 saves to Biever’s 37.

    Following the game, Lowes commended the team’s discipline, only tallying three penalties to Minot State’s six. However, he said the Lady Flames need to work on power play efficiency.

    Graduate forward Shelby Bradford sent a shot towards the net. (Photo by Brooke McDuffee)

    “Special teams are so important and for us to get (Fussy’s goal),” Lowes said. “We did a good job of discipline. They had twice the penalties we did, so we did our job. But we’ve got to make them pay when we get those chances. I think that was big.”

    The Lady Flames and Beavers will meet again on Friday at 7:30 p.m. back at the LIC before closing out the home series on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

    “It’s a long weekend. Nine periods against the same team,” Lowes said. “So, we just try to do our thing. We always try to play with class and play fast. Sometimes after three games, teams can really start to despise each other, but our girls do a good job of just sticking to the game and it’s one period at a time.”

    By Christian Shields/Staff Writer; Video by Patrick Strawn/Club Sports Director of Video & Media