Lady Flames hockey team claims second national title

June 8, 2018

The top-ranked Lady Flames (29-3) fended off a late comeback by second-ranked Adrian College to win the ACHA Division I women’s hockey National Championship trophy for the second time in program history, March 18, in the Ice Haus in Columbus, Ohio.

Freshman forward Shelby Bradford was named tournament MVP. She scored the game’s first goal in the opening five minutes of the second period before sophomore forward Alex Smibert provided the eventual game-winner with less than five minutes remaining in the third.

Graduate goalie Chantal Kerr, who started in net when Liberty captured its first national title in 2015 against Miami (Ohio) University, made several clutch saves to preserve the 2-1 triumph.

The Lady Flames won the championship in memory of former forward Sarah Stevenson (’15), who became the first alumna of the women’s hockey program to play professionally in 2015-16 with the CWHL’s Toronto Furies. Stevenson died at age 24 from a severe bacterial disease on Oct. 31, 2017.

Liberty’s Division I men’s team swept the Eastern States Collegiate Hockey League regular-season and tournament titles before being eliminated at the ACHA national championships by defending champion Central Oklahoma, 2-1, in overtime.

Both Division I teams (men’s and women’s) set program records this year with 19-game winning streaks.

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