The (3-5-2) University of Delaware Blue Hens took on the (3-0) Liberty University Flames on October 21, 2016 at the Fred Rust Ice Arena. Tonight for UD Forward Nate Marks was out due to injury, and Defenseman Tyler Perry was out because he was serving a DQ. The first period of tonight’s game went scoreless as the Blue Hens and Flames battled for dominance. Blue Hens junior Stephen Bryson had eventually found the back of the net first with 2:03 left in the period to give UD the lead. The Blue Hens held the Flames off for the remainder of the period, and ended with 7 shots and Liberty had 10.
The Blue Hens continued their dominance at the start of the second period with a goal from Alec Rankin assisted by Adam Richards with 18:10 left to play. The teams continued to battle back and forth until Liberty’s Ben Freymond hit UD’s Noah Rubin from behind, which resulted in a 5-minute major for the Flames. On the power play Blue Hens Alec Rankin found the back of the net again with help from freshman Colin Emerich with 15:42 left to play. After the Blue Hen’s had picked up momentum, and back and forth play between the teams resumed until Liberty’s Devon Docksteader crashed the net, and scored for the Flames with 2:18 left in the period. Liberty’s goal was controversial due to the hit on UD’s goalie Jake Wolff, who was unable to save the puck because of the collision. From there on the momentum of the game had turned in favor of Liberty. Chippy hockey between the two teams had begun, and went on until the end of the period. With 55 seconds remaining Flames’ Ben Freymond scored, to end the period trailing only a single goal. During the second period UD had racked up 5 penalties, resulting in a total of 10 minutes of shorthanded play, and Liberty had 4 penalties with a total of 11 minutes of shorthanded play. Wolff had 4 saves on 6 shots for the Blue Hens and Liberty’s Clayton Pierce had 9 saves on 11 shots to end the period.
To start the third period, the Blue Hens were shorthanded due to a slashing penalty taken late in the second. UD and Liberty went back and forth until UD took a tripping penalty with 16 minutes left, and Liberty’s Tim Bierema capitalized on the PP with help from Docksteader with 15:22 left. Now, with the game tied UD and Liberty battled, but from there the Flames would go on to score with 12:22 left, the goal being scored by Jordan Barstead from Ben Freymond. This was not all we would see from Liberty, Peter Kazmierczak with help from Paul Lamoureux had moved their lead to 2 with 8:34 remaining in the third. With the score being 5-3 the outlook was looking pretty dim for UD. But, with a final burst of energy UD’s Connor Case, with help from Stephen Bryson and Robert LaSpina, cut the Flames’ lead to one goal. Despite their best efforts the Blue Hens fell short to the Flames with the final score of 5-4. UD’s goalie Jake Wolff had a total of 21 saves on 26 shots, and Liberty’s goalie Clayton Pierce finished with 23 saves on 27 shots. UD’s next game is on October 22 at 8:30 as they take on Rowan University on the road.