With a chance to win the ACHA Division II National Championship for the first time since 2012, the FGCU DII hockey team faced Liberty in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Tuesday at noon.
The Eagles claimed their second DII National Championship behind a dominating 4-1 victory over the Flames.
Coming off of a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory against Miami, Liberty was on a mission to capture its first-ever national championship and defeat FGCU.
Coming into the matchup, the Eagles led the tournament in goal differential, with a plus 20 advantage.
After Liberty won the faceoff to begin the contest, the game remained scoreless for the majority of the first period.
With 2:35 left to play in the first, FGCU’s Jordan Klotz snatched the first goal of the game, taking the puck around the Flames’ net and slapping it into the back of the net to give the Eagles a lead in the dying moments of the first intermission.
After getting outshot by FGCU 13-11 and going down one late in the first, Liberty brought it back level, thanks to a slap shot goal scored by Ben Freymond with 11:30 remaining in the second period.
With time winding down in the second, it appeared both teams would go into the final intermission tied at one a piece, before Mike Chemello found the back of the net for the Eagles with 15 seconds remaining. Chemello was assisted by Nick Houser and captain Dan Echeverri to give FGCU a 2-1 lead going into the third and final period.
After once again outshooting the Flames 22-20, the Eagles would add some padding to their lead with 8:01 remaining in the game. The third goal of the game was Duprey’s second goal of the contest, as he slapped the puck home off an assist by Nathan Pelligra.
With 42 seconds left to play, Echeverri would increase the Eagles lead to 4-1, finding the back of an open Flames’ net to secure FGCU’s second ever DII National Championship.
The Eagles ended the 2016 ACHA DII as national champions, ending the tournament with a plus 23 goal differential.