Castlegar – Men’s Hockey
After trailing 2-0 to start the game, the Trinity Western Spartans made it a weekend sweep of the Selkirk Saints with a 6-4 victory Sunday afternoon at the Castlegar Recreation Centre in Castlegar, B.C. The win moves the Spartans to a perfect 11-0-0-0, while the loss drops the Saints to 4-7-0-3.
The Spartans winning streak is the longest to open the season in the BCIHL since Selkirk won 13 consecutive in 2012-13.
TWU rookie goalie Isaac LaBelle (Saskatoon, Sask.) made 27 saves to earn the win (4-0-0-0), while Selkirk’s Jared Breitkreuz made 32 saves in the loss (0-2-0-0).
The Spartans had a tough start to the game. The Saints opened the scoring early with goal from Garrett Hilton at 2:03 of the game. Then under two and a half minutes later the home team took advantage of a five on three power play when Jack Karran scored at 4:32 to give Selkirk the quick 2-0 lead.
TWU third year forward Brayden Brown (Calgary) cut the Selkirk lead to one goal when he took the puck off of the right half-board and moved into the slot to beat the Saints Breitkreuz to make it 2-1 with 4:48 remaining in the opening frame.
Out of the intermission break TWU fourth year forward Jarrett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) tipped in second year defenceman Travis Verveda’s (Alix, Alta.) slap-shot from the point to score a power play goal 21 seconds into the period to tie the game at 2-2.
Fifty seconds later third year forward Spencer Roberts (Stouffville, Ont.) chipped in a rebound at 1:11 to finish off the power play to give TWU the 3-2 lead.
Selkirk’s Jack Karran tied the game again when he took advantage of a 2-on-1 break with teammate Johnny Foley to tie the game at 3-3, 2:16 into the second period.
Eleven seconds later the Spartans respond as TWU second year forward Jordan Bogress (Ladner, B.C.) gave the Spartans back the lead, 4-3, on a shot from between the circles.
The Saints once again tied the game at 4-4 when Tyden Woods redirected a shot from Parker Wakaruk to score a power play goal with 4:55 remaining in the second period.
Bogress put the Spartans in front for good when he got his second of the afternoon by tipping Verveda’s shot at 1:47 of the third period to give TWU the 5-4 lead.
Selkirk had a golden opportunity to tie the game at 2:23 into the third period when Everett Hicks was hooked from behind and awarded a penalty shot. Unfortunately for the Saints Hicks missed the penalty shot as TWU kept the one goal lead.
The Spartans got the insurance goal at the 5:58 mark of the third period. The goal came when TWU fifth year forward Tyler McMinn (Wilsall, Montana) took a shot from right circle on an odd man break. Selkirk’s Breitkreuz could not control the rebound as Spartan teamate Kade Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.) gathered the puck and put the Spartans up two goals, 6-4.
The Saints finished the game with a couple of power play opportunities, but the Spartans kept Selkirk from getting close to hold on to the two goal win.
Spartans Head Coach Barret Kropf
“It was good to get two road wins here and tie together the first and second semesters. They came out flying trying to get off of their losing skid. And they got out to an early lead. But we got back in it and battled back and forth.”
“It was a full team effort tonight. Our guys were super resilient and were able to get the job done. We had depth of scoring, our penalty killing was effective and guys were blocking shots left, right, and centre.”
“We are happy to be coming home with four points to kick off the second half of the season, and the guys are excited to get back into the classroom and continues on this roll.”
- The win improves the Spartans record against Selkirk to 4-0 this season, winning 7-0, 4-3, and 6-3 prior to tonight.
- With his two assists tonight, TWU fourth year forward Evan Last (Surrey, B.C.) is now tied with VIU’s Garrett Dunlop for the league lead in points with 23. Last has played two fewer games than Dunlop.
- TWU outshot Selkirk 38-31.
- Selkirk was 2-8 on the power play, plus a missed penalty shot, while TWU finished 2-3 with the man advantage
- Selkirk’s 2012-13 win streak of 13 consecutive games was snapped on Jan. 18, 2013 after a 2-1 Spartans win in Castlegar.
- The longest regular season winning streak in BCIHL history sits at 14 games, after Simon Fraser closed out the 2008-09 season with eight consecutive wins before opening 2009-10 with six consecutive.
The Spartans will now return to Langley, B.C. for their first home game of the New Year. TWU will host the Victoria Vikes on Saturday, January 11. In a matinee match-up puck drop is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.