SPARTANS OPEN BCIHL AT HOME AGAINST WOLFPACK

MEN’S HOCKEY (BCIHL)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2011
HOME OPENER VS TRU

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SPARTANS OPEN BCIHL AT HOME AGAINST WOLFPACK



LANGLEY, British Columbia – This weekend the Spartans men’s hockey team will host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack for the Spartans season opener at the Langley Events Centre, in Langley, B.C. Opening faceoff is at 1 p.m. for a matinee game.

Trinity Western Spartans (0-1)
2010-2011 BCIHL Record: 10-12-2, 5th
2010-2011 BCIHL Playoffs: 1-2, 4th


Back on home ice the Spartans are ready to open the season in front of their own fans. The Spartans are a remodeled team that has proven their offensive prowess in the preseason and will try to improve upon a disappointing season start.

The Spartans have added a number of new players, changing the look of the front and back lines. Remaining unchanged in net is the combination of All-Star goalie John-Paul Chapman and backup Tim Zwiers. In the preseason the Spartans have seen offensive success with the addition of Kye Benjaminsen, and the retention of Trevor Beaupre.

In the Spartans first regular season game Trinity Western faced the BCIHL Champion Simon Fraser Clan, a team with a strong tradition of success. The Spartans struggled against the Clan, allowing ten goals while only managing to find the back of the net twice. Shots on goal were also woefully uneven as the Spartans were outshot 42-18.

However the Spartans managed their time on the penalty kill remarkably well, killing a perfect seven penalties and scoring a goal while down a man. Captain Brad Bakken chalked up the shorthanded goal, assisted by Trevor Beaupre, while Kye Benjaminsen also scored for the Spartans. During their two times on the power play the Spartans were unable to capitalize.

The Spartans and WolfPack will first clash on Thompson Rivers home territory, playing at 8:30 p.m. in Kamloops, B.C. for the first meeting of the season for these two rivals.

Thompson Rivers WolfPack (0-2)
2010-2011 BCIHL Record: 19-4-1, 1st
2010-2011 BCIHL Playoffs: 2-1, 2nd


Last year, after a stellar regular season the WolfPack was shocked to come out on the losing end of the final game of the playoffs, falling to SFU for the Championship. The WolfPack comes into this season looking for vindication, but have thus far been unable to replicate last season’s success.

In their opening weekend the WolfPack were unable to overcome Eastern Washington University in a pair of games. The season debut saw TRU drop a 6-2 decision to the Eagles. A serious part of this downfall could be attributed to poor performance from the WolfPack on special teams. Despite ten opportunities, TRU was unable to score a single power play goal. Meanwhile on the penalty kill the WolfPack found themselves in trouble as often as not, giving up three power play goals on twice as many penalty kills.

The following game saw a more organized WolfPack team, but one that remained unable to finish the sixty minutes on top. The WolfPack played a better defensive game and allowed only one power play goal, but again struggled to score with the man advantage.

TRU was able to obtain the lead in the middle of the second period, through goals by Shane Oatway and David Gore. The Eagles answered and the WolfPack was unable to reacquire the lead from the end of the second period. In the end, EWU was able to net the winning goal in the final few minutes of the third period to take the game 4-3.

 At the conclusion of the weekend the WolfPack ultimately went 0 for 17 on the power play.

-TW-

Last Updated: 2011-10-15
Author: Scott Stewart