SPARTANS BACK AT HOME AGAINST SAINTS AND COYOTES

MEN’S HOCKEY (BCIHL)
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2011
HOME OPENER VS TRU

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SPARTANS BACK AT HOME AGAINST SAINTS AND COYOTES

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Spartans will look to end get their first win this weekend as they play Selkirk College and Okanagan College in BCIHL hockey action. Puck drops at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. at 7 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be broadcast live from the Langley Events Centre at http://www.langleyeventscentre.com/

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


The Spartans have been unable to find their stride thus far in this young season. Having played and lost five games, they have a chance to improve their record at home against Selkirk College and Okanagan College.  

Last weekend the Spartans crossed the border to play the Eastern Washington University Eagles. The Spartans got on the board early with a power play goal by Markowsky, but the Eagles came back to dominate the first period. By the end of 20 minutes, the Eagles returned to their dressing room up 4-1.

The Spartans made a valiant effort during the last two periods but were unable to overcome the home team, despite getting 33 shots on net in the last forty minutes.  Early in the second, Brandon Long snuck one past the Eagles goalie to make it a 4-2 game, but that was the last time the Spartans were able to beat the EWU goalie. By the second intermission the Eagles had a 5-2 lead. After a scoreless third period, 5-2 was the final score.

The rematch played out as a much closer game, but the Eagles still wound up with the upper hand. EWU notched two in the second period by AJ Sanders and Sloan Tennant, meanwhile the Spartans were unable to score a goal of their own until the third. Brandon Long scored a powerplay goal late in the game from Benjaminsen and Stew. However, the Eagles held on to make it a 2-1 game and drop the Spartans record to 0-5.

All Star goalie John-Paul Chapman has struggled early this season, posting a 8.13 GAA and a sub .800 save percentage, giving Tim Zwiers a chance to challenge for goaltending duties. Zwiers has started in two games including the most recent game against EWU, and possesses a 3.24 GAA and a .901 save percentage.

Selkirk College Saints (1-3)
2010-2011 BCIHL Record: 4-19-1, 6th
2010-2011 BCIHL Playoffs: N/A


Four games into the season, Selkirk College has struggled to keep up with their competition. The Saints have managed one win in their first four regular season games.

The last game that the Saints played was a thriller against the Okanagan Coyotes. Selkirk got off to a quick start and had a 3-1 lead on the strength of goals by Scott Jago, Justin Sotkowy, and Nithen Dhaliwal by the time the buzzer ended the first period. Despite five minor penalties being called against the Coyotes, none of the Saints goals were on the power play.

During the second period the two teams traded goals, including an Andrew Green goal on the powerplay, which wound up being the Saints’ only powerplay goal of the game despite nine chances.

Everything fell apart for the Saints in the third period, when the Coyotes scored three goals in the span of ten minutes to not only eliminate the Selkirk lead but to overtake them in a 5-4 game. Spenser Wong recorded 34 saves to keep the Saints in the game.

Okanagan College Coyotes (2-2)
2010-2011 BCIHL Record: 13-10-1, 3rd
2010-2011 BICHL Playoffs: 0-2, 5th

The Coyotes are looking for redemption after last year’s successful regular season was followed by a postseason break down. The Coyotes hover at .500 early in the season, and will take on a desperate Spartan team looking to break out of a slump.

The Coyotes last game was against rival Selkirk College. The Coyotes were bested early in the match, as the Saints came out as a determined team and scored three goals in the first period. Layne Stopanski kept the Coyotes within striking distance with a goal five minutes into the period.

The second period saw the teams trading penalties and goals, but the Saints kept the upper hand and led 4-2 going into the final period.  In the third period the Coyotes exploded with powerplay goals by James Neitsch and Dave Mann. Staring down a tie-game, Chris Glen scored the game winning goal with just over a minute left in the game. The 5-4 win improved the Coyotes record to 2-2.

In net, Sunny Gill stopped 23 shots to record the win. This is Gill’s first season as starting goaltender and he stands with a 4.74 GAA in his four games.

-TW-

Last Updated: 2011-10-27
Author: Scott Stewart