SEASON REWIND AND LOOK AHEAD: PART 1 - MEN’S HOCKEY

Brandon Long

MEN’S HOCKEY
MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2012
SEASON REWIND

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SEASON REWIND AND LOOK AHEAD: PART 1 - MEN’S HOCKEY

LANGLEY, British Columbia –
In its second year under the Spartans umbrella, the Trinity Western men’s hockey team battled through what was a rather challenging season as it played its way to a 4-15-5 regular season record, a sixth place finish overall in the BCIHL standings and missed the playoffs.

SEASON REWINDS AND LOOK AHEAD
Today: Men's Hockey
April 3: Swimming
April 4: Women’s Basketball
April 5: Men’s Basketball
April 6: Men’s Soccer
April 7: Women’s Volleyball
April 8: Women’s Soccer
April 9: Track & Field and Cross Country
April 10: Men’s Volleyball

After finishing fourth in the BCIHL playoffs for five straight years, the Spartans saw that streak come to an end as they struggled to find consistency all season. In what was a difficult season for the Spartans in which several players bounced in and out of the lineup due to injuries and other unforeseen circumstances, the only BCIHL team Trinity Western was able to beat this year was Selkirk as they knocked off the Saints in all four meetings.

One of the bright spots of the year was the play of goalie Tim Zwiers, who was named the BCIHL’s Goaltender of the Year.

The second-year Zwiers had a 3.86 goals against average and a .896 save percentage as he faced 577 shots, which was the third most in the league, and stopped 517. In 18 games played, he recorded one shutout, which came in a 0-0 tie with Eastern Washington Jan. 20. Despite the Spartans missing the playoffs and Zwiers posting a 2-10-3 record, he was the team’s backbone throughout the season and in seven games that finished as losses or ties, he allowed three goals or fewer.

Amidst a constantly fluctuating lineup, one of the key constants up front was the play of Brandon Long. The Spartans forward finished eighth in league scoring with 17 goals and 17 assists in 24 games. Long finished the season on a nine-game point streak, which included a four-goal outburst against Selkirk Feb. 3.

Despite the team’s struggles, the Spartans did manage to earn ties against some of the best teams in the league in Simon Fraser (3-3 on Feb. 2), Okanagan (3-3 on Oct. 29) and playoff champion Victoria (1-1 in the Spartans last game of the year on Mar. 11).

Positively speaking, the Spartans played their final three games of the season against Victoria – who would go on to beat SFU in the BCIHL championship game – and while they were 0-2-1 in those games, both losses were by just one goal (4-3 and 7-6) and the 1-1 saw Spartans goalie Kevin Currie make 50 saves.

COACH DWAYNE LOWDERMILK’S COMMENTS

“Actually there were a lot of positives now that you can sit back and reflect on the things that were out of your control. Now we’ve made some counter balances and measures moving forward that will help us down the road.”

 “The guys came together at the end and gave everything they had. The guys chipped in and took that extra part on because we were down in numbers and every guy who was playing at the end of the season was doing so banged up and hurt and that’s what the game of hockey is all about.”

Team Stats

Overall Record: 5-17-6
BCIHL Regular Season Record: 4-15-5 (6th)
Exhibition Record: 1-2-1
Home Record (Regular Season): 2-6-4
Road Record (Regular Season): 2-9-1
Playoff Record: Did Not Qualify
Longest Winning Streak: Two (Nov. 12, 2011 to Nov. 13, 2011)
Biggest Margin of Victory: 8 (9-1 – Washington – Oct. 1, 2011)

Regular Season Team Stats

Goals For Per Game: 2.63 (tied 6th in BCIHL)
Goals Against Per Game: 4.58 (6th in BCIHL)
Power Play Percentage: 13.0 (14/108) (7th in BCIHL)
Penalty Kill Percentage: 78.0 (110/141) (5th in BCIHL)
Power Play Goals: 14 (7th in BCIHL)
Shorthanded Goals: 3 (tied 3rd in BCIHL)

Individual Stats Leaders (Regular Season)

Goals: Brandon Long - 17
Assists:  Brandon Long – 17
Points: Brandon Long – 34
Power Play Goals: 2 – Brandon Long, Trevor Beaupre, Kye Benjaminsen, Matt Chaput, Brad Bakken
Shorthanded Goals: 1 – Brad Bakken, Josh Stephenson, Kye Benjaminsen
Penalty Minutes: Brad Bakken – 64
Wins: Tim Zwiers – 2
Shutouts: Tim Zwiers – 1
Goals Against Average:  Tim Zwiers – 3.86
Save Percentage:  Tim Zwiers – .896

Game Highs

Goals: 4 – Brandon Long (Selkirk – Feb. 3, 2012)
Assists:  4 – Josh Stephenson (Victoria – Mar. 10, 2012)
Points: 4 – Brandon Long (Selkirk – Feb. 3, 2012), Josh Stephenson (Victoria – Mar. 10, 2012) and Josh Gordon (Victoria – Mar. 10, 2012)
Power Play Goals: 2 – Trevor Beaupre (Thompson Rivers – Oct. 14, 2011)
Shorthanded Goals: 1 – Brad Bakken (Simon Fraser – Oct. 8, 2011), Josh Stephenson (Victoria – Mar. 2, 2012) and Kye Benjaminsen (Selkirk – Nov. 12, 2011)
Penalty Minutes: 36 – Brad Bakken (Thompson Rivers – Nov. 26, 2011)
Fewest Goals Allowed: 0 – Tim Zwiers (Eastern Washington – Jan. 20, 2012)
Saves: 49 – Tim Zwiers (Okanagan – Oct. 29, 2011)

AWARDS

BCIHL Goaltender of the Year:  Tim Zwiers

GRADUATING SENIORS

None

KEY RETURNEES

Brandon Long
Trevor Beaupre
Brad Bakken
Chris Stew
Tim Zwiers

LOOK AHEAD TO 2012-13

As the men’s hockey team looks towards its third season with the Spartans moniker, they will be looking to rebuild a roster that was rather depleted – due to injuries and departed players – at the end of last season.

With their goaltending situation solidified, with BCIHL Goaltender of the Year Tim Zwiers returning, the focus for the Spartans next year will be to improve their defensive core and offensive depth.

With players like defenceman and captain Brad Bakken and leading scorer Brandon Long returning, the Spartans have good foundational pieces. Now they need to improve on the surrounding cast.

While the Spartans will feel the loss of character guys like Matt Chaput and Trevor Edwards, both of whom will be studying at Trinity Western next year but will likely not be playing, the team’s core will be back for 2012-13. And with a few key additions via the recruiting trail, the Spartans, if they can turn some of their five ties and four one-goal losses into wins, could certainly be a competitive group in the BCIHL next year.

“This past year we had a lot of ties and bunch of one goal games that we lost,” Lowdermilk said. “And if we can get some of those back, I think we’ll be in much better shape. We’re working on tightening up our defence and improving on our offence both with quality forwards and offensive blueliners coming in. I think our goaltending is pretty much taken care of so that’s a huge part of our team that will help carry us forward next season.”

Last Updated: 2012-07-12
Author: Mark Janzen