SPARTANS HOST LEAGUE-LEADING SELKIRK FRIDAY, SATURDAY

MEN’S HOCKEY (BCIHL)
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2012
WEEKEND PREVIEW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPARTANS HOST LEAGUE-LEADING SELKIRK FRIDAY, SATURDAY

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s hockey team (0-7) will look to snap out of its season-long winless drought this weekend when they host league-leading Selkirk (8-0) Friday evening and Saturday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.

Game times for this weekend are Friday night at 7 p.m. and Saturday night at 1 p.m. Both games will be streamed live on www.fasthockey.com.

The two teams’ only meeting this season saw the Spartans fall to the Saints 6-1 on the road in mid-October.

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (0-7-0-0)
BCIHL position: 6th
Last weekend: SFU 6-2 L, TRU 5-2 L
Streak: 7 losses
2011-2012 BCIHL Record: 4-15-5, 6th
2011-2012 BCIHL Playoffs: N/A
Last BCIHL title: N/A

Through their first seven games, the Spartans are 0-7-0-0 and have been outscored 39-15. But after well-fought back-to-back losses to Simon Fraser and a closely contested game with Thompson Rivers, the Spartans appear on the edge of finally breaking through. This weekend, they will try to do so against a league-leading Selkirk side that has started the season with eight straight wins.

“I feel like we have so much skill in the room and we’re so close to having such a good team,” said Spartans forward Jamie Russell. “I think once we get that first win, it’s going to open the floodgates for us.”

Through the first seven games, TWU has scored just 2.1 goals per game while giving up 5.6 goals per game. But while the Spartans goals against average isn’t exactly glowing, the one bright spot for the TWU this year has actually been the play of goaltender Harry Fredeman. The former Delta Ice Hawks goalie leads the league in saves with 178 on 203 shots, while facing an average of 40 shots per 60 minutes of action. He’ll need to be at his best this weekend if the Spartans are to break that goose-egg currently sitting in the win column. The last time TWU played Selkirk, Fredeman stopped 58 of the 64 shots he faced.

Offensively the team has been led by Matt Chaput, who has two goals and three assists and Russell, who has a team-high three goals to go along with one assist. Also getting in on the offensive action has been Jamey Kreller and Brody Hemrich, who each have two goals and two assists, and Sam Gemmell, who has chipped in with four helpers.

Defensively, the key for the Spartans blue line might just be to stay out of the penalty box.  With Tyler Miller leading the league with 80 penalty minutes and Brad Bakken second with 34, two of the Spartans best players have been sitting in the box or sent straight to the dressing room far too often. If TWU’s blue line can keep its noses clean, the Spartans could give the Saints a stiff test.

SELKIRK SAINTS (8-0-0-0)
BCIHL position: 1st
Last weekend: Trinity Western 4-3 W
Streak: 8 wins
2011-2012 BCIHL RecordL: 5-19-0, 7th
2011-2012 BCIHL Playoffs: N/A
Last BCIHL title: N/A

Selkirk will look to build on the best start in team history this weekend and further tighten their hold on top spot in the BCIHL standings when they play the Spartans this Friday and Saturday.

The weekend represents the team’s second visit to the Lower Mainland in a span of seven days, as the Saints are coming off a milestone win at SFU Saturday night. The victory was the first-ever for Selkirk over the perennial BCIHL leaders and snapped a 25-game home unbeaten streak for the Clan at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre in Burnaby.

The Saints are dealing with a number of injuries as the weekend approaches. Forward Cody Fidgett and Thomas Hardy, who sit third and fifth in league scoring, each suffered lower body injuries on last weekend’s road trip and may not be ready to rejoin the line-up this weekend. Blueliner Lucas Hildebrand, meanwhile, missed Saturday’s game at SFU and is day-to-day.

The Saints continue to dominate the BCIHL scoring leaders, with team captain Jordan Wood leading the way with 19 points in eight games. Forwards Logan Proulx, Thomas Hardy, Cody Fidgett and Scott Swiston, along with defenceman Dylan Smith, round out Selkirk’s top six scorers.

After going scoreless through four games to begin the regular season, Connor McLaughlin has been on fire in recent weeks. The former Fernie Ghostriders MVP has scored eight times in the past four games, which has him now second overall in the BCIHL behind Wood’s 10.

Selkirk’s current eight-game winning streak is the longest by any team to begin a BCIHL season, surpassing the previous mark of six originally set by the University of the Fraser Valley in 2007-08 and since matched twice by SFU.

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Last Updated: 2012-11-07
Author: Mark Janzen