MEN’S HOCKEY PLAYS HOST TO EASTERN WASHINGTON FRIDAY

MEN’S HOCKEY (BCIHL)
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2012
WEEKEND PREVIEW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEN’S HOCKEY PLAYS HOST TO EASTERN WASHINGTON FRIDAY

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s hockey team will play its final game of the fall semester Friday as it searches for its first win of the season when it hosts Eastern Washington at 7 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. The game will be streamed live at www.fasthockey.com.

The Spartans, who are 0-9-0-1 on the season, are coming off a 5-2 loss to Simon Fraser last Saturday. Trinity Western’s lone point of the season so far came in a 5-4 overtime loss to Selkirk.

Trinity Western and Eastern Washington have played twice this year, with EWU winning both times, 3-0 and 7-1.

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (0-9-0-1)
BCIHL position: 6th
Last weekend: SFU 5-2 L
Streak: 10 losses
2011-2012 BCIHL Record: 4-15-5, 6th
2011-2012 BCIHL Playoffs: N/A
Last BCIHL title: N/A

The Spartans will have one thing in mind when the puck is dropped Friday at the Langley Events Centre: Get a win. No matter what it takes, the Spartans desperately need as they certainly don’t want to enter the Christmas break, which they will do so following Friday’s contest, without a victory.

Trinity Western has had some close games this year against the top two teams in the BCIHL, losing 4-3 to Simon Fraser after leading 3-0 and falling to Selkirk 5-4 after possessing several leads throughout the game, but they still have yet to earn a victory. If they are to do so this weekend, they’ll have to play a consistent game for the full 60 minutes or beyond; something they have yet to do this season.

Through 10 games, the Spartans are averaging a league-low 2.3 goals for per game and a league-high 5.7 goals against per game. While scoring goals has been a struggle all season for the Spartans, it has been especially so on the power play. Trinity Western has a league-low power play efficiency of 10.6 per cent as it has only scored seven goals on 66 opportunities. The Spartans penalty-kill is marginally better as it is ranked fifth in the league at 76.4 per cent.

Individually, TWU has been led by Jamey Kreller, who had five goals and three assists, and Jamie Russell, who has four goals and four assists. After the Spartans top two scorers, Matt Chaput, Brody Hemrich and Sam Gemmell are tied for third in team scoring with six points each. Josh Stephenson, who scored his first two goals of the season last weekend against SFU, has five points on the season.

In goal, expect to see Harry Fredeman get the start Friday as he has largely been the Spartans go-to goalie this season. Fredeman has played in eight games and leads the league in saves with 253 while sporting a 5.13 goals against average and a .882 save percentage. Tim Zwiers, who started last weekend against SFU, has seen action in five games and has posted a 6.82 goals against average and a .845 save percentage.

EASTERN WASHINGTON EAGLES (4-4-0-1)
BCIHL position: 3rd (tied)
Last weekend: TRU 8-2 L, 4-3OT W
Streak: 1 win
2011-2012 BCIHL Record: 7-12-5, 5th
2011-2012 BCIHL Playoffs: 0-2, 5th
Last BCIHL title: N/A

It’s been a rather up and down season so far for Eastern Washington. Through their first nine games, the Eagles have yet to win two games in a row.

After opening the season with a 3-0 win over Trinity Western, EWU has yet to string together any semblance of consistency, at least in terms of results. When the Eagles arrive in Langley for Friday’s game, they’ll have a chance to change all that. Having knocked off Thompson Rivers last Saturday by a 4-3 count in overtime, the Eagles will be looking for their first win streak of the season when they face TWU.

Tied with the TRU WolfPack for third place in the BCIHL, and with three games to go before the Christmas break, now would be the prime time to get on a roll.

Through nine games this year, the Eagles are averaging 4.1 goals for per game (tied for 3rd) while allowing 4.3 goals against per game (3rd), but the strength of the Eagles so far this year has been special teams. Through nine games, EWU has scored on 26.5 per cent of its power play opportunities, which is second only to SFU in the BCIHL, while its penalty-kill has is working at an 82.1 per cent efficiency, which is also second best in the league. The Eagles are also leading the league in shorthanded goals with three on the season. No other team has more than one.

The Eagles offence has succeeded by scoring goals by committee. Eastern Washington has six players with nine or more points but none with more than 11.

Jake Flynn leads the way with six goals and five assists while Uriah Machuga and JR Straight each have six goals and four assists. AJ Sanders has three goals and seven assists, while Ryan Pajimola has three goals and six assists and Bobby Ward has two goals and seven assists.

In goal, the Eagles have split duties between Cash Ulrich and Jason Greenwell. Both goalies have seen action in five games, with Ulrich sporting a 3-1 record, a 3.28 goals against average and a .913 save percentage, and Greenwell, possessing a 1-4 record, a 4.91 goals against average and a .867 save percentage.

-TW-

Last Updated: 2012-11-22
Author: Mark Janzen