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MEN’S HOCKEY (SPARTANS BCIHL)
FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, 2010
TRINITY WESTERN (2) THOMPSON RIVERS (1)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPARTANS HAND WOLFPACK SECOND LOSS OF SEASON
LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western Spartans capitalized on a dominant second period, one in which they notched two goals in 40 seconds, and a shutdown third period to knock off Thompson Rivers 2-1 Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
After allowing the first goal of the game 23 seconds into the contest and muddling their way through the first period, the Spartans found their legs in the second and third frames as they outskated and outworkd the previously 9-1 WolfPack en route to TWU’s first win of the year over one of the top four teams in the BCIHL.
“In that first period, we just didn’t have our legs,” said TWU coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “Fortunately TRU didn’t have theirs really either. But the boys came back after our intermission chat and they made it a game.
“When we move our feet and we attack the puck and play aggressive, we’re going to make things happen and that’s what happened and guys came through.”
Although TRU’s Andrew Fisher got the game’s opening goal in the first minute, assisted by David Gore and Lucas Daoust, neither team looked particularly sharp in the first period of the first game back after the holidays.
And while TRU was missing top scorer Jassi Sangha as well as Jose Reyes and Tyler Halliday due to suspensions carried over from a Nov. 26 melee with Victoria, nobody else on the TRU squad seemed destined to step up in something of a lackluster opening frame.
But after the first intermission, at least one team started skating. Unfortunately for the WolfPack it was the opposition taking the longer of the strides.
“Between periods, I basically said, ‘what do we want this to look like?” Lowdermilk said. “Do we want to win and get into the playoffs? And if so, we have to put in a full effort and they did for the second forty minutes.”
Just 2:54 into the second period, TWU’s Trevor Edwards took a pass from Brandon Long and broke down the left wing and sniped a back-handed rocket top corner over the glove of TRU goalie Riley Wall to knot the game 1-1.
Then, 40 seconds later, TWU’s Sam Gemmell – playing in his first game in the Blue and Gold – scored what would turn out to be the winning goal when he corralled a long bank pass from Benton Nickel, took off down the left wing and snuck a shot through the legs of Wall.
After that, the penalty parade for the WolfPack began in earnest. Thompson Rivers took five straight minor penalties and capped it off with a 10-minute misconduct to Zac Rasmussan. Fortunately for TRU, the Spartans, despite being given ample powerplay opportunities, including a lengthy 5-on-3, were unable to bury on their chances and the WolfPack escaped their penalty trouble unscathed.
Thompson Rivers almost tied the game late in the second when Daoust had a breakaway in the waning moments of the period and his shot beat TWU goalie John-Paul Chapman to the glove side but it did not beat the buzzer. After a quick referee conference, it was determined the puck went in after the final seconds had ticked off the clock.
In the third period, the Spartans got into some penalty trouble of their own, notably when Curtis Martin took a double-minor for high-sticking. But this time it was the WolfPack’s turn to get shutdown by a solid penalty kill and TWU stuffed the WolfPack attack the rest of the way.
With 3.9 second left in the game, the WolfPack thought they had tied the contest when Cody Lockwood, with Chapman down and out, shoveled the puck into the gaping net. But the goal was scored after the net had been knocked off its moorings and the whistle had already been blown.
The Spartans next game is Saturday when they host Selkirk at 7:00 p.m. Thompson Rivers’ next game is Jan. 16, when they are on the road against Fraser Valley.
Match Notes: The Spartans took 10 penalty minutes to the WolfPack’s 46…TWU goalie Chapman stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced while TRU’s Wall stopped 27 of 29 shots…the Spartans had new recruit goalie Tim Zwier on the bench for his first game in TWU colours.
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