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MEN’S HOCKEY (BCIHL)
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2010
TRINITY WESTERN (4) OKANAGAN (3)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BEAUPRE PLAYS HERO IN LAST-MINUTE WIN OVER OKANAGAN
LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western forward Trevor Beaupre scored with 26.5 seconds left in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and give the Spartans their second win in as many nights, knocking off Okanagan 4-3 Saturday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.
With the game knotted going into the third period, both teams shut things down defensively as they hoped for that one break that would give them the winning goal. And with 30 seconds left in what was an otherwise chance-less final frame, the Spartans got it. Robert Vos raced into the offensive zone on a 3-on-2, dropped the puck to Beaupre who was all alone in the slot and he buried it with a quick shot far side past the glove of Okanagan goalie Adam Butler.
Leading the Spartans in the win was Brendan Elenko, who had two goals before getting a five-minute major and a game misconduct for high sticking late in the first period, and Robert Vos, who had a goal and two assists.
“The boys are coming,” said TWU coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “The hard work is paying off. We know we can beat these teams. When you get into a small seven-team league you get to know each other quickly and our guys are changing our game. We’re shooting. We’re hitting. We’re doing it all.”
The win was the Spartans first over Okanagan this year in four attempts and improves TWU’s record to 8-10-1. The loss drops Okanagan to 13-6-1 on the season.
The first period was a penalty-filled affair, and especially so for Okanagan. The Coyotes went to the box six times in the first 10 minutes, finding themselves two-men short on three occasions.
But while the Spartans had the power play advantages in the early stages, it was Okanagan getting on the board first. Less than six minutes into the opening period, and with TWU on a 4-on-3 power play, Okanagan’s Dekker Mende intercepted a clearing attempt from Spartans goalie Sean Langrieger at the blue line, walked in and whipped a wrister from the top of the left circle that beat Langrieger to his glove side.
But shortly after, the Spartans finally capitalized on one of their many power play opportunities.
With TWU on a 5-on-3, Elenko received a pass at the point from Brenden Stephen and ripped a low, hard shot that beat Butler to the blocker side, evening the score 1-1 before the period was 10 minutes old.
Then, less than four minutes later, Elenko got his second of the game when, once again while the Spartans were two-men up, he took a pass from Vos and hammered a point shot top corner past Butler’s blocker to give TWU its first lead of the game at 2-1, an advantage they would take into the first intermission.
In the second, the penalties didn’t stop as the referee’s whistle earned its keep on this occasion with both teams spending plenty of time in the box. But for Okanagan, playing a man or two short didn’t seem to matter much.
Still trailing 2-1, the Coyotes received a penalty shot while shorthanded after the Kevin Taylor was called for covering the puck in the TWU crease. And on the penalty shot, Brock Munro made no mistake as he first faked a slap shot, then avoided Langrieger’s early poke check before he snuck it through his pads to tie the game 2-2.
Soon after, Okanagan continued its shorthanded offensive attack, scoring its third goal of the game while down a man, when Brady Mason finished a tidy give-and-go 2-on-1 play with Austin Baecker by firing the puck into a wide open net after Langrieger found himself sliding away from the play.
The third goal on Langrieger was enough to cause TWU coach Dwayne Lowdermilk to pull his starter in favour of back-up Tim Zwiers.
And the goalie change seemed to spark TWU, as six minutes after, Vos got the Spartans back on even terms when he slid a loose puck in the slot past Butler, who had lost track of the puck and was completely unaware of it whereabouts until it was behind him and the local horn was blaring.
With the game tied 3-3 going into the third period, both teams put up a strong defensive wall for the duration of the final frame as neither team managed to sustain any long-term pressure nor were they able to earn anything more than a few casual chances.
But with the game nearing a tied result, Beaupre turned into the hero as his goal sent Spartans home happy in TWU’s final regular season home game of the year.
“We kept one guy high for sure in the third just to maintain the tie game,” Lowdermilk said. “We had battled back and then the line combination I made at the end was purely to get a shot on goal and Vos made a beautiful pass and Beaupre buried it.”
The Spartans Zwiers earned the win as he finished with 13 saves and didn’t allow a goal in 31:35 of playing time.
Okanagan’s Butler made 25 saves on 29 shots.
The Spartans are back in action next weekend, Feb. 18-19, when they travel to play Victoria on back-to-back nights. Okanagan’s next game is Feb. 18 when they are in Thompson Rivers to take on the WolfPack.
First Star – Trevor Beaupre – Trinity Western
Second Star – Brendan Elenko – Trinity Western
Third Star – Brady Mason – Okanagan
NOTES – The Spartans finished with 21 minutes in total penalties while Okanagan had 16…the Spartans Vos had five points in two games this weekend to end his eight-game pointless skid in fine fashion.
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