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Scheduled Game: OKANAGAN

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Game Recap

Game Recap

MEN’S HOCKEY (PRESEASON)
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
TRINITY WESTERN (3) OKANAGAN (3)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPARTANS, COYOTES SKATE TO PRESEASON TIE



LANGLEY, British Columbia –
The Trinity Western Spartans men’s hockey team escaped Saturday afternoon’s tilt against Okanagan College with a 3-3 tie after getting outshot 48-26 in their preseason home opener at the Langley Events Centre.

The Spartans are now 0-1-1 in the preseason while Okanagan is 0-0-2.

The Spartans had impressive efforts from both goalies Tim Zwiers, who made 31 saves, and John-Paul Chapman, who made 17 saves, as they held off the visiting Coyotes in what was a penalty-kill filled contest for Trinity Western.

The Spartans racked up 49 penalty minutes to Okanagan’s 33, with Trinity Western finding itself shorthanded nine times while the Coyotes were down a man just twice.

But despite the seeming disparity, it was TWU leading 3-2 with just over five minutes to go in the third period and it was Okanagan needing a late goal – one scored by Kris Davis with 4:16 to go in the game – to even the final score line.

“It’s the beginning of the year, we’ve only had six skates in total and what can you say when the other team outshoots you 48-26?” said Spartans coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “We’ve got some injuries and we started the game with only three lines and we picked up a couple injuries in the game and we found ourselves a step behind.

“We’ll be a work in progress here. We’ve got guys coming back who haven’t played all summer and getting in shape. But we’ve got to get going pretty quickly here because the season is just around the corner.”

The Spartans found themselves behind the eight ball early as the Coyotes had all the pressure in the first few minutes of the opening frame and looked by far the superior bunch. But after getting their first power play of the game, the Spartans found their legs and were rewarded shortly thereafter when Trevor Beaupre got the Spartans on the board with Trinity Western’s first goal at home of the 2011-12 campaign.

Off of a neutral zone faceoff, Beaupre snatched the puck up near the Coyotes blueline, made a quick dangle to get around an Okanagan defender and put a long wrister on net that beat Coyotes goalie Sunny Gill between the wickets at 12:50 of the first period. Jordan Magnuson and Aaron Riemersma were credited with assists.

The Spartans went into the second period up 1-0 but down a man after Aaron Heggie was whistled for a double-minor for head-butting with less than a minute left in the first frame. And, as it turned out, Heggie’s penalty was the first sign of the penalty parade that was to come.

Just three minutes into second, with Heggie’s penalty just about to expire, Okanagan’s Kyle L’Arrivee leveled the score when he collected a rebound off the end wall, after a Marc McKenzie shot, and shoveled it past a scrambling Chapman on the short side.

From there, in the second period alone, the Spartans were assessed 10 more minutes in minor penalties, plus they were given a 10-minute misconduct that went to Riemersma. All told, TWU was shorthanded for 9:45 of the middle stanza while Okanagan’s only penalty of the period was a 10-minute misconduct to Kelly Loudoun.

Fortunately for the Spartans, playing a man short for nearly half the period proved less disastrous than one would have anticipated.

As it turned out, the Spartans Brandon Long was the only one to score while TWU was shorthanded. With 10:47 left in the second, Long pounced on a giveaway by Okanagan goalie Gill and rifled the puck into an empty net as Gill stumbled and fell in his attempt to get back into the play.

In the third period, it was more of the same as Trinity Western received three more minor penalties compared to Okanagan who didn’t receive even one.

Okanagan finally made Trinity Western pay for its penalties when Keon Vick one-timed a loose puck in the slot that beat the Spartans Zwiers, who had entered the game midway through the second period, low and to the blocker side.

The Spartans Kye Benjaminsen put Trinity Western up 3-2, with 5:11 left to play, when he grabbed a giveaway from Okanagan goalie Kelson Wilms and, after hitting the post on his first attempt at the open net, skated behind the net and wrapped it into the empty cage.

But less than a minute later, Okanagan tied it up again when Davis buried a rebound off a shot from L’Arrivee and with the score 3-3, that’s how things would end.

The Spartans next game is at the University of Washington September 30 at 10:00 p.m. The Coyotes next game is their regular season home opener when they host Selkirk College September 30 at 8:45 p.m.

Three Stars
1)    Tim Zwiers – TWU
2)    Kyle L’Arrivee – Okanagan
3)    Trevor Beaupre - TWU

Game Notes: Trinity Western’s Heggie and Okanagan’s McKenzie were each given five minute majors for fighting and game misconducts following a brief scrap five minutes into the third period.

-TW-

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