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THURSDAY, JANUARY 16, 2014
SIMON FRASER (5) TRINITY WESTERN (2)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPARTANS FALL TO SIMON FRASER TO OPEN SECOND SEMESTER
LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s hockey team dropped its first game back after the Christmas break, losing 5-2 to visiting Simon Fraser Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.
Simon Fraser’s Trent Murdoch opened the scoring on a wraparound just 35 seconds into the game and, despite a valiant third period comeback attempt from the Spartans, the Clan never trailed the rest of the way as SFU improved to 11-3 on the season.
The loss sees the Spartans record fall to 4-9.
The Clan opened a 3-0 lead after the second period but a pair of TWU goals in the first four minutes of the third period made it a one-goal game. The Spartans had numerous chances to tie the contest throughout the final frame but were unable to get the equalizer and the Clan salted the win away with two goals in the final five minutes.
Early in the second period, SFU’s Jared Eng gave the visitors a 2-0 lead on a power play goal before Aaron Ens made it 3-0 going into the second intermission. The Spartans Jamey Kreller (Winfield, B.C.) and Brett Wur (St. Andrews, Man.) each scored in the first 3:17 of the third but that was as close at TWU would get.
Simon Fraser’s Trevor Esau tallied with 4:35 left in the third before Enns rounded out the scoring on a power play with 1:11 left to play.
Simon Fraser goalie Andrew Parent only had to make 10 saves through the first 40 minutes but had to be sharp in the third period as he made a number of key saves and had 12 stops over the final 20 minutes alone.
Spartans goalie Silas Matthys (Wollerau, Switzerland) made 37 saves on the 42 shots he faced.
By the end of the game, SFU outshot TWU 42-24.
“I think we played in the third for sure how we needed to but overall I think our effort was dialed up the way that we wanted for the full 60 minutes,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “It’s frustrating. The odd bounce or a cross bar here or a skate there and it could have been a different game. I feel bad for the guys because they worked hard and we didn’t get a result.
“We added a couple of guys over the break and they played well. Brett Wur came in and threw his weight around and crashed in for a goal. I thought Grange (Gordon) did a good job too. I thought (Christian) Rodriguez also stepped in and played well. We had some fresh faces that brought some energy that carried over to the rest of the guys. We were better tonight than we have been but we have to keep getting better.”
After SFU scored early in the first, the Spartans Jake Harcoff (Surrey, B.C.) nearly evened the score with just over seven minutes left in the first but his point shot pinged off the cross bar and out of play.
Early in the second, SFU doubled its lead on the power play when Eng snuck in from the right point and took a nifty cross-ice feed from Graham Smerek before slotting it past Matthys.
Ennis potted SFU’s third goal when he carried the puck up the right side on a two-on-one and rifled a shot to the low left corner, just under Matthys’ blocker.
Trinity Western’s Cody Stephenson (Aldergrove, B.C.) had a chance to get the Spartans on the board with just over a minute left in the second period but, under duress from a late-arriving SFU defenceman, was unable to get a shot off.
Kreller put the Spartans on the board early in the third when he took a quick feed from Chris Hirano (San Jose, Calif.) and beat Parent up top from in tight.
Just over three minutes later, Wur, who was playing in his first game with TWU, pounced on a bobbled rebound in front of the SFU net and after a couple of swipes managed to slide it under Parent to make it a one-goal game.
Looking to get back on even terms TWU’s Hirano hit the post, J.P. Villeneuve (Georgetown, Ont.) missed a gaping net from in close and Mattias Schmitt (Surrey, B.C) was stopped on a breakaway.
“It was good for our guys to come back in the third and get some mojo back,” Kropf said.
The Spartans are back on the ice Saturday when they will travel to play Thompson Rivers at 8 p.m. Simon Fraser will return home to play Selkirk Saturday at 7 p.m.
Game Notes: SFU was 2 for 2 on the power play while TWU was 0 for 2…TWU was coming off a post-Christmas 11-day trip to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia where they played three exhibition games against local pro clubs, winning all three.
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