LANGLEY, British Columbia – The league-leading Simon Fraser Clan remained unbeaten in BCIHL action this season as they knocked off Trinity Western 8-1 Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
After the Spartans kept the game tight through the first period, trailing 2-1 after 20 minutes, the Clan used a dominant power play to pull away in the second as they built a 5-1 lead heading to final frame and then cruised to the seven-goal win while outshooting the Spartans 45-21.
Simon Fraser was led by Ben Van Lare, who had two goals and two assists, while Todd Fletcher added two goals and an assist. Goalie Evan Kurylo made 20 saves in the win.
Trinity Western’s Josh Gordon was the lone goal scorer for the Spartans while Brodie Hemrich and Trevor Beaupren earned assists. Goalie Tim Zwiers made 29 saves on 34 shots in two periods while Trevor Currie made eight stops on 11 shots in one period of play.
The Spartans are now 3-9-3 on the season while SFU is 13-0-3.
“Well, 21 shots isn’t going to beat a team like this,” said Spartans coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “There were times when we had them hemmed in their zone and making plays but then we would only get one shot and they would get two and three shots and finish their chances. They’re a strong club. They drive the centre of the net every time.
“When we skate, we can skate with anyone but we need to be able to drive the net and the right times and put the puck on the net at the right times but in the end, we got outshot 45-21 and that’s indicative of the score.”
The Clan got on the scoreboard early as they notched a goal less than a minute into the contest when Van Lare buried an in-tight shot to give the visitors a quick 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, SFU was back at it as Fletcher made it 2-0 with his third goal of the season and the Clan looked to be on their way to a runaway victory.
But shortly after the Fletcher goal, the Spartans started to push back.
Trinity Western’s Brandon Long nearly got the Spartans first goal when he was sprung on a clear-cut breakaway but he was unable to beat Kurylo.
With the tides starting to turn in the Spartans favour, the home side was rewarded with a goal cut that Clan’s lead in half. Beaupre’s shot from the top of the right circle missed the net but bounced off the end wall to the opposite side where an awaiting Josh Gordon banged it home into a gaping net.
Despite being outshot 16-9 in the frame, the Spartans only trailed 2-1 heading into the first intermission.
After a back-and-forth start to the second stanza, the Spartans nearly tied the game midway through the period. Trinity Western forward Sam Gemmell had a brilliant chance from in close when he pounced on a rebound on top of the crease and put a quick shot on net but was stymied by an even quicker glove hand from Kurylo.
With SFU on the powerplay, the Clan broke the game open in the latter stages of the period. After Fletcher made it 3-1 on an even-strength screened shot with 9:11 left in the period, the Clan got two power play goals within 45 seconds, from Kyle Leung and Jono Ceci – both of which were deflections – to go up 5-1 and put the game out of reach.
In the third period, with Trinity Western’s Currie entering the contest for his first action in blue and yellow, SFU continue to pour on the pressure.
The Clan got three goals, from Van Lare, Joey Pavone and Trent Murdoch, to give the visitors a decisive win.
1. Ben Van Lare
2. Todd Fletcher
3. Josh Gordon
The Spartans are next in action Feb. 3-4 when they will host Selkirk Friday and Okanagan Saturday. Both games are at 7:00 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
Simon Fraser is back at it this Saturday when they will host Okanagan at 7:00 p.m. at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
Game Notes – The Spartans were 0 for 3 on the power play while SFU was 2 for 6…TWU had 26 PIM while SFU had 10.