trinity western_spartans1

Mark Janzen

LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western’s Brandon Long scored four goals, including Trinity Western’s first three and the game-winner, as he helped the Spartans to a come from behind 6-5 win over Selkirk Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

After falling behind 4-2 and 5-3 in the second period, the Spartans rallied with three straight goals, one in the second and two in the third, to give Trinity Western its first win since Nov. 13. Despite four Saints power play goals, it wasn’t enough as the Spartans outshot Selkirk 36-29 and proved to be the better team on this night down the stretch.

After Long and his four goals, it was linemate Kye Benjaminsen leading the way for the Spartans with three assists while Matt Chaput had a goal and an assist and Brad Bakken had two assists.

For Selkirk, Scott Jago led the charge with two goals while Nick Cecconi and Jordan Wood both had a goal and an assist.

Trinity Western goalie Kevin Currie, who came in midway through the second period with the Spartans trailing 5-3 in relief of Tim Zwiers, made 14 saves on 14 shots to earn his first win in a Trinity Western uniform. Selkirks’ Spencer Wong mad 30 saves on 36 shots in the loss.

With the win the Spartans improve to 4-9-3 on the season and complete the sweep of their four-game season series with the Saints. The loss drops Selkirk to 3-15-0.

“The boys battled back,” said Spartan coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “We battled every shift and really I knew if we could get these guys into the third period, our guys could outskate them. Our guys can skate, it’s just making sure every game we can skate for 60 minutes. We won every battle out there today and it was powerful that way.

“Our top line [with Long, Benjaminsen and Sam Gemmell] has so much speed and so much skill and they’re just a great line to have together.”

The Saints, hoping to earn their first win of the season over the Spartans, got off to a fast start as they scored two power play goals before the game with 10 minutes old, from Jago and Cecconi. Combined with a huge open ice hit from Cecconi on Gemmell, the early momentum was fully on Selkirk’s side.

The Spartans cut the Saints lead in half with 7:06 left in the first when Long notched his first of the night, capitalizing on a turnover in the slot and whipping a wrister past the glove of Wong.

Just over a minute and a half later, Long was at it again, as he dangled around Wong from in tight to knot the game 2-2.

But 21 seconds later, Selkirk’s Scott Traverse restored the Saints lead when he took a pass from behind the net and beat Zwiers to the blocker side.

The Saints doubled their lead less than four minutes into the second when Jago got his second of the night, again on the power play, to give Selkirk a 4-2 advantage.

Only 41 seconds later however, the Spartans responded as Long completed his hat-trick, once again getting Trinity Western to within one goal.

The scoring brigade continued 1:20 later when Wood scored with the man-advantage to give Selkirk a two-goal margin again at 5-3. But that was all the scoring the Saints would do.

Trinity Western made it a one-goal game when Brody Hemrich got his first BCIHL goal with 9:37 left in the second period.

Then, 4:33 into the third period, Trinity Western’s Chaput outwaited the Saints Wong and eventually, gliding from left to right just on top of the crease, roofed it from his knees to tie the game 5-5.

Twenty-three seconds later, Long capped off his monumental night with the game-winner as his shot from distance weaved its way to the back of the net to give Trinity Western all the offence they would need.

Three Stars

1. Brandon Long – TWU

2. Scott Jago – TRU

3. Matt Chaput – TWU

Trinity Western will continue its weekend home-stand Saturday when they host Okanagan at 7:00 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. Selkirk will travel to play Simon Fraser Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

Game Notes – The Saints finished four for six on the power play while the Spartans were one for four…Tim Zwiers made 10 saves on 15 shots before he was relieved by Currie…TWU had 24 penalty minutes to TRU’s 12….TWU’s Tristano Falbo was given a 10-minute unsportsmanlike miscondut midway through the second period.