LANGLEY, British Columbia – Despite being outshot 42-17, the Trinity Western men’s hockey team held on for a 3-3 tie with Simon Fraser Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans had a 3-1 lead midway through the second period but SFU rallied with a goal late in the second and another one early in the third to earn a tie against a scrappy TWU side that was playing without its captain Brad Bakken.
Trinity Western is now 4-10-4 on the season while SFU is 14-1-5.
The star of the Spartans show was goalie Tim Zwiers as he stopped 39 of 42 shots and had to be particularly sharp in the third period when SFU fired 20 shots his way. Simon Fraser goalie Graeme Gordon made 14 saves on 17 shots.
The Spartans Brandon Long, who was last week’s BCIHL Player of the Week, continued his goal streak as he now has scored in three straight games, with six goals in that span. Simon Fraser’s Ben Van Lare kept his point streak alive, scoring the game-tying goal, as he now has points in all 20 games this year.
“The guys executed,” said Spartans coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “We talked about keeping them wide and making sure they would take less and less shots through the middle and we did that. They did get 42 shots but the boys played and executed perfectly.
“It’s about heart. When everyone pitches in and does the job, you can get it done. And our goaltending tonight was phenomenal.”
After going through much of the first period scoreless, Long broke the deadlock with 1:42 left in the period when he was sprung in alone, after receiving a pass from Sam Gemmell, and beat SFU goalie Gordon with a quick wrister for his 13th goal of the season. Tristano Falbo was credited with the second assist.
Then, 35 seconds later, Trinity Western doubled its lead when Chris Hirano notched his first goal as a Spartan, picking a corner from in tight on a bit of a scrambled play. With an assist on the play, Doug Gordon picked up his first point with the Spartans.
Trinity Western held on to its two-goal advantage until SFU’s Bevin Ollek, with assists to Taylor Piller and Colton Graf, cut the Spartans lead in half at the 9:15 mark of the middle stanza.
The Spartans responded less than three minutes later when Trevor Beaupre got Trinity Western’s third of the night. Beaupre raced down the left wing and ripped a long shot on target that seemed to baffle SFU’s goalie Gordon as it squeaked through his legs and sat on top of the crease wide open for a split second before Beaupre roared in and banged his own rebound into the net.
Despite being outshot 21-13 in the waning stages of the second, it looked like the Spartans were going to take a two-goal lead into the intermission. But with 22 seconds left in the period Derek Henderson scored for SFU, with assists to Trent Murdoch and Adam Chapman, which gave the visitors momentum and just a one-goal deficit to erase heading into the final period.
And just 1:08 into the third, Van Lare tied the game as he jumped on a puck in the crease and beat Zwiers low and to the glove side.
Simon Fraser kept pressing for the bulk of the third period but ultimately couldn’t beat Zwiers.
The best chance for SFU came when Kyle Leung nearly converted a two-on-one break when he received a cross crease pass in tight but was stymied by the left pad of Zwiers.
The Spartans best chance of the period came off the stick of Gemmell. On a two-on-one with Long, Gemmell received a pass in the slot with plenty of time but put his shot just over the crossbar.
1st – Tim Zwiers
2nd – Ben Van Lare
3rd – Brandon Long
The Spartans and Clan will meet in a rematch Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
Game Notes – The Spartans were 0 for 2 on the power play while SFU was 0 for 4…TWU had 25 minutes in penalties while SFU had 21 minutes in penalties.