September 13, 2012, LANGLEY, British Columbia – Despite a strong overall effort in its first game of the preseason, the Trinity Western men’s hockey team fell 3-2 to Simon Fraser Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans were full marks for their performance as the Trinity Western fans got to see their first look at a number of new players on the roster, but ultimately came up one goal shy in a tightly-contested game.
With the game tied 2-2, the Clan’s Jesse Mysiorek potted a powerplay goal at 8:31 of the second period to give SFU all they would need to skate away with the one-goal victory.
After the Spartans took a first period lead on the game’s opening goal by Josh Stephenson, the Clan responded in the second with two goals, by Trevor Milner and Tony Oak, in just over two minutes. Trinity Western tied it up on a nifty goal from Chris Hirano that saw him convert a breakaway to the top right corner at 5:46 of the second period, but that ultimately only set the stage for Mysiorek’s game-winner.
The Spartans are now 0-1 in preseason action while SFU is 1-1 after they fell to the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express in late August.
“Tonight our guys really showed that they wanted to play with the Trinity Western spirit,” said Spartans coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “They played a very solid, physical game but played fair and no matter the score, you love to see that.
“I thought our goaltending was good and so was our defensive zone. All of the shots were from the outside. There were very few from the middle of the ice, which is something SFU is famous for, so for us to be able to do that is a big step in the right direction.”
The Spartans opened the scoring late in the first when Stephenson rifled a quick wrister from the left dot that pinged in off the far post, beating SFU goalie Graeme Gordon with 1:44 left in the first period.
However, the Clan responded early in the second period when Milner cut towards the middle of the Spartans zone and, from the top of the circles, whipped a wrist shot that beat Trinity Western goalie Tim Zwiers low to the blocker side.
Just over two minutes later, SFU struck again as Oak beat Zwiers with a shot from distance to give the visitors their first lead of the night.
Less than five minutes later, Trinity Western responded when Hirano was sprung in alone thanks to a slick pass from Nathan Wiebe and the Spartans forward made no mistake in putting it upstairs.
But the even scoreline lasted less than 45 seconds later as Mysiorek netted the game-winner.
The Spartans pressed in the third period but, despite a couple of near misses and a couple of posts, in the end were unable to even the score.
Trinity Western’s Sam Gemmell, Brad Bakken and Wiebe picked up assists for the Spartans while Bruin McDonald, Taylor Swaffield, Trent Murdoch and Nick Sandor chipped in with helpers for SFU.
The Spartans Zwiers made 15 saves on 18 shots while Harry Fredeman was good on all 18 shots he faced. Simon Fraser’s Gordon made 14 saves on 16 shots while Evan Kurylo stopped all 13 shots against.
Next up for Trinity Western will be a trip to Alberta where it will compete in a tournament hosted by SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) Sept. 28-29. The Clan is next in action when it plays in its annual home-and-home series with UBC Sept. 21-22.