October 6, 2012, LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s hockey team was held scoreless in its season-opening contest as the Spartans fell 3-0 to the visiting Eastern Washington Eagles Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
Eagles goalie Jason Greenwell led the way by stopping all 30 shots he faced while Kjell Sherman, JR Strait and AJ Sanders each tallied goals as EWU, having joined the BCIHL just last year, opened the season with a win for the second straight year.
Spartans goalie Harry Fredeman (Ladner, B.C.) stopped 18 of the 21 shots he faced in a losing cause.
The Eagles are now 1-0 on the season while the Spartans are 0-1.
“It’s pretty simple. We have to get more goals,” said Spartans coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “We have to put the puck in the net instead of right around it. Give credit to their goalie. He played well. We crashed and banged, but we have to get it in.
“We have some forwards who can put the puck in the net, but it’s the extra passes we’re making. We had some soft passes that got broken up and we just can’t be doing stuff like that.”
The Spartans came out of the gates with plenty of energy in the first period but, despite a few early chances, it was the Eagles earning the first goal of the evening. Taking a pass from Nick Redding, EWU’s Sherman walked into the slot unchallenged and whipped a wrister to the top right corner, past the glove of TWU goalie Fredeman at 6:24 of the opening frame.
The Spartans best chance of the period came shorthanded when Trevor Beaupre (New Wesminster, B.C.) found the puck alone in the slot with time to spare but Eagles goalie Greenwell stymied the Spartans forward from in-tight, forcing TWU into intermission down a goal.
With the lead and momentum on their side, the Eagles looked to double their advantage in the middle frame and just under six minutes in, they did just that. At 7:10 of the second, EWU notched its first power play marker of the season when a Strait wrist shot from the point found its way past Fredeman to the low glove side. Bobby Ward and Sanders picked up assists on the play.
While the Spartans provided pressure late in the period and outshot the Eagles 9-6 in the middle stanza, they were unable to bury any of their opportunities and went into the break down 2-0.
In the third period, the Eagles Sanders scored an unassisted marker just 43 seconds in and, with that, all but salted away the win.
In what was a penalty-filled period – one that saw the teams combine for 72 minutes in penalties – the Spartans pressured late and outshot EWU 14-4 in the frame, but were left unrewarded.
Inside the final minute, the Spartans were given a penalty shot after one of the Eagles players closed covered the puck in their crease but the shooter, Beaupre, was unable to beat Greenwell on a wrister aimed for the top right corner.
The Spartans have a quick turnaround after this game as they will take on Thompson Rivers Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. Eastern Washington will travel to Burnaby to play Simon Fraser Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
NOTES – EWU had 52 penalty minutes while the Spartans had 42…EWU went 1 for 7 on the power play while TWU went 0 for 8.