September 15, 2013, Langley, BC (ISN) – The Trinity Western men’s hockey team earned its first preseason win under new coach Barret Kropf thanks to a 5-4 victory over visiting Thompson Rivers Saturday at the Langley Sportsplex.
The Spartans rallied to tie the game from three different one-goal deficits before finally taking the lead early in the third period and then, after scoring again to nab a 5-3 edge, hanging on late for the victory.
JP Villeneuve (Georgetown, Ont.) led the way for the Spartans with two goals and an assist while Jamie Russell (Surrey, B.C.) added one goal and two assists. Mattias Schmitt (Surrey) had a goal and an assist while Riley Schmidt (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) had the other tally for the Spartans. Brad Bakken (Langley) also had one assist in the win.
Goalie Silas Matthys (Einsiedeln, Switzerland) made 25 saves on the 28 shots he faced in 49 minutes of action to earn the win. Tomoki Yoshizawa played just nine minutes in goal in the second period before being forced out because of an injury.
The WolfPack got goals from Tyler Berkholtz, Alex Smith, Tyler Jackson and Silvan Harper. Berkholtz also had an assist as he was the lone TRU player with multiple points. Sean Maktaak, Ben Bula, Travis Herlein, Brodie Gibbon and Daniel Higgs each had one assist.
WolfPack goalie Mark Menicucci made 21 saves on 26 shots in the loss.
“I think we were able to build on some of the momentum from last night,” Kropf said, referencing the second and third period efforts against Simon Fraser. “We asked the guys to play the way they did in the last 40 minutes of Friday’s game and we saw that energy right from the drop of the puck.
“Thompson Rivers came out flying. It was their first game of the season and they had lots of energy. Our guys were right there, step for step with them and weathered that storm for the first 10 minutes. Then it was a back and forth game with some good action at both ends.”
The WolfPack’s Harper opened the scoring at 5:01 of the first period, but TRU’s initial lead would last just over 10 minutes before Schmidt equalized.
In the second, TRU’s Smith again gave the WolfPack a lead only to see Villeneuve tied it up before the period was 10 minutes old. On the power play, Jackson once again gave TRU a one-goal edge, but a shorthanded goal by Villeneuve with 38 seconds left in the period not only tied the game 3-3 but also gave TWU a spark.
Russell and Schmitt both scored inside the first seven minutes of the third period and, from there, TWU held off TRU long enough to get the win. Berkholtz scored at 9:29 of the third, but TRU wouldn’t get any closer.
Game Notes: TWU went 1 for 7 on the power play while TRU was 1 for 6…TRU outshot TWU 35-26.