October 4, 2013, KAMLOOPS, BC. – First-year forward JP Villeneuve (Georgetown, Ont.) scored with just over a minute left in the third period to help the Trinity Western men’s hockey team to a 4-3 win over Thompson Rivers in the Spartans BCIHL season-opener Friday at the Kamloops Memorial Arena.
The Spartans (1-0-0-0) were led by Chris Hirano (San Jose, Cali.), who had two goals and an assist, and Cody Stephenson (Aldergrove, B.C.), who had a power play goal, but it was Villeneuve, who also added an assist, providing the late game heroics that earned TWU the win over TRU (2-1-0-0). Jamey Kreller (Winton, B.C.) also chipped in an assist.
Thompson Rivers Duncan Schulz had two goals while Alex Martin tallied the third for the WolfPack. Travis Herlein and Joshua MacDonald each had two assists while Silvan Harper and and Colton Schell added an assist each.
After the WolfPack had opened the season with back-to-back road wins over Victoria, TRU was unable to overcome an energetic Spartans squad on home ice.
With 31 saves, Spartans goalie Harry Fredeman (Ladner, B.C.) earned the win. Thompson Rivers goalie Stephen Wolff took the loss after stopping 28 of the 32 shots he faced.
“I thought Harry played a great game and battled really hard,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “It was a good way for us to start the season and gain some confidence coming out of a month of hard work.
“We have a long way to go but it’s nice to get this first road win to start the season. It was a great effort all around.”
Hirano opened the scoring just 11 seconds into the game, but Schulz responded with a shorthanded marker and a power play goal to give TRU a 2-1 edge with just over seven minutes left in the first period. However, just over a minute after Schulz’s second goal, TWU evened the score when Stephenson scored with the extra man.
Martin gave TRU the lead again with a goal in the second period, but it was two TWU goals in the third that proved to be the difference. Hirano scored less than six minutes into the period and then, with 1:29 left in the game, Villeneuve, unassisted, potted the winning goal.
The Spartans will now have two weeks off before their home-opening weekend Oct. 18-19 against Eastern Washington. The Spartans will host the Eagles Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
First Star – JP Villeneuve – TWU
Second Star – Duncan Schulz – TRU
Third Star – Harry Fredeman – TWU
Game Notes: TWU was 1 for 5 on the power play while TRU was 2 for 6.