Villeneuve scores five goals to lead Spartans in OT win

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by Mark Janzen

January 25, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – Trinity Western’s JP Villeneuve (Georgetown, Ont.) had an afternoon to remember as he scored five goals, including the overtime winner, to lead the Spartans men’s hockey team to a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Victoria Saturday at the Ian Stewart Complex.

Trailing 4-1 after the second period, Villeneuve scored three third period goals to send the afternoon tilt to overtime before burying the winner at 3:07 of the extra frame. Cutting across the top of the circles from right to left, Villeneuve whipped a wrister to the top right corner past Victoria goalie Nick Babich to secure TWU’s seventh win of the year.

The Spartans are now 7-10 on the season while Victoria is 2-11-0-3.

Despite Victoria outshooting the Spartans 48-35, the Villeneuve show was too much for the Vikes to handle as TWU completed the weekend sweep, having knocked off Victoria 6-5 in a shootout Friday. On Friday it was Victoria forcing an extra session after rallying from a 4-1 deficit but on both nights TWU managed to earn a win beyond 60 minutes.

Assisting on four of Villeneuve’s goals was defenceman Micah Cockrill (Chilliwack, B.C.) while fellow blueliner Blair Murphy (Surrey, B.C.) added two helpers.

Victoria got goals from Luciano Somerville, Shawn Mueller, Chris Manhas and Evan Warner.

TWU goalie Tim Zwiers (Williams Lake, B.C.) started the game but was replaced by Harry Fredeman (Ladner, B.C.) after allowing Victoria’s the third goal midway through the second period. Fredeman made 23 saves to earn the win while Zwiers stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced.

Victoria’s Babich made 30 saves on 35 shots.

“While JP got the goals, the guys played really well around him,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “Victoria came back from a 4-1 deficit last night and we talked about that after the second period and how it was just a matter of three shots for us to get back on even terms and we did it. Overall, everyone played great. Defensively, we had some guys step up and play some big minutes for us and some of our younger guys stepped up too.

“The guys were willing to do whatever it takes to get the win, but kudos to Victoria. They’re by far the hardest working team in our league. This wasn’t an easy weekend by any stretch but we’re happy to get all four points and hopefully we can continue to match this effort as the season continues.”

Victoria’s Somerville scored on the power play 1:12 into the first period and then the Vikes Mueller made it 2-0 before the game was six minutes old.

Villeneuve got his first of the night at 6:48 of the second period to make it 2-1, but Victoria responded with goals from Manhas and Warner before the period was out as the home side took a 4-1 lead into the second intermission.

In the third period, Villeneuve exploded.

At 4:30 of the third, Villeneuve sparked the comeback with a power play marker before making it a one-goal game at 8:40. That set up his game-tying heroics with 4:20 left in the game.

The Spartans are back on the ice next weekend when they play a home-and-home series with Simon Fraser. The Clan is at the Langley Events Centre Jan. 31 before the teams play in Burnaby Feb. 1

Game Notes: Victoria was 2 for 7 on the power play while TWU was 1 for 4…the Spartans last three wins have all come in overtime or shootout.