LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s hockey team enter this weekend atop the BCIHL standings and will look to keep its strong start rolling as the Spartans host Selkirk Friday and Victoria Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans are coming off a weekend in which they earned three out of four points against Simon Fraser and will play their first two-game home stand of the season. Friday’s game against Selkirk is at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s contest with Victoria is at 1 p.m.
The last time TWU and Selkirk played, the Spartans won 5-4 in their home-opener. The last matchup between the Vikes and Spartans saw the teams split a weekend series in Victoria in which TWU won 9-3 and Victoria won 4-3.
Both games this weekend will be broadcast live at www.bcihl.fasthockey.com.
TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (3-1-0-1)
BCIHL Standings: 1st
Last BCIHL weekend: SFU 3-2 W, 5-4 L (SO)
BCIHL Streak: 1 loss
2013-14 BCIHL record: 10-13-0-1
2013-14 BCIHL playoff record: 2-3, 2nd
The Spartans are off to a strong start as they’ve posted a 3-1-0-1 record thus far through the first five games. However, it’s early on in the 2014-15 campaign and with only four points separating the first place Spartans from fifth place Selkirk, the Spartans have very little room for error.
PLENTY OF HOME COOKING
The Spartans are in the midst of a stretch in which they play six out of seven games on home ice. As is the case with any team in any season, home wins are critical to success. So far, the Spartans are two for two in earning wins on home ice. The next four games are all at the LEC and with long stretches of road games looming ahead, now is the time to collect points.
FIDGETT KEEPS ON ROLLING
When Cody Fidgett joined the Spartans this past summer, there was plenty of optimism about what he could bring to the TWU offence. But, even the most optimistic individuals wouldn’t have predicted his early season start. Through five games, Fidgett already has nine goals and five assists and is mathematically on pace for a BCIHL record-breaking 43-goal and 24-assist season.
POW POW POWER PLAY
The Spartans lead the BCIHL in power play goals with 10 and have done so on only 24 opportunities for a league-leading 41.7 power play percentage. While Fidgett leads the way with four power play markers, there are six other Spartans who have scored goals while on the man-advantage. Last year, the Spartans scored 19 power play goals all season and the team worked at just 19.8 per cent with the extra man.
BCIHL Standings: 5th
Last BCHIL weekend: Eastern Washington 5-1 W
BCIHL Streak: 1 win
2013-2014 BCIHL Record: 20-3-0-1 (1st)
2013-2014 BCIHL Playoffs: 4-0 (1st)
Last BCIHL title: 2013-14
Given the success of their last two campaigns – winning the BCIHL title in both 2013 and 2014 – the Saints slow start to the 2014-15 season has turned heads. After losing their first three games, they got their first win of the season last weekend against Eastern Washington. Now, what can fans expect next?
WHICH SAINTS WILL MARCH IN?
They are the two-time defending BCIHL champions, but there are many questions about where exactly the Saints fit into the mix this year. In preseason, the Saints beat TWU 9-0. Since then however, Selkirk has just one win in four regular season games. However, the Saints are coming off a 5-1 home win over a much-improved Eastern Washington team last weekend. The last time they played TWU, the Saints lost by just one goal. What happens on Friday is anyone’s guess.
TOP TRIO LEADS THE WAY
With Jackson Garrett making his 2014-15 debut against Eastern Washington, the Saints top line came alive. Garrett, who was named the BCIHL Player of the Week this past week, scored a hat trick and added an assist while Darnell Dyck had four assists and Logan Proulx had one goal and two assists. All told, the line combined for 11 points. Suddenly, the Saints look to have a very dangerous line that is certainly starting to click.
BCIHL Standings: 4th
Last BCIHL night: Eastern Washington 4-3 W, 5-4 L
BCIHL Streak: 1 loss
2013-2014 BCIHL Record: 6-13-0-5 (6th)
2013-2014 BCIHL Playoffs: N/A
Last BCIHL title: 2011-12
The Vikes have come to play this year and there’s no question they have a much improved side that will be right in the mix throughout the BCIHL season. After winning just six of 24 games last year, Victoria has two wins already this year and has split with both TWU and Eastern Washington.
Forget what you knew about last year’s Vikes. This year, they are a different team. Despite a 9-3 loss in their season-opener against TWU, the Vikes bounced right back the following afternoon and earned a 4-3 win. They followed that up with a weekend on the road in which they split a pair of one-goal games with EWU. Last year, it took Victoria 14 games and until Nov. 30 to get its second win.
OFFENCE BY COMMITTEE
The Vikes might not have the high end scorers like the Spartans top duo of Cody Fidgett and JP Villeneuve, but instead, they’re getting their offence by committee. While no one has more than six points, Victoria has 10 players who already have at least two points. Adam Klein, Evan Warner and Shawn Mueller each have six points to lead the way.