LANGLEY, British Columbia – Down 3-2 late in the second period, the Trinity Western men’s hockey team rallied with three straight goals to earn a 5-3 win over Selkirk Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans Florian Niedermaier (Davos, Switzerland) evened the score at 3-3 with 1:28 left in the middle frame and then PJ Buys (Newmarket, Ont.) tallied the winner just over five minutes into the third period.
Cody Fidgett (Richmond, B.C.) potted an empty-netter with four seconds left in the game.
The win improves the Spartans to 4-1-0-1 on the season and keeps them in first place in the BCIHL. The loss drops Selkirk to 1-3-0-1 as they remain in the league’s basement.
Playing without the likes of JP Villeneuve (Georgetown, Ont.), Grange Gordon (Ladner, B.C.) and Blair Murphy (Surrey, B.C.), the Spartans put together a quality team effort that saw eight different players hit the score sheet.
“It was a great effort all around and we played well despite a few guys out of the lineup,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “Everyone chipped in and there was no panic when we got down. We just kept playing and eventually earned the win.”
Niedermaier netted his first two-goal game as a Spartan while Mattias Schmitt (Surrey) and Buys each scored their second goals of the year. With his empty-netter, Fidgett kept his goal-scoring streak alive as he’s now scored in all six of TWU’s regular season games.
Defenceman Jake Harcoff (Surrey) continued his torrid offensive start as he had two assists to improve his point-streak to six games. He has 10 assists over that span.
Despite TWU getting outshot 39-22, goalie Silas Matthys (Wollerau, Switzerland) made 36 saves to earn the win. Selkirk’s James Prigione made 18 saves in the loss.
The Saints got goals from Mason Spear, Matt Martin and Ryan Edwards.
The Spartans largely shutdown the Saints top line of Darnell Dyck, Logan Proulx and Jackson Garrett as the trio was held to a combined two points after tallying 11 points in the Saints last outing.
“I thought the line of (Andrew) Wheeler (Maple Ridge, B.C.), Flo and (Brett) Wur (St. Andrews, Man.) did a great job matching against their top line by just controlling the puck and keeping it in the offensive zone,” Kropf said. “It was a great way to be effective as a checking line.”
The Saints opened the scoring at 9:02 of the first period on the power play when Spear scored to give Selkirk a 1-0 lead.
Schmitt responded for TWU with just over three minutes left in the period with an unassisted tally.
At 5:51 of the second period, Niedermaier gave TWU a 2-1 lead, but the Spartans advantage was short-lived as Selkirk’s Martin scored less than three minutes later to tie the game.
With 4:04 left in the frame, Edwards gave Selkirk a 3-2 lead with his team’s second power play goal of the night.
But it wasn’t long after that the Spartans Niedermaier sparked a run of three unanswered goals to win the game.
Game Notes: TWU went 1 for 3 on the power play while Selkirk was 2 for 4…the Spartans are the only team that has a positive goal differential as TWU has outscored its opponents 29-21…TWU hasn’t beaten Selkirk twice in a row since winning all four games of the season series in 2011-12…the Spartans also beat the Saints 5-4 on Oct. 11.