VICTORIA – Trinity Western outshot Victoria and was the better team on the power play, but it was the Spartans mistakes that were their undoing as they lost 4-3 to the Vikes to open their BCIHL regular season Friday at the Ian Stewart Complex.
After the Spartans had evened the scoreline for the third time in the game, the Vikes finally buried TWU for good, with Wolfgang Schoenefuhs scoring the game-winner with 1:15 to play in the third period.
Brett Wur (St. Andrews, Man.) and Cody Stephenson (Aldergrove, B.C.) scored power play goals and first-year Evan Last (Surrey, B.C.) tallied his first goal as a Spartan, but it wasn’t enough as TWU never held a lead and played catch-up throughout the night.
Carson Willans, Kyle Bird and Shawn Mueller scored for the Vikes, who earned the win despite having just 24 shots to the Spartans 35.
“It was pretty frustrating tonight,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “It’s one of those games that we carried a lot of the play, but in reality, we weren’t disciplined and it cost us on special teams. For as much as we carried the play, we made that many more mistakes and you don’t deserve to win a hockey game when you make that many mistakes. Every guy in the lineup tonight made mistakes that eliminated opportunities and gave them scoring chances and they scored on their chances and we didn’t. Victoria worked extremely hard for their chances and we need to stop panicking and making mistakes when put under that kind of pressure.”
Trailing 2-1 going into the third period, the Spartans Last tied the game less than five minutes into the final frame. However, as was the story of the game, Victoria quickly went back ahead with Mueller tallying at 6:08.
Stephenson scored on a power play with just under 10 minutes to play to knot the game at 3-3, but that was the last of the offence for TWU.
Wur and Bird traded goals in the second period, while Willans opened the scoring at 7:52 of the first period with the man-advantage.
Dirk de Waal (Lethbridge, Alta.) had two assists on the night while Wur also had an assist for a two-point night.
The teams play the rematch Saturday at 7 p.m. back at the Ian Stewart Complex.
Game Notes: TWU was 2 for 10 with the power play while Victoria was Victoria was 1 for 7…Former NHLer Patrick Holland, who played five games with the Montreal Canadiens in 2013-14, was held off the scoresheet in his BCIHL debut with Victoria.