VICTORIA – In the end, the Spartans lost 2-1 in a shootout to Victoria Saturday night, but it wasn’t before what Trinity Western coach Barret Kropf called the “weirdest end to a hockey game I’ve ever been a part of.”
With the game tied 1-1 and two minutes remaining in the second period, the Spartans Jamey Kreller (Winfield, B.C.) suffered a devastating knee injury that required paramedics to stabilize his knee and an ambulance to arrive before the fifth-year forward could be removed from the ice.
The situation caused a 40-minute delay in the game, which left both teams in need of a warm-up if the game was to resume. With consultation from the BCIHL, it was determined that the best course of action would be to run the final two minutes off the clock and go directly to a shootout to decide the game.
In the shootout, Victoria’s Patrick Holland scored the only goal to give the Vikes (6-8-0-1) the win.
“It’s so tough to see something like this happen to Jamey, who has been such a big part of our program and to have him go down like that is obviously really difficult for him and for his teammates,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “Our thoughts and our prayers are with Jamey as he is at the hospital and with the doctors who are assessing his situation.”
Holland also scored a power play marker in the first period to put Victoria up 1-0.
Less than three minutes into the second period, Dirk De Waal (Lethbridge, B.C.) scored for the Spartans (10-3-0-1) to tie the game 1-1.
Spartans goalie Silas Matthys (Wollerau, Switzerland) made 20 saves for TWU, while Zach Wear stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced in the Vikes net.
“As for the game, it was a good battle and both teams put in solid efforts,” Kropf said. “But, when you see a teammate go down with what could be a career-ending injury, it’s obviously not so much about the end result of the game.”
The Spartans were playing their first game since the Christmas break and their first BCIHL game since a two-week goodwill trip to China.
TWU is back on home ice for the first time in nearly two months this Thursday, as the Spartans host Simon Fraser Jan. 19.