LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western was held off the scoreboard for the first time all year as the Spartans suffered a 2-0 loss against Simon Fraser Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Clan had the jump from the outset and, after taking a lead midway through the first period, the visitors never looked back, cruising to a convincing victory.
Ryker Moreau and Adam Callegari scored for the Clan to lift SFU (12-3-0-2) to its second win in a row over the Spartans. Clan goalie Lyndon Stanwood made 27 saves to earn the first shutout of his BCIHL career.
The Clan opened the scoring at 8:45 of the first period, when Moreau stole the puck at the Spartans blueline and broke in alone on TWU goalie Silas Matthys (Wollerau, Switzerland) before snapping a shot to the top right corner.
Callegari doubled SFU’s lead midway through the second period, tucking one through the legs of Matthys from the side of the crease.
The setback marks the first time TWU has suffered back-to-back losses this season. The Spartans dropped a 6-3 decision against the Clan in their last outing.
Matthys stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced in the loss.
TWU had to kill off six penalties, while SFU was shorthanded four times.
“They are a good team and we can’t take that away from them,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “They compete hard and, for whatever reason, they’re good at getting under skin. We talk about being more disciplined and the next thing you know, we have a parade to the penalty box. The emotions get into and we need to find a way to be mentally stronger.”
After averaging nearly four goals a night through their first 12 games this year, the Spartans have scored just seven goals in their last four contests.
“We knew going into this year, that we were going to have to win the 2-1 games and the 1-0 games,” Kropf said. “So, it’s not a surprise that we’re not putting up big numbers. It was (Jarrett) Fontaine’s (Humboldt, Sask.) first game back and you could tell that he’s a couple weeks behind. The good news is that we’re not in the playoffs yet, so we have a chance to get healed up or get the lungs back that we need. We’ve had points in the year when we’ve had lots of confidence and scored a lot of goals. So, it’s not that we can’t do it.”
Despite needing to kill three penalties and being outshot 14-5, the Spartans escaped the opening period trailing by just one goal.
SFU scoring leader Scott Patterson was forced from the game at 2:12 of the second period when he was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for a check to the head of TWU’s Ryan Scott (Surrey, B.C.). The Spartans, who were assessed a too many men penalty midway through the power play, couldn’t capitalize.
TWU’s Kade Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.), who was looking for his first goal in a TWU uniform, had two brilliant chances to get the Spartans on the board from the slot early in the third period. His initial shot was stopped by Stanwood and his subsequent rebound offering was also stymied by the left pad of Clan netminder.
Thursday’s tilt was the third game in a row between the local rivals and bit of bad blood boiled throughout, but after eight penalties were called in the first 40 minutes, the teams were only whistled for two minor penalties in the third period.
The last time these two teams met the Clan scored four goals with the man-advantage.
The Spartans are back on the ice Saturday when they host Eastern Washington at 7 p.m. at the LEC. For the Clan, Thursday’s contest was the first of three games in three nights as SFU hosts EWU Friday and Selkirk Saturday.
Game Notes: The last time TWU was shutout in BCIHL action was also against SFU when the Spartans lost 2-0 Fe. 6, 2016…the Spartans are 2-2 against the Clan this year…TWU is 8-21-1 all-time against SFU…the Clan’s Patterson has now played in four games against TWU and has yet to register a point…TWU’s Jarrett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) returned to the Spartans lineup after missing the first three games in January due to an injury he suffered while on TWU’s trip to China over the Christmas break.