LANGLEY, British Columbia – With a solid team effort the Trinity Western Spartans defeated the Selkirk Saints 6-1 to sweep the best of three series, 2-0. TWU will now play the winner of the Victoria – SFU series for the BCIHL championship. It will be the first time since 2012 that Selkirk has not won the championship.
“Congrats to Selkirk that is four years running of being a pretty successful hockey team. So our hats are off to them for the run that they had. It is a good confidence builder for our guys to be the ones to knock them out after they took us out in the finals the last couple of years,” commented TWU head coach Barret Kropf. “So for our returning guys it was a little bit of a milestone marker in our programs history.”
The Spartans power play and the goaltending of Silas Matthys were the story tonight. TWU first five goals were all scored with the man advantage, finishing 5-11. While Selkirk was held off the power score-sheet going 0-7. TWU’s Matthys was outstanding in net again as he stopped 29 shots to earn the win.
“Both games last night and tonight were a full 60 minutes effort by all 20 guys. There wasn’t a shift that we took off. Everyone battled for each other. So when you do those types of things in the play-offs you are going to win some hockey games.”
Selkirk’s Austin Wells made 27 saves in the loss.
The game was close until midway through the third period. TWU led 1-0 after 20 minutes on a power play goal by Andrew Wheeler at 13:02. TWU’s Matthys stopped all 17 shots in the opening period.
The Spartans got their second power play goal of the night when Dirk de Waal scored at 2:06 of the second period.
Selkirk’s Dane Feeney made it a one goal game with an even strength marker at 4:11. TWU restored their two goal lead after 40 minutes with a power play goal by Cody Stephenson at 13:04.
The Spartans blew the game open to start the third period. TWU’s Jarrett Fontaine scored a power play goal at 2:43, and then 3:34 the Spartans de Waal got his second power play goal of the night to make it a 5-1 TWU lead.
TWU’s Braden Senft got the final goal of the night at 13:01 to make the final 6-1 for the Spartans.
TWU finished the night with 33 shots (9, 13, 11), while Selkirk finished with 30 (17, 7, 6).
“Now we can heal up with the extra days rest. Not having to go to a third game is pretty important at this time of year with all of our injuries,” added Kropf. “Hopefully we get some of those little nagging things taken care of and get proper rest and get ready for the finals and finally get it done.”
The best of three BCIHL final will begin on Thursday, March 16. Time and location to be determined.
Game Notes: Prior to this series the Saints had never played a playoff game on the road. Going 16-1 at home in Castlegar…In the lopsided contest there were numerous penalties: Selkirk finished with 60 minutes in penalties, while TWU finished with 22 minutes…TWU’s Dirk de Waal, Andrew Wheeler and Silas Matthys were the three stars of the game…