LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men’s hockey team will have to wait at least two more days before capturing its first BCIHL title, as the Spartans lost Game 2 against Victoria 2-1 in overtime Saturday at the George Preston Recreation Centre.
The Spartans and Vikes will play a championship-deciding Game 3 Monday at 7 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
With a 1-0 lead, TWU was 49 seconds away from its first BCIHL championship before Victoria’s Brandon Volpe scored for the visitors to send the game to overtime.
The Vikes Braeden Cyra scored on a power play at 3:16 of the extra session to even the championship series 1-1 and force a Game 3. The Spartans were whistled for boarding just 1:19 into overtime.
TWU’s Kade Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.) put the Spartans ahead at 2:56 of the third period. Brett Wur (St. Andrew’s, Man.) picked up the helper on TWU’s lone goal.
Victoria’s Noah Henry assisted on both Vikes goals.
Vikes goalie Michael Fredrick earned the win with 27 saves, while TWU’s Silas Matthys (Wollerau, Switzerland) stopped 31 of the 33 shots he faced.
“It was quite the hockey game and quite a range of emotion,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. “You’re 49 seconds away from winning a championship and then one of our guys breaks his stick and their guy gets an uncontested shot on net and scores. It’s a tough bounce, but that’s the way it is sometimes.
“In overtime, it’s tough call to put a team down a man, but credit to UVIC because they made the most of their opportunity. It’s going to hurt tonight but our guys will find a way to move on and get back onto our actual home ice. It was a great crowd and we really appreciated all the support we had tonight, but it’s still not completely home-cooking. On Monday at the LEC, we’ll have our ‘A’ game back on and see what we can accomplish.”
This will be the first time the BCIHL championship series has ever gone to a Game 3. Since the league moved to the best-of-three series format for the playoffs, each of the four previous championship series have been won by Selkirk in two games.
TWU is 3-0 at the LEC this year against Victoria and outscored the Vikes 14-2 in those games.
Victoria was one for six with the man-advantage. TWU was zero for three on the power play.
The announced attendance for Saturday’s game was 423.
Monday’s final can be seen live on www.hockeytv.com.