Trinity Western’s Jarrett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) scored two goals, including the overtime winner just 17 seconds into the extra frame, as the Spartans extended their winning streak to 11 games with a 5-4 victory over Victoria Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
Trailing 4-1 in the third period, the Vikes stormed back to force overtime, scoring three times in the final 15 minutes and twice in the last 3:35. However, the Spartans responded in overtime with Fontaine taking a pass from Brandon Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.) and tucking the puck past Vikes goalie Zack Wear .
The win improves TWU’s record to 16-3-0-0, which see the Spartans already match their win total from 2016-17. The Vikes drop to 3-11-0-2.
While Fontaine had an impressive two-goal outing, it was also an historic night for Florian Niedermaier (Davos, Switzerland), who scored his 31st career goal to become TWU’s all-time leading goal-scorer. Neidermiaer scored 1:38 into the game to pass TWU alum Josh MacKnee for top spot in the program’s history books.
A goal from Stefan Gonzales (Surrey, B.C.) just 23 seconds into the third period put TWU up 4-1 before Victoria scored rallied.
Dustin Deugau (Calgary) also scored for TWU.
Jordan Evans, Liam Shaw, Mike Janz and Brandon Volpe tallied for Victoria.
In a penalty-filled contest – TWU finished two for 10 on the power play and Victoria was two for five with the man-advantage – five of the goals were scored on special teams, with the Vikes sniping shorthanded to launch their comeback bid at 5:55 of the third period.
Niedermaier opened the scoring, speeding down the right wing and backhanding a shot upstairs on the short side.
With the Vikes taking five minor penalties in the second period alone, the Spartans continued to carry the play, eventually scoring twice in a span of 1:35.
Just seconds after a Vikes penalty expired, Deugau found his way to a rebound just outside the crease and rifled a shot up top past a flailing Wear.
Then, with TWU back on the man-advantage, Fontaine converted a quick wrister from the slot, finishing a nifty passing play between Gonzales and Evan Last (Surrey).
However, the Vikes struck back less than a minute later, with Evans jumping on a Spartans miscue, zipping in off the right wing and snapping a shot past the blocker of Mills to the low left corner.
Gonzales’ goal early in the third period looked to all but seal the win, but the Vikes responded with three straight goals.
After Shaw’s shorthanded goal, Janz made it a one-goal game with 3:35 to play.
Volpe equalized with 2:18 left in the third period, sneaking the puck through Mills to send the game to overtime.
Head Coach Barret Kropf
On the Game
“It was hard to get a flow going because of all the power play and penalty kill situations. That took some steam out of the whole game. But even when you have a bad game, there are always a few players who played well, so you can’t drive the bus over everybody. For a few games in a row, Kaleb (Denham, Innisfail, Alta.) has played really well. He’s playing really responsibility and making smart plays at both ends of the ice. Up front, Fontaine is the energizer bunny whose batteries are on full-go all the time.
“Victoria is such a hard-working team. If speed is our DNA this year, hard work is their DNA. So, they always make it difficult. It’s probably a good time to have a wake-up call and help us get zoned in with the playoffs coming up.”
On Florian Niedermaier becoming TWU’s all-time goal-scoring leader
“Flo is probably one of our most responsible players for us at both ends of the ice. So for him to get an offensive record like that is a really good accomplishment. He’s always taking care of things for us at both ends of the ice and he’s a smart hockey player.”