ALDERGROVE, B.C. – Trinity Western’s men’s hockey team equaled its program-high for wins in a season, earning its 17th victory of the year, with an 11-1 win over Eastern Washington Friday at the Aldergrove Community Centre.
Fourteen Spartans picked up at least a point and eight scored, as the Spartans (17-4-0-0) cruised to their 12th win in their last 13 outings. EWU dropped to 1-18-0-1.
The victory matches the 17 wins TWU earned in 2014-15, when the Spartans posted a record of 17-5-0-2.
The win, coupled with a Selkirk loss against Victoria Friday night, puts TWU four points up on the Saints for first place in the BCIHL.
Kade Vilio (Aldergrove), who was one of four Spartans making a return to where they played minor hockey, had a four-point night, with two goals and two assists, to lead TWU, while Dustin Deugau (Calgary) added four assists. Lincoln Nikkel (Langley), who was playing in his second game of the year, scored his first two goals as a Spartan, while Florian Niedermaier (Davos, Switzerland) also tallied twice.
Dylan Sakatch (Calgary), Elijah Vilio (Aldergrove), Evan Last (Surrey, B.C.), Brandon Potomak (Aldergrove) and Jacob Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) each had one. Kenny Batke (Vernon, B.C.) had three assists.
Joseph Porco scored EWU’s lone goal.
Lucas Mills (Burnaby) stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced. Tanner Loucks took the loss, allowing six goals on 30 shots. Austin Brihn, made eight saves on 13 shots.
TWU scored four times in the first period, with three coming on the power play to take the Spartans to a 4-0 lead.
The Eagles scored 19 seconds into the middle frame, but the Spartans responded with a pair of goals to go up 6-1 through 40 minutes.
Five goals in the final period rounded out the scoring.
Head Coach Barret Kropf
On the Game
“It was interesting playing in a different home environment, but going into the playoffs we’re going to have to play in some different facilities, so it’s good to get that mindset. It was a bit awkward, but obviously it turned out okay for us. I thought our guys skated well and moved pucks well. I think we stayed disciplined which was good.
“I wanted to give a shout out to Flo (Niedermaier). It’s amazing a guy like him continues to score the way he does and he doesn’t have a penalty this year and he only had two minutes last year. He just plays at such a high level and he’s so disciplined defensively and he’s just a great sportsman. We always appreciate his efforts and tonight was another one of those strong performances from him.
On Lincoln Nikkel scoring his first two goals as a Spartan
“He crashes the net and does what he needs to do. I think the guys really appreciate him. He’s one of those guys who does everything that you ask of him. He’s a team guy and a great locker room guy, so it’s good to seem him find some success tonight.”