The Trinity Western Spartan’s opened their 2019 preseason with a 5-3 road loss to the UBC Thunderbirds Friday.
Forward Spencer Roberts (Langley, B.C.) scored two goals for TWU, while Joshua Bruce (Surrey, B.C.) added a late tally of his own in the third period. Spartans goaltender Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) made 38 saves in the loss.
UBC jumped out to an early lead in the game after forward Austin Glover scored at 6:38 of the first period to make it 1-0. Nearly four minutes later the Thunderbirds pushed their lead to two, when Maxwell James beat Spartans goaltender Mills.
After UBC made it 3-0 courtesy of Carter Popoff, the Spartans retaliated with two quick goals of their own. Roberts scored two goals within 32 seconds of each other midway through the second period to cut the Thunderbirds lead back to one.
After UBC got goals from Quintin Benjafield and Colton Kehler to close out the second, the Spartans opened the third period down 5-2. The game tightened up in the third period, and despite a late Spartans goal from Bruce, TWU’s hockey program remains winless against the Thunderbirds (0-4).
TWU Head Coach Barrett Kropf
“It was our first games in six months. We could make excuses with some of our key guys out with sickness or injury, but UBC is just as banged up as well having played some tough teams recently. Tonight UBC responded well after we had some quick goals.
“We gained a little bit of confidence halfway through the game with some nice entry plays. But other than that we’ve got a long ways to go in terms of getting ready over the next three weeks. There were a few nice things to see from some guys tonight. Junior (Mills) was in midseason form so that was great to see. We’re walking away with a lot of takeaways from tonight, and things to build on moving forward.”