Aided by five different goal scorers, the Spartans men’s hockey team earned a 5-3 victory over the Victoria Vikes Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
The Spartans winning streak (12) is the longest to open the season in the BCIHL since Selkirk won 13 consecutive in 2012-13.
Logan Casavant (Melfort, Sask.), Jordan Bogress (Ladner, B.C.), Evan Last (Surrey, B.C.), Elijah Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.) and Kade Vilio (Aldergrove) all scored for TWU (12-0-0-0), while Lucas Mills (Burnaby) made 28 saves for his eighth win in as many games.
Carter Huber, David Stickney and Otis Goldman scored for fifth-place Victoria (4-10-0-1), with goaltender Tyler Rennie making 39 saves.
Victoria’s powerplay struggles were the story of the first period, as Dustin Deugau (Calgary), Tyler McMinn (Wilsall, Mont.) and Spencer Gerth (Langley) all committed minor penalties for TWU. Despite the opportunities, the Spartans league best penalty kill was able to keep the game scoreless after the opening frame.
Casvant got TWU on the board 22 seconds into the second period, wiring a Jarret Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) feed from the slot to make it 1-0. The Vikes then responded on the powerplay exactly two minutes later, with Durrance beating Mills on a wrist shot to make it 1-1.
Less than three minutes later TWU regained their lead, as Bogress deflected a feed from former Victoria forward Hayden Guilderson (Chilliwack, B.C.) to make it 2-2.
The Vikes once again responded later in the period however, as Stickney beat Mills on an odd man rush with 8:06 remaining to tie the game up at 2-2. TWU closed out the second period with a 33-19 advantage in shots.
The Spartans regained their lead in the third period after Last deflected a Travis Verveda (Alix, Alta.) shot just 1:14 into the final frame.
Six minutes later the Spartans added another on the man advantage, with Brandon Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.) faking a shot at the blueline before finding Elijah Vilio who scored on the open net to make it 4-2 TWU.
With 1:21 left the in the game Victoria scored with an extra attacker, as Goldman’s shot in the slot hitting the crossbar before finding its way past Mills.
That would be it however, as Kade Vilio added an empty netter in the final second to give the Spartans their 12th consecutive win.
Barret Kropf – TWU Head Coach
“Victoria came in hungry after maybe not getting the bounces they hoped for yesterday, and I think we saw that with their quick start. They worked their tails off tonight and didn’t get the points to show for it unfortunately. They’re a hard-working team and if they keep playing that way they will find more wins in the second half.
“We relied too much early on coming back and using our fitness to trust ourselves to go into the third period. I think we need to come out with a much stronger start next game, knowing every team we play against will want to end our winning streak. However, the resiliency and depth we have in the locker room was still evident tonight. We can roll any one of our four lines and be confident. It wasn’t a matter of who could do it, because any one of these guys can so that’s always an advantage for us. On the penalty kill we did a great job blocking shots and not letting anything through. Combine all of those things and that’s why we got the result we did.
“We’re healthy thankfully, so as we go into next weekend with a home and home against Simon Fraser we need to make sure we keep our habits simple and have a good week of practices.”
- The longest regular season winning streak in BCIHL history sits at 14 games, after Simon Fraser closed out the 2008-09 season with eight consecutive wins before opening 2009-10 with six consecutive.
- TWU now holds a 3-0 record against Victoria this season, which includes a 9-1 win on Oct. 19, 2019.