The Spartans men’s hockey team overcame a four-goal deficit late, which included scoring two goals in the final 16 seconds, but ultimately fell 5-4 to Simon Fraser in a shootout Saturday at the Bill Copeland Arena.
TWU put up a season-high 62 shots in the game, 22 of which came in the third period, but ultimately surrendered just their second game of the season (12-1-0-1).
The win moved Simon Fraser (9-5-0-2) into sole possession of second-place in the BCIHL, five points back of first-place TWU.
Trent Vilio (Aldergrove, B.C.), Brayden Brown (Calgary), Travis Verveda (Alix, Alta.) and Jarrett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) scored for the Spartans, while TWU goaltenders Isaac LaBelle (Saskatoon) and Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) sharing time in the crease.
The Clan had goals from Takato Cox, Jacob Lacasse, Arjun Badh and Mac Colasimone, while Takato Cox was the lone goal-scorer in the shootout. Simon Fraser goaltender Andrew Henderson made a career high 58 saves, to see his record improve to 4-2-0 on the season.
TWU went down 1-0 early in the first period, when Cox beat Mills at 4:02 to make it 1-0 in favour of the home team. The Spartans then went down two goals near the end of the period, when the rookie Lacasse made it 2-0 for Simon Fraser.
Midway through the second period, Badh and Colasimone scored goals 27 seconds apart to bring the Clan lead up to 4-0, of which they held until the final frame.
The Spartans then finally got on the board, when Trent Vilio took an Last feed on the powerplay at 8:33 of the third to make it 4-1. TWU then added another just over five minutes later, with Brown scoring unassisted to make it 4-2.
That led to the late game heroics, as Verveda scored with the Spartans net empty to make it 4-3 with 16 seconds left, before TWU captain Jarrett Fontaine added one more with just four seconds to play to take the game into a shootout.
After overtime solved nothing, Cox was the only player to score in the shootout to lift the Clan to a 4-3 victory on home-ice.
Barret Kropf – TWU Head Coach
“A pretty dynamic ending when we scored four goals in the last half of the third period, including two in the last 16 seconds. It was just another one of those games where the guys were unbelievable. Their effort was a huge turnaround performance, as being able to put up 62 shots on net tends to win hockey games. We really have nothing to hang our head around after tonight. Everyone played great, and our goaltenders battled through some adversity with equipment problems.
“We found a way to figure it out but unfortunately just weren’t able to get it done in a shootout. We out chanced them, carried the play, and just did everything we could to try and get the win. I’m just really proud of the guys to bounce back from Thursday’s performance, so we’ll look to build on this into Friday.”
- Spartans defenceman Travis Verveda now leads all defenceman in BCIHL scoring with 19 points (7 goals, 12 assists) through 14 games.
- TWU has now lost back-to-back games after opening its season on a 12-game winning streak.
- Evan Last, Jarrett Fontaine, and Elijah Vilio all participated in the shootout for TWU, with none able to solve Henderson.
The Spartans return home to take on Selkirk Friday (Jan. 24) at the Langley Events Centre.