In a battle of the league’s top two teams, it was the first-place Trinity Western Spartans earning the two points, setting a new program high in victories in the process.
“We knew that it was possible. The way last year ended (losing in Game 3 of the BCIHL championship series), we had a whole new level of commitment in the offseason from our leadership group,” said TWU coach Barret Kropf.
“I think the chemistry has been there right from the get-go and our leaders have really set the bar as to what it takes to be excellent. This record is a by-product of all of that.”
The Spartans rallied from a 4-2 second period deficit to score four unanswered goals to win 6-4 on Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.
The teams were tied at two after one period, in what Kropf called “a frustrating 20 minutes.”
“For as important of a game as it was, I thought our guys came out pretty flat,” he said. “We challenged the guys to be a different team for the last 40 minutes and the guys responded.
“Once we saw our guys blocking some shots, we could tell that we were going. Five-on-five, our speed is hard to handle for a lot of teams, so we need to find ways to be disciplined.”
And not only did the victory create a four-point gap ahead of second-place Selkirk, but the Spartans hockey team needs just one victory — or Selkirk loss — in the final three games to clinch top spot in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League team.
The win improved TWU to 18-4-0-0 while Selkirk fell to 17-5-0-2. Four of those losses came at the hands of the Spartans as they won the season series 4-1.
Saturday’s victory saw Evan Last lead the Spartans with a goal and three assists while Kaleb Denham, Kade Vilio, Jordan Rendel, Dirk de Waal and Elijah Vilio each score one goal.
Dane Feeney, Grant Iles, Jack Mills and Derek McPhail responded for the Saints as Silas Matthys stopped 20 of 24 shots in the Spartans net.
The Spartans are on the road this weekend with games in Victoria and Nanaimo on Feb. 23 and 2, respectively.