Two minutes proved to be the difference as the Trinity Western Spartans lost 6-3 to the visiting Selkirk Saints in BCIHL action Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.
The loss drops the Spartans to 13-8-0-2, while the win moves the first place Saints to 16-4-0-3. With the loss TWU (28 points) is locked into third place in the BCIHL, while Selkirk (35 points) places in top spot and Simon Fraser (32 points) finishes in second place.
The Saints scored three goals in first two minutes of the third period to come from behind to defeat the Spartans. Despite being outshot 32-17 TWU had the edge on the scoreboard, 3-2, heading into the final period.
But the opening two minutes of the final period were all the Saints needed to get the victory.
“You have to put a 60 minute effort in and we only played for 57 minutes tonight,” commented TWU head coach Barret Kropf.
“I thought we did a good job for 40 minutes and then we came out in the third period and they came out flying and we didn’t. It is not like it is a rarity for Selkirk to work hard.
They are a hard working team and we just were not ready for that. A couple of gratuitous bounces and the next thing you know we are down two goals. And we just didn’t generate enough shots to come back. We had a lot of the tempo and flow in the first period, but we just couldn’t carry it on.”
“We are banged up and have guys playing out of position and are trying to make adjustments. But we have a couple of weeks before play-offs to get guys healthy and get a bit of momentum next week at Victoria.”
Kaleb Denham, Jamie Russell and Dirk de Waal had the TWU goals.
The Spartans close the regular season on March 4 when they host Victoria at the George Preston Recreation Centre.
TWU opens the playoffs as the third-seed and will play SFU.