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Spartans vying for first BCIHL championship

TWU will be up against underdog Victoria in a best-of-three series this weekend.
The Trinity Western University Spartans men's hockey team hope to celebrate a BCIHL championship this weekend.

The Trinity Western University men’s hockey team has been to the BCIHL championship series twice before, but the Spartans have never won it all.

This year, TWU is the top seed in the series for the first time ever and will be looking to make program history by winning its first league championship.

They’ll be up against the Victoria Vikes, who, despite their 9-14-1 record, qualified for the finals with an upset sweep of Simon Fraser, who finished in first place in the BCIHL standings.

TWU earned a spot in the finals with a sweep of four-time defending champion Selkirk. The Spartans outscored the Saints 10-2 in their semifinal sweep.

Weekend Preview

Game 1 – Friday, Mar. 17 at Victoria (9-14-1) – 7:30 p.m. (Ian Stewart Complex)

Game 2 – Saturday, Mar. 18 vs. Victoria (9-14-1) – 7 p.m. (George Preston Recreation Centre)

Game 3 – Monday. 20 vs. Victoria (9-14-1) – TBA (Langley Events Centre) (if necessary)

TWU is playing in its third BCIHL championship series in the last four years.

However, the Spartans are 0-4 in championship games, having been swept by Selkirk in both 2013-14 and 2015-16.

When TWU host Victoria in game two, it will mark the first time the Spartans have ever hosted a championship series game.

This is the first time Victoria has played in the BCIHL finals since the league went to a best-of-three championship series format for the 2012-13 season.

The Vikes won the last BCIHL championship that was played in a one-weekend tournament format in 2011-12. Victoria also won the league title in 2006-07 and 2008-09.

The Spartans and Vikes have never played each other in a BCIHL playoff series.

TWU had the upper hand in the season series, gong 4-1-1 against Victoria this year.

Leading TWU into the weekend are BCIHL Rookie of the Year Evan Last, and three players named to the BCIHL’s all-star teams, with Last selected for the First All-Star Team and Stefan Gonzales and Silas Matthys named to the Second All-Star Team.

The Vikes will be led by Kyle Bird, who was named the BCIHL’s Defenceman of the Year and the league’s Most Sportsmanlike Player, Luciano Somerville.

Meanwhile, Victoria’s Shawn Mueller and Bird were named to the BCIHL’s First All-Star Team, while Patrick Holland was named to the BCIHL’s Second All-Star Team.

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