TWU Hockey: Spartans salvage single point from weekend doubleheader

Trinity Western hockey team ties, loses to first place Simon Fraser University Clan

Trinity Western Spartans goalie Tim Zwiers made 39 saves in a 3-3 tie against the SFU Clan at the Langley Events Centre on Feb. 10.

Trinity Western Spartans goalie Tim Zwiers made 39 saves in a 3-3 tie against the SFU Clan at the Langley Events Centre on Feb. 10.

Despite being outshot 42-17, the Trinity Western Spartans managed a 3-3 tie against the first-place Simon Fraser Clan.

The two B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League rivals squared off on Friday at the Langley Events Centre.

The Spartans led 3-1 midway through the second, but the Clan scored twice to earn a point.

Trinity Western goalie Tim Zwiers made 39 saves, including 20 in the third period alone.

Brandon Long, last week’s BCIHL player of the week, scored for the third straight game, with six goals in that span.

Chris Harano and Trevor Beaupre had the other goals.

“The guys executed,” said Spartans coach Dwayne Lowdermilk. “We talked about keeping them wide and making sure they would take less and less shots through the middle and we did that. They did get 42 shots but the boys played and executed perfectly.

“It’s about heart. When everyone pitches in and does the job, you can get it done. And our goaltending tonight was phenomenal.”

After going through much of the first period scoreless, Long broke the deadlock with 1:42 left in the period when he was sprung in alone, after receiving a pass from Sam Gemmell, and beat SFU goalie Gordon with a quick wrister for his 13th goal of the season. Tristano Falbo was credited with the second assist.

Then, 35 seconds later, Trinity Western doubled its lead when Chris Hirano notched his first goal as a Spartan, picking a corner from in tight on a bit of a scrambled play. With an assist on the play, Doug Gordon picked up his first point with the Spartans.

Trinity Western held on to its two-goal advantage until SFU’s Bevin Ollek, with assists to Taylor Piller and Colton Graf, cut the Spartans lead in half at the 9:15 mark of the middle stanza.

The Spartans responded less than three minutes later when Trevor Beaupre got Trinity Western’s third of the night. Beaupre raced down the left wing and ripped a long shot on target that seemed to baffle SFU’s goalie Gordon as it squeaked through his legs and sat on top of the crease wide open for a split second before Beaupre roared in and banged his own rebound into the net.

Despite being outshot 21-13 in the waning stages of the second, it looked like the Spartans were going to take a two-goal lead into the intermission. But with 22 seconds left in the period Derek Henderson scored for SFU, with assists to Trent Murdoch and Adam Chapman, which gave the visitors momentum and just a one-goal deficit to erase heading into the final period.

And just 1:08 into the third, Van Lare tied the game as he jumped on a puck in the crease and beat Zwiers low and to the glove side. Simon Fraser kept pressing for the bulk of the third period but ultimately couldn’t beat Zwiers.

The best chance for SFU came when Kyle Leung nearly converted a two-on-one break when he received a cross crease pass in tight but was stymied by the left pad of Zwiers.

The Spartans best chance of the period came off the stick of Gemmell. On a two-on-one with Long, Gemmell received a pass in the slot with plenty of time but put his shot just over the crossbar.

The teams completed the home-and-home series on Saturday with the Clan scoring a decisive 8-3 victory.

The win improved them to 15-1-5 while the Spartans fell to 4-11-4.

Josh Stephenson had a pair while Beaupre had the other.

“The guys played hard tonight, we just ran out of gas,” Lowdermilk said.