Spartans rally to earn point, but can't complete comeback
The Trinity Western men’s hockey team rallied from two goals down in the third period to force overtime but, in the extra session, it was Thompson Rivers scoring to snuff out the Spartans comeback and win 4-3 on Feb. 23 at the Kamloops Memorial Arena.
The Spartans were down 3-1 with 20 minutes to play but got a goal from Matt Ius midway through the final frame and then, with 23 seconds left to play, Mattias Schmitt knotted the score to send the contest to overtime.
However, less than two minutes into overtime, the Spartans found themselves shorthanded and TRU capitalized. The WolfPack’s Anthony Delong played hero, scoring 17 seconds into the power play to give TRU its 10th win of the season.
The loss drops TWU to 6-14-0-2 while the win improves TRU to 10-10-0-3.
Spartans goalie Harry Fredeman made 34 saves in the loss while WolfPack netminder Riley Wall stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced.
With two games left on the schedule, the Spartans now sit three points behind both Victoria and Eastern Washington, who are tied for the fourth and final playoff position. If the Spartans are to make the playoffs, they will need to win both games against Victoria Mar. 1-2 and hope Eastern Washington loses both of its games against Selkirk.
“It’s all about battles and we have to be able win the little battles for three periods in a row,” said Spartans coach Dwayne Lowdermilk.
“We stole a point by being ready to play and battling hard in the third period. Harry (Fredeman) stood on his head and Ius did well getting the puck to the net. The line of Schmitt, Trevor Beaupre and Matt Chaput just kept attacking and working non-stop.”
The Spartans outshot the WolfPack 16-12 in the first period but were down 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes. Trinity Western’s Ius opened the scoring 45 seconds into the game, but goals from TRU’s Rigby Burgart and Alessio Tomassetti gave the home side a one-goal edge.
In the second period, Tomassetti notched his second of the night at 15:30 to give TRU a 3-1 lead heading into the final frame.
But in the third period, the Spartans came roaring back. Despite being outshot 14-12, TWU scored the only two goals of the period – first by Ius on the power play and then a late one from Schmitt – to send the game beyond 60 minutes.
However, at 2:15 of overtime, Delong ended it with a goal that doused TWU’s hopes of completing its comeback.
Jake Horcoff had a pair of assists for the Spartans.