NIEDERMAIER SCORES SHOOTOUT WINNER AS SPARTANS BEAT SIMON FRASER

LANGLEY, British Columbia – Trinity Western's Florian Niedermaier (Davos, Switzerland) was the only shooter to score as he sent the Spartans to a 2-1 shootout win over Simon Fraser Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.

Deking to his left, the Swiss star sent a back hand offering upstairs past Clan netminder Jordan Liem to give TWU a victory in the first ever BCIHL shootout at the LEC.

In a battle between the top two teams in the BCIHL, the Spartans (11-3-0-1) inched within one point of the Clan (11-3-0-2) for top spot in the league standings.

After the first three shooters were stymied, Niedermaier broke the deadlock before TWU goalie Silas Matthys (Wollerau, Switzerland) stopped Mathew Berry-Lamontagna to earn the win.

SFU's Jesse Mysiorek scored for the Clan in the first period, before the Spartans Evan Last (Surrey, B.C.) equalized in the second period.

"When you're in a horse race with those guys, it's tough to give up the extra point but it's great to come up with the win," said Spartans coach Barret Kropf. "I thought we escaped the first period and Silas played remarkably well and allowed us to get out of the period only down one goal. I thought we took it to them in the second and third periods, but we just couldn't bury our chances.

"We have injuries that we're definitely struggling to work through, but they're in the same boat because they have injuries too. It's just going to be a grinder for the next eight weeks. With the parity in this league, whoever is the healthiest at the end of the year might have the best chance to win it all."

Matthys made 31 saves for TWU while Clan goalie Liem finished with 26 saves.

The Spartans are now 2-0 against SFU this year.

This is second time in as many games that TWU has gone to a shootout. Last Saturday, the Spartans lost to Victoria 2-1 in a shootout.

The Spartans penalty kill unit held the fort for TWU early on as it only allowed one goal on seven Clan opportunities.  

The Clan opened the scoring on the power play at 13:57 of the first period, when Mysiorek buried from atop the crease, converting a quick pass from Brendan Lamont.

In a penalty-filled opening frame – TWU was whistled for four penalties and the Clan for two – SFU outshot the Spartans 12-6.

Early in the second period and moments after the Spartans just had hit a pair of posts while shorthanded, the Spartans finally got a friendly bounce. Last dangled through the Clan defence, before snapping a quick shot in off the left post at 5:12 of the middle frame.

With the teams on even terms, the ice tilted slightly towards the Spartans, but neither team were able to convert their chances. Late in the third period SFU's Jaret Babych was inches from finding the winner as he whipped a shot that beat Matthys but rang off the post with just under 40 seconds left in the third.

In the extra session, a slashing penalty to SFU's Jayden Piattelli put the Spartans up a man, but the home side couldn't capitalize.

The Spartans and Clan play the back half of their home and home series Saturday at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre in Burnaby, B.C. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. (PT). Watch live at www.hockeytv.com or with the HockeyTV app on Apple TV.

Game Notes: TWU and SFU play each other four more times over the Spartans final nine games of the regular season…TWU is 8-19-1 all-time against SFU…the Spartans are 6-5 in its last 11 regular season games…the BCIHL adopted shootouts for the 2013-14 season.

-TW-

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