BURNABY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western Spartans dropped a 3-1 decision to the Simon Fraser Clan Saturday night at Bill Copeland Arena in Burnaby, BC. The Clan win gives SFU top spot in the BCIHL, while the loss keeps the Spartans in second place. A regulation win by TWU would have given the Spartans first place in the BCIHL league play.
The Spartans will now open the BCIHL play-offs hosting the third place Selkirk Saints in a best of three semi-final. While Clan will play the Victoria Vikes in a home and away best of three series.
"Full credit to Simon Fraser, they came out with a great performance tonight. They played hard for 60 minutes. We were right there with them, but injuries have taken their toll, and our guys played with such courage tonight. I'm super proud of them," commented TWU head coach Barret Kropf. "We are not hanging our head tonight, it is a stepping-stone to the playoffs and hopefully we can put this in the learning bank and take some withdrawals from it as we head into the playoffs."
"We are still a banged up unit. We still have many guys that are giving us more then we could ever ask from them. Guys are playing above and beyond what we thought that they could give us in terms of their capacity. So it just sort of caught up to us tonight in terms of just not having enough gas in the tank to push through."
"It's never a fun thing to lose the last game of the regular season. But we have play-offs starting on Thursday and I think we are ready for the challenge ahead of us. We know we are going to be facing Selkirk and we have been to the finals twice in the last four years against them. So it is a rivalry much like we have with Simon Fraser."
Trinity Western's semi-final with Selkirk is scheduled for this Thursday-Saturday, March 9-11 at George Preston Arena in Langley, B.C. All games are scheduled for a 7 p.m. start, with Saturday's match-up taking place if the teams split the first two games of the best of three series.
The Clan outshot the Spartans, 31-18. SFU went 1-5 on the power play, while TWU went 1-1.
TWU's Silas Matthys made 28 saves in the loss, while SFU's Jordan Liem made 17 saves to record the win for the Clan.
The Spartans finish the season with a 16-6-0-2 record, while the Clan finish at 18-4-0-2.
SFU's Daniell Lange got the lone goal of the first period to put the Clan up 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.
After a scoreless second period, which TWU held off three power play opportunities from the SFU. The Clan got a quick goal to start the final period.
SFU's Darnell St. Pierre made it 2-0 for the Clan at the 1:44 mark of the third period. The Clan's Daniell Lange got the third marker of the night for SFU at 8:51.
TWU's lone goal came on their only power play opportunity of the night when fourth year defenseman Stefan Gonzales (Surrey, B.C.) scored at 10:29, with assists going to fourth year forward Brett Wur (St. Andrews, Man.) and first year forward Evan Last (Surrey, B.C.).
Game Notes: TWU, who usually play at the Langley Events Centre, are playing the first round of the play-offs because of scheduling conflicts with the BC Boys High School Basketball Provincial Championships…