VICTORIA, B.C. – The Trinity Western Spartans dominated the second half of the game as they cruised to an 8-1 victory over the Victoria Vikes to open the BCIHL semi-final Friday night in Victoria.
The two teams were even for the majority of the first 40 minutes of play, with the score tied at 0-0 with less than three minutes remaining in the second period.
Then at the 2:27 TWU's Florian Niedermaier opened the scoring on a power play. The goal would open the flood gates as TWU's Dirk de Waal converted at 18:43 and then with 11 seconds remaining the Spartan Evan Last made it a 3-0 game heading into the final period.
The Spartans offence continued to roll in the third period. TWU's Jarrett Fontaine made it 4-0 at 3:35. Victoria's Thierry Martin gave the Vikes a brief spark with a goal at 4:22, but that was the highlight of the night for the Vikes.
TWU controlled the remainder of the game. Jordan Rendle made it 5-1 at 8:02. Karsten Seidel made it 6-1 at 10:56. Florian Niedermaier got his second power play goal of the evening at 13:35, before Brayden Brown closed out the scoring with 42 seconds remaining to make the final 8-1 for the Spartans.
TWU's Silas Matthys made 19 saves in the win, including a penalty shot midway through the third period. Victoria's Alec Dillon made 32 saves in the loss.
Head Coach Barret Kropf
"There were a couple of plays in the third that were the TSN turning point for us. They got a penalty shot, but Silas was able to make a confident stop on it and right after that we got another goal to widen the gap.
Our guys were really responsive in the defensive zone, especially on the smaller ice surface in Victoria. Victoria is a hard working team and our guys were able to match their work ethic and energy. We remained really focused in our D zone coverage and were able to take away Victoria's time and space.
Offensively we had a number of big nights. It was a good effort for our first play-off game. We will now hit the reset button and look forward to putting together another 60-minute effort tomorrow night at George Preston."
- TWU finished the season with a program best 43 points (21-3-0-1), while Victoria finished in four place at 8-15-0-2.
- The Spartans finished the season 5-0 over the Vikes, outscoring Victoria 30-11 in the process.
- Last season TWU defeated Victoria 5-0 in the opening game of the BCIHL championship before losing the final two games of the best of three series at home to the Vikes.
The Spartans will now host the Vikes in game two of the best of three semi-final series. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the George Preston Arena in Langley, B.C.