Spartans split with league-leading Clan

Trinity Western Spartans Trevor Beaupre (right) tries to move the puck past the check of SFU captain Tyler Mah during the Clan
Trinity Western Spartans Trevor Beaupre (right) tries to move the puck past the check of SFU captain Tyler Mah during the Clan's 6-2 win on Jan. 31 at the Langley Events Centre.
— image credit: Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics

The Trinity Western Spartans split a home-and-home series with the SFU Clan with both teams winning on their opponents' home ice.

The Clan won 6-2 on Jan. 31 at the Langley Events Centre before Trinity Western prevailed 4-3 in a shootout the next night at Burnaby's Bill Copeland Arena.

The loss was just the third all season for SFU, which leads the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League with a 16-2-0-1 record.

The Spartans improved to 9-10-0-0 and their 18 points have them tied with the Thompson Rivers WolfPack for third place.

The WolfPack were forced to forfeit a pair of victories — including one against Trinity Western — for using an ineligible player.

"It was a great effort from the boys," said Trinity Western coach Barret Kropf.

"Silas (Matthys) stood on his head and our penalty kill unit was dynamite.

"The guys bought into the system that might be described as boring hockey and it worked.

"They battled hard and despite playing with four forwards on defence, we got the two points."

This was the third straight Spartan victory that came in overtime or the shootout and they also improved to 4-0 in the shootout this season.

The team was up 3-2 late in regulation but SFU scored the equalizer with 63 seconds to play.

But in the shootout, both Cody Stephenson and Jamie Russell scored on their attempts while Matthys stopped both SFU shooters.

JP Villeneuve, with a pair, and Riley Schmidt had the Spartan goals in regulation.

Heading into this game, the Clan had outscored Trinity Western by a combined score of 25-6 in their four previous meetings.

Russell and Andrew Wheeler had the goals in the 6-2 loss the night before while Harry Fredeman stopped 43 shots in a losing cause.

The difference in the game was that one team buried its chances and the other didn't, said Kropf.

The Spartans are next in action with a pair of road games Feb. 14 and 15 against the Selkirk Saints and the Eastern Washington Eagles.

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