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Spartans shock Clan in game one
Strong goaltending and opportunistic scoring can take a team a long way in the post-season.
And that is what the Trinity Western Spartans received in game one of their best-of-three B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League series on Thursday (March 6) night at the Langley Events Centre.
JP Villeneuve scored twice and Silas Matthys stopped 40 shots in the Spartans' 3-2 victory over the SFU Clan.
Grange Gordon scored the decisive goal 4:12 into the third period with the score tied at two.
"The guys have confidence now that if we play solid in front and limit them to perimeter shots, we have a chance," said Trinity Western coach Barret Kropf.
Kropf said that unlike at the start of the season, he knows his players have bought in to what has to be done because they are now willing to block shots.
"We challenged our guys to be smart," he said. "SFU has lots of talent up front and for the most part we were able to take away any of their chances in the middle of the ice and just kept them to the outside."
Villeneuve scored twice in the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit, but the Clan tied it up with 18 seconds to go before intermission.
The Clan out-shot the Spartans 43-18.
SFU (19-3-0-2, 40 points) finished second during the regular season, 19 points ahead of third-place Trinity Western (10-13-0-1, 21 points).
Game two of the series is Friday (March 7) at Burnaby's Bill Copeland Arena.
If necessary, game three would be on March 9, also in Burnaby.