Had the Trinity Western Spartans given the same effort in game one as they did in game two, then perhaps the championship series would have been extended to a third and deciding game.
The Spartans lost the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League championship series two games to none to the Selkirk Saints over the weekend.
The best-of-three series was played at the Castlegar Recreation Centre.
Trinity Western lost game one 5-1 and game two 2-1.
“Tonight was the effort that we expect from our guys,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf.
“If we were to have played (at) the same level of intensity and discipline last night, I think it would have been a different situation.”
“You hate to lose, but if you are going to lose, I’m glad we went down swinging in terms of our effort,” he added.
“The guys put their best foot forward tonight.”
The Saints won the BCIHL title for a fourth straight year. They beat the Spartans for the championship in 2014 and then last year, Trinity Western was the top seed but bowed out in the semifinals to the fourth-seed SFU Clan.
“It is tough. We have been at this championship from a number of different angles, as favourites, as underdogs a couple of times,” Kropf said.
“To somehow not be able to be holding a championship is very disappointing for the guys.”
In game one, the score was tied at one after 20 minutes but Selkirk took advantage of Trinity Western penalty troubles to score three goals with the man advantage in the middle stanza on their way to the 5-1 victory.
They outshot the Spartans 43-24.
Silas Matthys made 38 saves in the loss and followed that up with a 30-save performance in game two.
Jamey Kreller had the lone Spartan goal in the first game, taking a breakaway feed from Mattias Schmitt to go in all alone on the Saints goalie.
After a scoreless opening period in game two, the Saints’ Alex Milligan struck on the power play for a 1-0 lead heading into the final 20 minutes.
But Dirk de Waal took a pass from Kreller and perfectly placed a shot over the goaltender’s shoulder to tie the game at 4:11 of the third period.
Selkirk’s Ryan Edwards notched the winner about five minutes later.
The Spartans outshot the Saints 14-6 in that final period, but could not notch the equalizer.