Florian Neidermaier’s overtime winner helped the Trinity Western Spartans earn all four points in a big first-place showdown with the Selkirk Saints.
Trailing 2-1, Brayden Brown forced overtime with 4:59 on Saturday at the Castlegar Recreation centre, setting the stages for Neidermaier’s heroics as TWU had the only five shots of the extra period.
TWU also prevailed 4-3 the night before and the Spartans have won nine straight games, improving to 14-3-0-0 and extending their lead over the Saints (11-3-0-2) to four points for top spot in the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League.
“It’s a really tough barn to win hockey games in at any time of year, but especially in the second half. To come in here and grab these four points, our guys played two great games,” said Spartans coach Barret Kropf.
“Tonight we did a lot of really good things. We were really responsible in our own zone and we kept chipping away.”
While it was the top line which forced overtime, the coach said the whole roster was a factor, especially the team speed which created several opportunities.
TWU’s Dustin Deagua had opened the scoring late in the first but Selkirk’s Dallas Calvin and Grant Iles gave the home side a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Silas Matthys made 33 saves in the TWU net for the win on Saturday and that came on the heels of a 44-save performance the night before.
All three Selkirk goals — Derek McPhail, Dallas Calvin and Logan Styler — came on the power play.
Evan Last, who had a goal and an assist, Jordan Rendle, Neidermaier and Brown had the TWU goals. Jarret Fontaine finished with a pair of assists.
TWU is back in action with a pair of home games this week at the Langley Events Centre, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.