LANGLEY, B.C. – Despite outshooting Vancouver Island University 43-26, the Spartans men's hockey team lost 2-1 in its home-opener Friday at the Langley Events Centre.
After TWU's Brayden Brown (Calgary) evened the game midway through the second period with his first regular season goal as a Spartan, the Mariners responded with a shorthanded marker late in the middle frame, which stood up as the game-winner.
TWU (2-1) put 23 shots on net in the third period, but were unable to beat VIU's Carson Schamerhorn, who led the Mariners (1-1) to their first win since joining the BCIHL this year.
The Mariners Garrett Dunlop had both goals for the visitors.
Dunlop opened the scoring, tapping in a rebound from close range at 8:36 of the second period.
However, 30 seconds later, Brown converted on a two-on-one, burying a feed from Evan Last (Surrey, B.C.) to tie the game.
Late in the second period, the Spartans were on a four-minute power play after a spearing penalty sent Ryan Coghlan to the box, but it was VIU finding the offence, with Dunlop potting the game-winner.
The third period was all Spartans, but Schamerhorn was up to the task holding the home side at bay and earning the win.
Head Coach Barret Kropf
"If I was a first-year team on their first road trip, I'd be pretty happy with the win VIU got tonight. It's unfortunate that it came at our expense, but they played a great road game. In the first period, we spotted them 20 minutes of effort. We didn't push them to the pace that we did in the second and third periods. If we're going to be a team that has this great ability to be in the gym and have a high fitness level, we have to play a full 60 minutes.
"Overall, there were a few guys who played really well tonight. We saw some good things from Dustin Deugau (Calgary) and Joseph Sylvain (Girouxville, Alta.). I really liked the way they played tonight. Their effort was high, but at the end of the day we didn't get the win.
"That win tonight proves the parity in our league and that there are no tap-ins. We need to find a way to regroup and get the guys dialed in this week."
• TWU was coming off a 5-1 win over VIU last Saturday in Nanaimo, B.C.
• Friday's game was the first time TWU had played at the LEC since losing in the deciding Game 3 of last year's BCIHL championship series.
• TWU was 0 for 8 on the power play, while VIU was 0 for 5.
The Spartans are back on the ice Oct. 20 when they host Victoria at 7 p.m. at the LEC in a rematch of last year's BCIHL championship series.