ST. PAUL, Minn. – Trinity Western's Brandon Potomak (Aldergrove, B.C.) scored the overtime winner to lift the Spartans to a 2-1 win over NCAA Div. III Hamline University Friday at TRIA Rink. With the win, TWU became the first BCIHL team to ever beat an NCAA opponent.
The Spartans Spencer Gerth (Langley, B.C.) tied the game late in the second period before Potomak tallied the game-winner at 2:38 of the extra session.
Mitch Bentfield scored the first unofficial goal of the season for the Hamline men's hockey team.
The Spartans will now travel to play NCAA Div. I University of Minnesota Saturday. Puck drop is at 5 p.m. (PT).
Bentfield, a sophomore, opened the scoring when he took a pass from Mitch McPherson, cut between two defenders and deposited the puck in the net 11:50 into the game. The Spartans attacked often in the first period with a 14-8 edge in shots but sharp work by goalie Evan Robert foiled the visitors. Robert collected 21 saves before replaced by Sam Nelson midway through the game.
At the other end of the ice, TWU's Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) made 26 saves to earn the win for the Spartans.
In the second period, Gerth tied the game at less than five minutes into the second period, ultimately tallying the marker to force overtime.
The third period was tight, with each team taking eight shots to no avail. The Pipers had one chance in the extra period but the Spartans stopped them and then scored themselves at 2:38 to claim the win.
The Spartans have now won four straight games, including their final preseason contest and their first three regular season games.
Head Coach Barret Kropf
"The first 20 minutes was typical of a team flying across the country and having some jet lag. We didn't get in until 2 a.m. last night and I think we saw a bit of that in the early going. But then we really had a great reset and carried the play in the second and third periods. Credit to Hamline because that's a hard-working hockey team and they were relentless in their forecheck and it was good for us to learn how to move pucks with speed and make adjustments on the fly. Junior (Mills) was able to make some key saves at critical moments. It was nice for our guys to battle through the adversity and find a way to come together and get a nice road win."
Recognized for quality, TWU has received seven consecutive A+ rankings for Quality of Teaching and Learning, holds three Canada Research Chairs, and wins national championships in CIS sports. More importantly, lives are changed at TWU through its whole-person, Christ-centred approach to education. With a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree-completion programs, TWU equips leaders of character and competence to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
About Spartan Athletics
As official members of U SPORTS, the Spartans currently compete in 10 sports in the Canada West conference, including women's and men's soccer, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track & field. TWU also competes in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) in men's hockey. Since TWU entered U SPORTS in 1999, the Spartans have won 11 U SPORTS team championships and 25 Canada West team championships.