LANGLEY, British Columbia – Fourth year net-minder Lucas Mills (Abbotsford, B.C.) made 20 saves to earn the record breaking shutout, while rookie forward Logan Casavant (Melfort, Sask.) scored twice to lead the Trinity Western Spartans to a 4-0 win over the visiting Vancouver Island Mariners in BCIHL action Saturday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C.
The win improves the first place Spartans to 13-2-0-1 (27 points), while the loss drops the second place Mariners to 9-6-0-2 (20 points).
The Mariners Matt Huber made 37 saves in the VIU loss.
After a scoreless first period, which saw TWU outshoot VIU 16-5, the Spartans got on the board early in the second period. TWU defenseman Kade Denham (Innisfail, B.C.) took a shot from just inside the blue-line to beat a screened Huber to make it 1-0 for the Spartans 48 seconds into the second period.
Spartans third year forward Spencer Roberts (Stouffville, Ont.) made it 2-0 for TWU at the 17:13 mark. Roberts deflected a pass from rookie forward Spencer Gerth (Langley, B.C.) on net and then took the rebound and tucked the puck past a helpless Huber. The Spartans would end the period with a slight 10-9 edge in shots.
TWU took control of the game in the third period, outshooting VIU 15-6, with three power-play opportunities. Midway the period Casavant got his first of the night. After controlling the play in the offensive end, Casavant floated to the open part of the net where he controlled the rebound off of third year defenseman's Kenny Batke's (Vernon, B.C.) point shot and put it into the back of the VIU net to give TWU a 3-0 lead at 9:26.
Casavant made the final 4-0 with a five on three power play goal less than two minutes later. Casavant banked a shot off of the Mariners defenseman to score the final goal of the game at 11:05 of the period.
TWU Head Coach Barret Kropf
On the teams defence this weekend
"We were a little sloppy in the second period with our defending, but I challenged the guys in the second intermission to be better in our own zone. We limited them to 20 shots and we have said all along that you build your offence off of good defence. So when you come up against a really good team like VIU it allows you to test out your coverage and defensive plays to determine who is really buying in and who is being effective."
"VIU is a team that has speed and strength and are a challenge. I'm really happy with the way we cemented our defence this weekend giving up only two goals. The way we play defence requires guys to buy-in and sacrifice and the guys were committed to that tonight and I'm really happy that we got that cemented."
On Lucas Mills setting shutout record
"I think for a number of years he has been under the tutelage of Silas Mathis, and watched one of the top goalies to come out of the league has helped him. Lucas knew that this year he would get his opportunity and he worked hard to prepare for it. His setting of the record is a credit to all the work that he has put in the offseason and during the year. He has a number of years left so he will likely improve on this mark."
- Mills now has six career shutouts. He was previously tied with SFU's Andrew Parent.
- Mills also leads the BCIHL career stats in Goals against Average with 1.76 and Save Percentage with 0.936.
- The Spartans finished the night with a 41-20 edge in shots on goal.
- TWU finished the night 1-5 on the power play, while VIU finished at 0-4.
- Tonight shut out was Mill's second of the season. The last came in a 3-0 home win over the SFU Clan on November 9.
The Spartans will now have a week off before their next game when TWU will take on SFU. The game will be played at Simon Fraser on Saturday, January 26. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Bill Copeland Arena.The game can be seen live on HockeyTV.com.