LANGLEY, B.C. – Despite a late third period push, the Trinity Western men's hockey team dropped its first game of a two-game homestand against the Selkirk College Saints on Friday night, falling short 3-2 at the Langley Events Centre.
The loss drops the first-place Spartans to 13-4-0-1, while the win pushes the Saints to 10-5-0-4, who are now in a tie with Vancouver Island for second place in the BCIHL.
Sawyer Hunt tallied twice for Selkirk, while Edward Lindsay tallied the game-winning goal in the third period. Dustin Deugau (Calgary) and Brayden Brown (Calgary), who returned to TWU's lineup for the first time since sustaining an injury Dec. 7, scored for TWU.
For the Spartans, the loss is their second straight, marking the first time TWU has lost back-to-back regular season games in nearly two years. The last time the Spartans dropped two in a row in the regular season was in 2016-17 when the lost three straight from Jan. 21 to Feb. 4.
Rookie forward Hunt scored the first goal of the game to put the Saints on the board at 11:38 of the first period. Hunt then added a second goal to his name on the power play with 1:25 to go in the period, deflecting a shot by teammate Edward Lindsay to make it 2-0.
The Spartans got on the board in the second period, cutting Selkirk's lead in half at 2-1, when defenceman Dustin Deugau (Calgary) scored on a breakaway after coming right out of the penalty box.
The Saints struck again in the third period, as Lindsay fired his league-leading 12th goal of the season five-hole on Spartans goalie Allistair Duncan (Abbotsford, B.C.).
The Spartans inched closer with 1:00 remaining in the third after Brown scored on the power play for his ninth goal in 13 games.
Despite TWU pulling Duncan in the final minute, Selkirk held on for a 3-2 victory.
Duncan made 18 saves, while Selkirk goaltender Patrik Zubick made 31 saves to earn the win.
Barret Kropf – TWU Head Coach
"We had a really young lineup in tonight, so it was good for our guys to compete at that level of intensity. Selkirk brought their 'A' game. They knew that the last time they were in our rink, they didn't have their best performance, so we knew they'd come out flying.
"Before we get down to crunch time and with playoffs nearing, we wanted to give some of our young guys some ice time and game opportunities. I'm glad it was a really intense game in terms of back and forth. I thought overall it was a good game. We'll be able to bounce back and learn some different things. It'll be key for our guys to mentally park these two losses in a row and not let it compound and just find ways to keep improving."
• TWU finished 1 for 6 on the powerplay (16.7%), while Selkirk finished 1 for 10 (10%).
• With the loss, TWU's record against Selkirk drops to 3-2 on the season.
• These two teams last met Jan. 4th in Langley, when TWU picked up a 9-4 win.
The Spartans and Saints will play again Friday at 7:30 p.m. (PT) at the Langley Events Centre. The game can be seen live on HockeyTV.com.