LANGLEY, B.C. – The Trinity Western Spartans men's hockey team rode four third period goals to a 7-6 win against the visiting Selkirk College Saints Friday night at the Langley Events Centre.
Spartans rookie defenceman Travis Verveda (Alix, Alta.) led the way for the Spartans with two goals and two assists. Jarett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) also potted two goals, while Brayden Brown (Calgary), Juliun Uhryniuk (Winnipeg) and Logan Casavant (Melfort, Sask.) rounded out the scoring for TWU.
Devin Nemes and Jackson Bruce-Fuoco both scored two goals for the visiting Saints, while Chris Breese and Tayden Woods also scored for Selkirk.
The win pushes the first-place Spartans to 14-4-0-1, while the loss drops the Saints, who beat TWU 3-2 in Thursday's series-opener to 10-6-0-4.
Woods opened the scoring midway through the first period for Selkirk, beating Spartans goaltender Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.). Brown tied the game up for TWU at 1-1 with his second goal in as many games later in the period.
From there it was a back and forth affair, with the teams trading goals throughout the game.
Trailing 4-3 going into the third period, TWU's Casavant tied the game up 4-4. Verveda then followed with his second goal of the night 52 seconds later at 8:52 of the final frame.
Uhryniuk's goal with 8:13 left in the third period put TWU ahead 6-4 and gave the Spartans a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Nemes and Fontaine traded goals late in the game before Nemes tallied again with 2:09 remaining to cut TWU's lead to 7-6.
Despite a late push from Selkirk, the Spartans held on to snap a two-game losing skid and earn their first win since a Jan. 12th victory over Vancouver Island University.
TWU goaltender Lucas Mills made 24 saves to pick up his league leading 12th win of the year, while Selkirk goaltender Tallon Kramer made 28 saves in the loss.
Barret Kropf – TWU Head Coach
"It was funny, because last night we didn't get any puck luck – if there is such a thing – and tonight the vault got broke open for both teams. Pucks were bouncing in off anything and everything. I felt bad for both goaltenders because I thought they played quite well, but the 7-6 scoreline wouldn't suggest that. Honestly, pucks were going in off everything. It's that old adage, you put pucks on net and you never know what's going to happen.
"But I thought our guys played a really good game tonight. I thought we cleaned things up from last night and I thought we didn't lose our focus at all tonight. The mindset on the bench was great and we didn't get flustered.
"On the backend, Verveda had a rock star night and was really effective at both ends of the night. And then, you can't say enough about Fontaine. He continues to be the guy who goes and goes and leads others around him."
• Prior to Friday's game, the Spartans honoured graduating senior athletes Deryk Kirchner (Sherwood Park, Alta.), Kaleb Denham (Innisfail, Alta.), Jacob Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) and Florian Niedermaier (Davos, Switzerland).
• TWU finished the game 0 for 6 on the powerplay, while Selkirk finished 2 for 8.
• With the win, TWU's record against Selkirk improves to 4-2 this season.
• Fontaine now leads the BCIHL in goals with 14.
• After his 4-point effort, Verveda is now the BCIHL points leader amongst rookie defenceman (16).
The Spartans now enjoy a bye week and are next in action Jan. 15 and 16, when they travel to play Victoria and VIU.