NANAIMO, B.C. – Trinity Western's men's hockey team clinched first place in the BCIHL regular season standings for the second year in a row after beating Vancouver Island University 3-2 Saturday at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
With the win, the defending BCIHL-champion Spartans (16-4-0-1) earned back-to-back 3-2 victories on their trip to Vancouver Island, having knocked off Victoria Friday by an identical scoreline. With three games remaining on the Spartans schedule, TWU has ensured home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
TWU goalie Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) made 40 saves to earn the win.
Gavin Rauser and Ryan Coghlan tallied for VIU, while the Mariners Matt Huber stopped 28 of the 31 shots he faced.
TWU was 1 for 2 on the power play, while VIU scored both of its goals with the man-advantage, going 2 for 5.
Last opened the scoring with 1:49 left in the first period, only to see Rauser tie it up with nine seconds remaining in the frame.
Second period goals from Bogress, at 5:32, and Fontaine, on the power play at 18:42, gave the Spartans a 3-1 lead through 40 minutes.
VIU outshot TWU 18-10 in the third period, but the Mariners were only able to get one goal back, with Coghlan scoring at 3:54. From there, the Spartans hung on for their third straight win.
Barret Kropf – TWU Head Coach
"The guys worked really hard to get this regular season locked down. It was our goal to make sure we took care of these two games and continue to work on the little things. I thought the guys battled really hard. Lucas Mills and Dylan Sakatch (Calgary) were particularly impressive. Mills made some big stops and Dylan was able to come out with lots of energy and he made some big plays, making sure pucks got out of the zone and blocking shots."
• The Spartans went 6-0 this season against VIU, as the Mariners were the only team not to earn a win against TWU.
• TWU has now earned the regular season title in three of the last five years, including 2014-15 and 2017-18.
The Spartans will play a rare matinee as they are at Simon Fraser on Monday at 3 p.m.
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.