LANGLEY, B.C. – The Trinity Western men's hockey team is set to face off against ¬the Vancouver Island University Mariners this weekend in the BCIHL final, with the Spartans taking aim at their second straight league title.
The best-of-three championship series has the Spartans host the duration of the series, with Game 1 and Game 3 (if necessary) being played at the Langley Events Centre and Game 2 at the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre.
Thursday, Mar 15th vs. Vancouver Island University – 7 p.m. (PT)
Friday, Mar 15th vs. Vancouver Island University – 7 p.m. (PT)
Saturday, Mar 16th vs. Vancouver Island University – 7 p.m. (PT) (if necessary)
THE WEEKEND STORY
• TWU will enter the weekend set to compete in the BCIHL championship series for the fourth year in a row, having lost against Selkirk in 2015-16 and Victoria in 2016-17 before the Spartans won their first-ever BCIHL championship in 2017-18 with a series sweep of Selkirk College.
• The Spartans finished the BCIHL regular season in first place after posting an 18-5-0-1 record.
• TWU is coming off a first-round sweep of Simon Fraser (W 6-3) (W 5-2).
• VIU finished the regular season third in the BCIHL standings (12-10-0-2).
• The Mariners will be playing in just the third playoff series in team history and their first BCIHL championship, after sweeping Selkirk in the semifinals (W 6-1) (W 3-2).
• VIU's win over Selkirk in Castlegar, B.C. marked the first time the Saints had ever lost a playoff series on home ice.
• The Spartans were a perfect 6-0 against the Mariners in the regular season, winning four times in regulation and twice in overtime.
• TWU is 9-1-0-1 all-time against VIU, who entered the league in 2017.
• VIU's last win over TWU came on February 24th, 2018 (6-5 OT).
• This is the first playoff meeting between the two teams.
• TWU's offence look to the likes of Jarrett Fontaine (Humboldt, Sask.) to lead the way was the Spartans sniper scored 14 goals and added 14 assists in 24 games in the regular season.
• Mariners leading scorer Brett Witala (14 goals, 18 assists) leads the charge for VIU, who boasted the league's second best offence (96 goals) in the regular season. TWU's 99 goals led the way.
• TWU goaltender Lucas Mills (Burnaby, B.C.) will backstop the Spartans after being named the 2018-19 BCIHL Goaltender of the Year.
• Mariner's goalie Matt Huber is expected to start for VIU, after he was recently named the BCIHL's ANYTHING BRANDED Player of the Week this past weekend after making 59 saves in the Mariners' series win over Selkirk.
• The last team to win back-to-back championships was the Selkirk Saints, winning four titles in a row from 2012-13 to 2015-16.
SPARTANS HEAD-TO-HEAD IN 2018-19
vs. Vancouver Island University (6-0)
Oct. 5 vs. Vancouver Island University | W (3-2 OT)
Oct. 6 vs. Vancouver Island University | W (6-5)
Nov. 24 @ Vancouver Island University | W (3-2)
Jan. 11 vs. Vancouver Island University | W (3-2 OT)
Jan. 12 vs. Vancouver Island University | W (4-0)
Feb. 16 @ Vancouver Island University | W (3-2)
TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (18-5-0-1)
BCIHL Standings: 1st
Last Weekend: vs. SFU (W 6-3) (W 5-2)
Streak: 3 wins
Recent Form: W-L-W-W-W
VANCOUVER ISLAND MARINERS (12-10-0-2)
BCIHL Standings: 3rd
Last Weekend: @ Selkirk (W 6-1) (W 3-2)
Streak: 2 wins
Recent Form: L-L-L-W-W