Trinity Western University played against a team visiting from Kazakhstan on Thursday evening. (TWU photo)

Kazakhstan’s U20 team takes 4-3 win over Lower Mainland university squad

Thursday night’s game is one of three the visitors are playing at the Langley Events Centre.

  • Dec. 14, 2018 10:20 a.m.

Trinity Western’s men’s hockey team lost in overtime to the Kazakhstan National Junior Team, with the visitors Samat Daniyar scoring on a penalty shot in the extra session to give the Kazakhs a 4-3 win Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.

“I’m excited that our guys got an opportunity to play against an international opponent,” said TWU coach Barret Kropf. “Anytime you play in a game like this, there’s a lot of feeling each other out in terms of how physical it was going to be and the pace of play. I think once we got rolling a bit and figured out a bit more about how they were playing, we got into more of a rhythm. With some of our key players out for this game, some of our young guys got a chance to step up and get some bigger minutes.”

Daniyar, who also scored a goal early in the third period, was tripped up on a breakaway just 38 seconds into overtime and converted the penalty shot, deking to his left and roofing the puck past TWU’s Josh Lund, from Fulshear, Tex.

Trailing 3-1 in the third period, the Spartans forced overtime with power play goals from both Elijah Vilio, from Aldergrove and Humboldt native Jarrett Fontaine, who also scored a second-period marker, but were unable to complete the comeback.

Kazakhstan’s Sayan Daniyer and Davyd Makutskiy scored the visitors’ other two goals.

TWU’s Lucas Mills made 18 saves in the first two periods before Lund, who came in for the third period and overtime, made 10 saves on 12 shots. Kazakhstan goalie Denis Karatayev stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced.

Spartans blueliner Jacob Mills assisted on all three goals, while Jordan Bogress had two assists on the night.

Sayan Daniyar also had two assists to go with his goal.

Kazakhstan outshot TWU 32-30.

Kazakhstan opened the scoring at 6:49 of the first period, with Artur Gatiyatov sending a quick feed into the slot from behind the net and Sayan Daniyar made no mistake, snapping the puck upstairs.

The teams finished the opening period with 11 shots apiece.

Fontaine tied the game at 7:32 of the second period when he took a cross-ice pass from Jordan Bogress and tapped the puck home from inside the Kazakhstan crease.

TWU had a chance to go up a goal when Ivan Vereshagin, who dressed for the Spartans alongside teammates Batyrlan Muratov and Aidos Zhorabek, was sent in on a breakaway, but the Kazakh forward was stopped by Karatayev.

However, Makutskiy restored Kazakhstan’s lead at 14:51 of the middle frame, when he found a bouncing puck just below the right dot and whipped a shot past Mills.

Shortly after Kazakhstan went ahead, Mills came up with a highlight reel save, throwing up a double-pad stack to keep the game at 2-1.

Early in the third period, Samat Daniyar scored to give Kazakhstan a 3-1 lead, but TWU battled back with a pair of power play goals at 8:43 and 12:18 of the third period.

“For my guys, they’re coming to the end of exam time and you could tell that before they game they were mentally and physically tired,” Kropf said. “So, we asked them to just find ways to improve each shift even though they were tired and I think we saw that tonight.”

· Kazakhstan beat Victoria 6-2 on Tuesday night in the opening game of the College Hockey Showcase.

· Samat Daniyar has three goals and three assists in two games in the showcase, while Sayan Daniyar now has two goals and two assists in two games.

· Kazakhstan also won an unofficial post-game shootout, scoring twice on five attempts, while TWU’s Bogress was the only Spartan to score on their five opportunities.

· TWU finished the fall semester with a 10-1-0-1 record in BCIHL action.

Stars align

Five TWU Spartans will be part of the BCIHL Young Stars roster that will face Kazakhstan on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre. The TWU contingent includes forwards Spencer Gerth, of Langley, and Jordan Bogress, Delta, defencemen Elijah Vilio, Surrey, Abbotsford’s Evan Cusmano, and goalie Lucas Mills, Burnaby.

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Trinity Western University played against a team visiting from Kazakhstan on Thursday evening. (TWU photo)

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