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TWU Titans

TWU Titans

The Trinity Western University Titans hockey club is a competitive ice hockey team competing in the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League. Today, the BCIHL included teams from Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, University of the Fraser Valley, and Selkirk College. The league is looking to expand for the 2008-2009 season, and may include teams from UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, and University of Northern British Columbia, in Prince George.

Early Years

Before the formation of the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL), the Titans were in a contact church hockey league (in the 1990s) with some big Vancouver, Surrey, and Abbotsford churches, along with Columbia Bible College. During this time, the Titans won several championships but were essentially a club team and the only Trinity Western University team. Later on, the Titans played in the Fraser Valley Contact Hockey League (FVCHL) with Athletes in Action, the Sabers (a Trinity Western University Alumni team), a team from Whiterock, Columbia Bible College (Abbotsford, British Columbia), the former hockey school in Langley, and a couple of other teams. The Titans won the regular season league championships in 2000 to 2002. As time whent on, and interest grew in intercollegiate play, the Titans began having intercollegiate tournaments with University of Northern British Columbia, The University College of the Cariboo (now Thompson Rivers University), and Selkirk College while still competeing in the FVCHL. In 2003, the FVCHL folded and the Titans began playing exhibition games with a mix of American and Canadian universities.

2006-Present

As more universities in British Columbia got involved and committed, the BCIHL became formally formed in 2006. The Titans have hosted BCIHL championships since 2003 and won titles in 2005 and 2006. After their last championship, the Titans saw a massive exodus of veterans. In fact, at the commence of the 2006-2007 season, the Titans only had six returning players (centremen Jordan Urness and Brett Simmonds, winger Joshua Schweitzer, defensemen Scott Robertson and Carl Ries, and goaltender Kevin Helps). As a result, the Titans have had a major youth movement in recent years, and have relied heavily on their young players over the course of the past few seasons.

Slovakia Missions Trip 2008

For the spring Reading Break in 2008, the Titans were overseas in Slovakia playing hockey and doing mission work with Athletes in Action.

On the trip, the Titans played five games against different Slovak Division II teams, most of which were stocked with junior and semi-professional players. These teams were highly skilled and boasted impressive skating and puck handling abilities. After each of their games, the Titans hosted the opposing team at a local restaurant and the Titan players shared their faith and spirituality and how Jesus Christ has worked within their lives. When the Titans were not on the ice, they were helping AIA Slovakia make connections with various groups and individuals.

In the first of their hockey games, the Titans were hosted by Bratislava Sport University, and eventually lost a very close game 4-2 at V. Dzurilla Winter Sports Stadium in Ružinov. They followed it up one night later with a 3-3 tie with ŽiarN.H.

It was not until their third game where the purpose of their trip started to evolve. Following an embarrassing 10-0 loss to Brezno, a game which had the hometown Brezno crowd of 500 chanting, “Brezno, Brezno!”, after the hometeam scored their tenth, the Titans thought long and hard about what they were going through. They did a lot of personal and team soul-searching and seemed to reclaim the purpose for the trip. The Titans began to very seriously integrate their faith with the hockey that they were playing. As a result, TWU discovered true team spirit, and won their next two games 6-3 at Lucenec and 7-4 the following evening at Levice.

Overall, TWU’s line of Brett Simmonds, Nathan Higgins from the NCAA’s Wayne State Warriors, and Josh MacKnee led the way for the Titans offensively. Of the 18 goals scored by the team, the line scored 70 per cent of them. Higgins and MacKnee scored six each, while Simmonds added one and many assists.

The action away from the rink saw the Titans help three different churches with their youth group ministries, as well as teach English in three different middle and high schools. The team also led worship at two different Slovak churches and played floor hockey and other sports with different groups. The team also toured Vienna, visited castles and historical sites, and made a brief stop at Esztergom, Hungary where the team visited the Esztergom Basilica – the third largest church in Europe.

Goaltender Evan Menzies, who finished the overseas tour with a team best goals against average of 2.50, reflected on the outcome of his team’s reading break: “The trip allowed us as a group to not only understand what love is, agape love, but to live it out to our teammates, and to the Slovak people. We learned that Christ’s love is truly cross cultural and universal.”

Championship Teams

  • 2007-2008 SFU Clansmen - Titans finished 4th
  • 2006-2007 UVic Vikes - Titans finished 4th
  • 2005-2006 TWU Titans
  • 2004-2005 TWU Titans
  • 2003-2004 UCC (now TRU) - Titans finished 2nd

Legends

Over the course of the past five seasons, forward Josh MacKnee has led the Titans offensively four times:

Year 2003-2004 2004-2003 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008
Games 25 26 23 0 9
Goals 23 29 23 0 10
Assists 25 30 27 0 5
Points 48 59 50 DNP 15

The most legendary line in recent memory was known as the "Green Line". Clark Moran centered Jamie Simpson and Mark Westergard.

References

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