Photo Credit: Damon James
With three games in three consecutive days a week after a bye week, and with the trip to Tempe, Arizona the week after to take on the NCAA Division I Arizona State Sun Devils, it’s key for the SFU Men’s Hockey Team to stay in shape.
“We took advantage [of the week off]. [We’re] just making sure that the guys are staying sharp,” said assistant coach Tom Spencer. “We’ve got to manage everybody’s icetime, we’ve got to manage guys getting healthy, we’ve got to make sure they get rested and fed.”
Playing against Trinity Western, Eastern Washington, and Selkirk College Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, SFU looks to hold on to first place — which they have a three point lead over Trinity Western, but one more game played. It’s a tight race.
“We’re the first place team, so you don’t want to be looking in the rearview mirror, you want to be plowing ahead,” he explained. “Three games in three nights is a tough thing to do. For our guys, we’re not playing with a 20 point lead in the standings, we need to be aggressive and smart, but we need to win all three games.
“The teams that are nipping at your heels, you want to take of them.”
Selkirk College is also just behind SFU in the standings, trailing by five points, but with a game in hand.
SFU will be boosted by the return of a mostly healthy roster. Prior to the week break, the Clan had suffered through a few injuries, particularly on the blue line.
Forward Tyler Basham (upper body) is not expected to be available for the three games this week.
The Clan will continue to ride the goaltending tandem of Jordan Liem and Lyndon Stanwood this weekend. Stanwood is undefeated on the season with a 7-0 record and a .921 SV%. In Liem’s last game versus Trinity Western, he made 26 saves on 27 shots (.963 SV%).
“We’re extremely pleased with both goaltenders. With three games in three days, it’s looking like we’ll probably share duties all the way through the weekend, and then with our trip to Arizona State — they’re going to split there,” said Spencer. “We want to keep them fresh, we want to keep them playing. Right now, there’s no sense in shortening that up, there’s no need.”
Forward Mitch Crisanti is out the rest of the season for academic reasons. Forward Pavlo Zerebecky (hip) is out week-to-week.