On the second night of back-to-back opening weekend games on the road, the SFU Men’s Hockey Team won 3-2 against the Selkirk College Saints, the four-time defending BCIHL champions.
“It was a 60 minute effort from everybody,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “[We used] our team speed, [won] races with the puck, [made] sure we got the loose pucks. There was a spell in the first period where we weren’t doing that and Selkirk definitely took control for about eight minutes, but in the second and third period I think we did a good job to combat that, and make sure we were on the offensive.”
Saturday’s win marked the Clan’s first regulation win in the Castlegar Recreation Centre since January 15, 2012.
After a scoreless first period that saw SFU outshot 17-12, two goals just 1:05 apart gave the Clan a 2-0 lead for much of the second.
4:06 into the second, Mitch Crisanti scored his second power play goal in two nights with a one-timer from Tyler Basham and Graham Smerek.
“Mitch is a goal scorer, he’s supposed to score goals and he’s a big body, he’s got nice hands. He got himself in a position last night and tonight to let go of a shot that might be one of the better shots in the league. He played well, he used his size and he was a very impactful player,” said Coletta.
Adam Callegari put up SFU’s second goal with helpers from Scott Patterson and Brendan Lamont.
Selkirk College got on the scoreboard with just 59 seconds left in the second, and tied the game up a little over two minutes into the third frame.
However, the tie was short-lived as Lamont another goal on the power play less than two minutes later.
“Lamont tonight, to be honest, I think was one of his best games I’ve seen him play since he’s been with us. He was all over the ice, on the forecheck, he was unbelievable. He was a pest out there in the true sense of the word and I don’t think Selkirk could contain him when he was out on the forecheck,” said Coletta.
SFU scored two goals on the power play both nights on the opening weekend, but with seven opportunities with the extra man, Coletta felt that special teams could use some work.
“There was a time in the third period, where we should have put them away. We have to work on that, we had three [power plays] in a row, where we didn’t get much,” he explained. “But overall, I think the two units are doing a pretty good job, it’s just a matter of finding some chemistry with each other.”
The shots were 37-31 in favour of Selkirk. Jordan Liem made 35 saves (.946 SV%).
Patterson and Callegari lead the team in points with four, both players putting up two points Saturday. Defenceman Nick Coltura and forward Jaret Babych sustained minor injuries.
Coletta stressed the importance of winning these early season games, especially against a team that SFU went neck and neck against for first place in the BCIHL last season.
“Two points in October are just as good as two points in March. We stress that to our guys. We don’t want to give up any points, we want to win,” he said. “We’re four points in two games, and we have to play Selkirk again next week, so these are big matchups right away.”
With the victory, SFU is the only team to reach two wins so far and sits alone at first place.
The Clan will face Selkirk in a rematch this Saturday in SFU’s home opener.
“On our bigger ice surface, it’s definitely going to be a different style of game, more space out there, and it’s up to us to make sure we carry the offensive play, and make sure we dictate the pace,” said Coletta.
Puck drop is at 7 pm at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. SFU students get in free with student ID.
1st Star: SFU #17 Brendan Lamont (1G, 1A, GWG)
2nd Star: SEL #9 Ryan Edwards (1G, 1A)
3rd Star: SFU #30 Jordan Liem (35 Saves, .946 SV%)
AROUND THE BCIHL: After losing the night before, Trinity Western got revenge on the University of Victoria Vikes, winning 3-2 with two goals from freshman Evan Last. Trinity Western and UVic now both sit tied for second place in the BCIHL standings.