Photo Credit: Damon James
In his first start of the regular season, goaltender Lyndon Stanwood made 24 saves on 26 shots (.923 SV%) and helped the SFU Men’s Hockey Team hold off a third period comeback effort by the University of Victoria Vikes and win 4-2 Saturday night.
After he faced only two shots in the first period, the Vikes picked up the pace and peppered Stanwood, who returned last week from injury, with 22 shots over the final two frames.
“I was a little bit nervous at first, [I hadn’t] played for a while,” admitted the goalie in his second year with SFU. “It’s tough, especially when you haven’t played for four weeks in a real game, to come back when you have only two shots in the first and they weren’t contested shots at all.
“[But] coming back and easing your way into it was great. I thank my team for that absolutely.”
Head coach Mark Coletta praised Stanwood’s play, noting that he plans to split much of the starts between Stanwood and Jordan Liem.
“He held his own and played well. He saw the puck and made himself big,” he said. “He did everything he had to do to battle and do a good job in the pipes.”
The scoring was spread throughout the Clan lineup, with four different players putting up SFU’s goals.
SFU dominated the pace of play in the first, outshooting UVic 19-2. However, the Vikes came out firing in the second period and BCIHL scoring leader Shaun Mueller put the Vikes within one with a power play marker 6:05 into the period.
Forty seconds later, Jaret Babych restored the two goal lead with his second goal in as many nights.
On a 5-on-3 power play at the end, SFU put a buzzer beater in the net, which would have given them the three goal lead. However, the goal was waved off as the net was declared to have moved before the goal crossed the line.
With help from power play opportunities left over from the second and at the beginning of the third, the Clan controlled the pace of play for much of the first half of the third period. SFU was unable to capitalize on their opportunities though, and Mueller put up his second of the night midway through the frame to put UVic within striking distance.
The Vikes were energized by the goal and took over control of the pace of play. Stanwood stood tall, however, and the only other goal scored was Mitch Crisanti’s power play empty netter. His sixth goal in five games, Crisanti moves into a three-way tie as the BCIHL goal scoring leader.
“We told our guys this morning in our morning meeting that UVic comes to our rink every year and plays us the hardest they play anybody. And tonight it was no different,” Coletta explained. “They’ve been doing that since I started [. . .] They’re a gritty team and they’re not going to quit.”
With 28 penalty minutes in the last 10 minutes of the game, Coletta noted that it was an area that still needed work.
“Penalties again loomed its ugly head. We’ve got to do a better job there. But I thought we dominated the play,” he said.
With the win, SFU move into a tie for second place with Trinity Western. Both teams sport a 4-1-0 record and eight points. Selkirk College sits in first place with 10 points, but have played two more games and have two losses.
Next weekend, the Clan hit the road and face UVic again in a back-to-back in Victoria.
“If tonight was any indication, next week’s going to be tight,” said Coletta. “They have a smaller ice rink and it’s going to be tighter and way more in your face. We’ve got to be ready to play, we’ve got to be aggressive, we’ve got to be first to loose pucks. It’s a totally different game at UVic.”
Both Friday and Saturday puck drop is at 7:30 pm. The games will be streamed live on FASTHockey.
1st Star: UVic #34 Zack Wear (38 Saves, .927 SV%)
2nd Star: UVic #16 Shaun Mueller (2G, 0A)
3rd Star: SFU #1 Lyndon Stanwood (24 Saves, .923 SV%)
AROUND THE BCIHL: Selkirk College beat Eastern Washington Friday and Saturday night in a home and home match-up. Friday in Castlegar, Matt Martin’s hattrick led Selkirk to a 6-1 victory. Saturday in Cheney, WA, the score was closer — 5-4 — but another Selkirk hattrick, this one by Alex Milligan, led them to a sweep… The night before, Trinity Western beat UVic 4-1. Spartan freshman Evan Last continued a five game point streak with his fourth goal to open scoring. After UVic starter Scott Legault was pulled 13 minutes in after three goals against, Zack Wear made 23 saves on 24 shots in relief.