A typical British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League regular season for Simon Fraser University usually includes a whole bunch of wins and loads of goal-scoring from a potent offensive attack.
But the 2014/15 campaign has been an up-and-down adventure for the perennial contenders, due primarily to a string of injuries that has kept many of the team’s key players out of action for extended stretches.
All-time Clan scoring leader Jono Ceci has played just seven of the team’s 13 games during the fall semester, while team captain Tyler Mah has been healthy enough to dress on just five occasions. The team’s three leading scorers — Nick Sandor, Trent Murdoch and Adam Callegari — have all missed at least one game due to injury.
Despite the long line-up outside the trainer’s office, Simon Fraser has managed to piece together a 7-6-0 record and sits just four points back of first place Trinity Western heading into the final weekend of action this calendar year.
On Saturday the Clan will host Eastern Washington with what appears likely to be close to a full line-up, as only Mah was out for the team’s 5-4 shootout win over the Spartans last weekend.
And even though the squad sits just above the .500 mark, they’ve been impossible to beat so far this season at home. SFU is 5-0-0 at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre, where they’ve traditionally dominated during league play.
Last Saturday’s victory over TWU was keyed by a vintage night from the Clan’s top line of Ceci, Sandor and Callegari, who combined for seven points with Ceci adding the shootout winner. Murdoch has also been invaluable in his fourth BCIHL season, providing consistent offence during stretches where injuries have left the team shallow in the scoring department.
In net, Andrew Parent has returned for a fifth and final season between the pipes and once again appears to be one of the league’s steadiest and most consistent goaltenders. His 2.71 GAA and .907 SV% both lead the team by a wide margin, and his 6-2-0 record includes wins over each of the teams ahead of SFU in the standings.
Saturday’s visit from Eastern Washington doesn’t represent a must-win for the Clan, but it will be important for SFU to stay tight in the league standings with TWU, Selkirk and UVic, who have combined to lose just seven times in regulation in their past 10 games each.
Eastern and SFU split their season-opening series in Cheney, with the Clan taking a 4-1 decision a night before a 5-2 defeat.
Faceoff on Saturday night is set for 7:00 PM. The game will be broadcast live on FAST Hockey.