Eastern Washington and Simon Fraser open their respective 2014/15 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League campaigns on Friday at the EWU Recreation Complex in Cheney, WA.
The Eagles look to be amongst the league’s most improved teams following a strong recruiting class consisting of college and junior hockey veterans. Beau Walker returns to the fold after a one-game stint last season and should compete to be near the top of the league’s scoring charts. In goal, the additions of Tyler O’Donnell and Austin Brihn give EWU a solid tandem following the graduation of longtime starter Jason Greenwell.
SFU, meanwhile, will look for a fast start before to the regular season before embarking on a road trip to Michigan to face a pair of NCAA Div. I schools during the first week of October.
The Clan added a trio of forwards from the Division III ranks over the summer in Adam Rossi, Saylor Preston and Vance Bridgman, as well as two-time BCIHL champ Matt Luongo from Selkirk College. Also on board is former WHL blueliner Matthew Berry-Lamontagna, who will bolster an already-strong defencsive corps that features Jared Eng.
Veteran netminder Andrew Parent is back between the pipes for a fifth season at SFU, while rookies Jordan Liem and Dominic Stadnyk will compete for back-up minutes.
Friday’s game is the first meeting between the teams since February, when an EWU shootout win put a heavy dent in SFU’s chances at the BCIHL’s regular season title.