Photo Credit: Garrett James
VICTORIA, BC — The SFU Men’s Hockey Team had a 3-1 lead in the second period, but were felled by five unanswered goals by the University of Victoria Vikes in game one of the BCIHL playoffs.
“We didn’t have a good defensive side of the puck game,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “We didn’t play with that lead properly. Our defensive zone wasn’t up to par. [. . .] There were a couple of times tonight, especially in that second period, where we were just too lazy.
“The third period we played well, but just couldn’t score.”
SFU had to survive some sustained pressure in the first ten minutes, as they had to kill two penalties.
UVic’s Patrick Holland tied up the game nearly four minutes into the second.
Just 29 seconds later, Adam Callegari answered back to give the Clan a 2-1 lead. Brendan Lamont and Jayden Piattelli were awarded assists. Tidy, with his second of the night, gave the Clan a two-goal lead 1:34 later, on a 2-on-1 opportunity, assisted by Lamont.
However, UVic would claim the lead with three unanswered goals in the span of 4:06, with Jack Palmer, Shaun Mueller, and Noah Henry putting up goals.
Mueller, with his second of the night, gave the Vikes 5-3 lead nearly seven minutes into the third period.
SFU had a number of scoring chances — outshooting UVic 11-6 in the third frame — but UVic goaltender Zach Wear was solid in net, not allowing a third period goal.
Holland scored an empty-net goal to make the final score 6-3.
Lyndon Stanwood made 24 saves on 29 shots (.826 SV%). SFU outshot UVic 31-30.
“UVic’s a good team, they can hurt you with a couple of their lines. They played a solid playoffs-style hockey — they’re physical, they packed it in, took their chances,” said Coletta. “We’ve just got to be better.”
SFU will look to even up the series Saturday night at home in the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. SFU were 10-2 at home in the regular. If SFU wins, they will face UVic again the following day at 4:30 at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre. If SFU loses, UVic will move on to the BCIHL Finals against Trinity Western.
Puck drop is at 7 pm Saturday.
AROUND THE BCIHL: For the first time since the 2011/12 season, the Selkirk College Saints won’t be the BCIHL champions. The four time defending champions were swept by the Trinity Western Spartans in games in the first round of the BCIHL playoffs. Thursday night, Evan Last’s two goals in 17 seconds powered Trinity Western to a 4-1 victory, with Selkirk College’s only goal coming in the third. Friday, penalty troubles got to the Saints as they allowed five power play goals. Trinity Western will play the winner of the SFU/UVic series.