Kyle Bergh Earns SFU the Shootout Winner in First Game Back
BURNABY, BC — Okanagan Lakers forward Marshall Porteus’ hattrick nearly spoiled SFU’s first game in 553 days (and first home game in 581 days), but Kyle Bergh came up clutch in the shootout to take the exhibition home opener 4-3.
“It’s crazy exciting, can’t really explain it, just the feeling of getting in your car today knowing that you’re driving to the rink to play a hockey game was a special feeling,” said Bergh.
“The team’s coming together really nicely off the ice, what you want to see early on is seeing guys competing and working hard.”
Hunor Torzsok opened the scoring for SFU, deflecting a shot from Ty Pickering on the power play with 44 seconds left in the first period.
Porteus scored twice in the second period to take the lead for the Lakers, but with 50 seconds left in the period, Mitch Ledyard sniped it top shelf on the power play to tie up the game.
SFU didn’t wait long to strike in the third, with Tristen Cross’ goal just after the minute mark putting them up 3-2.
Goaltender Cale Dolan had to be sharp with 1:22 left in the third, making a big save on a penalty shot by Lakers defenceman and former ECHL-er Adrian Van de Mosselaer.
The Lakers managed to tie it anyways just six seconds later, however, with Porteus’ third of the night from Adrian Van de Mosselaer.
In the shootout, Takato Cox found the back of the net, but it would take the fourth shooter, Bergh, to score the game winner.
Michael Lenko and Dolan split the game in net for SFU, combining for 27 saves.
A new expansion team in the BCIHL featuring players from UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College, this was the Okanagan Lakers’ first ever game.
“Lots of credit to them, I mean they built a team in a short period of time, and they played a style of hockey that was in your face, fast, and aggressive — that’s something we’re going to have to be aware of,” said SFU head coach Mark Coletta.
The Lakers weren’t the only fresh faces on the ice, with SFU’s lineup featuring 12 players skating their first game in the red and white.
Cross, who scored the third goal of the night, was one such player, having transferred from Selkirk College after a successful rookie season saw him pot 17 points as a defenceman. He earned first star of the night.
“It’s extremely exciting, it’s great to be back in the room, back in the atmosphere. I came in here, I didn’t know a lot of guys, and it’s been nothing but good times and I’m really looking forward to the season,” said Cross.
“The guys have been nothing but welcoming. Everybody’s good buddies on the team, and it seems like a really close group, and I think we’ve got a really good group of guys here.”
Next up for SFU is a trip to UBC for the first game of the Captain’s Cup this Friday at 7 pm. SFU will next return home to Bill Copeland Sports Centre for back-to-back games against the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island University on Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2.