by Austin Cozicar
BURNABY, BC — SFU was relentless Saturday night, blanking the University of Victoria Vikes in a decisive 7-0 victory.
“It always feels good not getting scored on, but the boys really put together a full 60 minute effort and made it beautiful to play out there — I’m seeing everything, the boys made it easy on me tonight,” said goaltender Patrick Zubick, who was perfect in a 20 save effort for his first shutout of the year, and second career BCIHL shutout.
“This is the template of what we want to do game in, game out every night. If we do this, we’ll put ourselves in a good chance of having success every night.”
SFU got off to a fast start, controlling the pace of play early.
Cole Plotnikoff opened the scoring 1:17 in with his first goal of the year from Ty Westgard and Eric Callegari.
While SFU controlled possession, it was the one-off chances they capitalized on early.
Trevor Ayre took advantage of a UVic giveaway to snipe the puck past UVic goalie Daniel Paul for the 2-0 lead with 3:54 left in the first frame. Just 1:05 later, McKullen Astill used his speed to go end-to-end and put the puck in the net himself. Jordan Dawson had an assist on the play.
Shots were 17-6 for SFU in the first.
UVic forward David Stickney used his speed to create a breakaway chance midway through the second, but was tripped up and awarded a penalty shot.
Zubick made the save on the penalty shot, and right off the ensuing faceoff, Arjan Cheema and Ayre set up Mitch Ledyard to put SFU up 4-0 with 8:28 left in the frame. Paul, who played the night before, was then replaced in net for UVic by Niall Murphy.
With just 32 seconds left in the second, Ledyard scored again, capitalizing on a Vikes giveaway and putting it five hole past Murphy.
Mac Colasimone scored seven seconds into the third period to give SFU the 6-0 lead. Ayre wrapped up the scoring on the man advantage with his second of the night, with 2:27 left in the game.
SFU outshot UVic 38-20. 10 different players got on the scoresheet with a point.
“All year we haven’t really been able to put together a full 60, and today we played hard, we played a full 60, played some good defence and good defence turns into good offence,” said Ledyard. “That’s ideally how we’ll play all year.”
“We’ve got to put that effort level in every shift from every guy, and then everything will roll together. The effort level’s first and then everything falls in after that,” said Zubick.
With the win, SFU gets back in the win column after losing three of their last four games. They also move into a tie for third place with Selkirk College with a 4-3-1 record.
SFU will have a chance to take second place next weekend, with back-to-back home games versus the Vancouver Island University Mariners, who sit in second one point ahead, but with two more games played. SFU is 1-1-1 against VIU, having lost their last matchup 5-2 on the road last weekend.
Both games will be at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre, with puck drop at 7 pm on Friday, November 22 and at 3 pm on Saturday, November 23.
1st Star: SFU #12 Mitch Ledyard (2G, 1A)
2nd Star: SFU #22 Trevor Ayre (2G, 1A)
3rd Star: SFU #35 Patrick Zubick (20 Saves, SO)