by Jake Friedrich
BURNABY, BC – Well, here we are.
The last time I was looking forward to a game was March 2020: we were on the way back from Vancouver Island the day after the team handed the VIU Mariners a 9-1 loss to take home-ice advantage the next weekend for playoffs.
At the end of the bus ride from the ferry terminal to Bill Copeland, coach Mark Coletta kept it short and sweet:
“Big game next weekend. Get some rest, see you at practice.”
I never went to practice; I’m just the media guy. But to Mark’s credit, neither did anyone else.
That bus ride was the last time the 2019/20 team met, and the last time any SFU player met on the ice for months, with all Hockey Canada sanctioned gatherings being canceled indefinitely due to the pandemic.
The team has had some practices, but it’s been over 500 days since the red and white have had any game action.
Thankfully, that’s changing next weekend.
It will have been 581 days since SFU has played a game next Saturday when they take on the Okanagan Lakers for the very first time.
On top of that, the Captains Cup returns for the first time in two years this month with a visit to UBC.
The 3rd week of September will see SFU travel to Fairbanks, Alaska to take on the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks for the first time in three years as well.
It’ll be a busy month for the team with over a dozen players vying for roster spots during training camp, but the goal has stayed the same: win now.
“Those of us who are still around are hungrier,” says returning forward Kyle Bergh, when asked about returning to the ice after the cancellation of last season just days before playoffs.
“There’s some redemption. Pre-COVID we felt we were close to achieving that.”
Full information for games will be available at SFUHockey.com on Wednesdays for the following weekend.