Fresh off of a 3-2 victory in Game 1 at the Langley Events Centre, the Simon Fraser University Clan welcomed the Trinity Western Spartans to the Bill Copeland Arena for Game 2 of the best of 3 series. SFU could knock off the top ranked Spartans with a victory in Game 2 and the Clan did just that, booking their ticket to the Championship series with an emphatic 6-4 win.
Trinity Western started the game with a point to prove as the Spartans rushed out to a quick 2-0 lead before the halfway point of the first period. First Jacob Mills fired a rocket off of a rebound and then PJ Buys found himself all alone on sidewall during a power play and made no mistake.
After the first 10 minutes SFU began to find its footing. Despite being outshot 7-1 early in the first, the Clan managed to even out the shots at 10 apiece before the first intermission. Simon Fraser was also able to get one goal back on a 5 on 3 advantage when Mike Ball set up to shoot from the point but decided to move in closer and find a wide-open Jono Ceci on the doorstep for an easy tap in. TWU were, however, able to maintain their 2-1 lead heading into the second frame.
The second period saw 4 goals scored overall, 2 each by SFU and TWU. Just a minute into the frame Trent Murdoch managed to sneak a shot from the corner past Silas Matthys to make it a 2-2 tie. TWU Captain Blair Murphy responded to recapture the one goal lead, but Murdoch replied once again for SFU on a goalmouth tap in to tie the game at 3. Spartan defenseman Ryan Bakken broke the deadlock with a partial break and slick forehand-backhand deke that gave TWU a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes.
If TWU came out emphatically in the first period, SFU opened the third with an even bigger point to prove. Adam Callegari scored off of a Silas Matthys turnover to tie the game five minutes into the final frame and only 1:14 after, Jesse Mysiorek tipped in a Tyler Mah point shot to give the Clan the lead. At the halfway point of the third, Nick Sandor rifled home the insurance goal en route to SFU out shooting TWU 11-3 over the final twenty minutes. In the most important twenty minutes of the Clan’s season, Mark Coletta’s men put on their best performance all year, outshooting, outskating, and outworking the top ranked TWU Spartans to clinch the series.
Trent Murdoch registered 3 points on the night, 2 goals and 1 assist, in order to capture the first star of the game and Adam Callegari ends the series having scored 3 goals over the two games. Jono Ceci was electric as always, adding a goal and an assist to finish with four points in the series and Jordan Liem was able to steer home his first two career BCIHL playoff victories. For the rookie netminder, hopefully his success against TWU is a sign of things to come.
The Clan now patiently awaits the conclusion of the other semi final series between the Selkirk Saints and Victoria Vikes as SFU will face the winner from that contest. Nevertheless, SFU now reaches its seventh finals appearance in eight years and looks poised to carry over the momentum gained in this electric series against the Spartans.