Photo Credit: Garrett James
BURNABY, BC — Special teams were the story Saturday night as the SFU Men’s Hockey Team downed the Trinity Western Spartans 6-3.
After going two for 15 (13.3%) with the man advantage in the two games previous, the SFU power play exploded Saturday, with the team scoring four times with the extra man.
“It was just confidence and moving the puck well,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “We’ve got a good bunch of guys that can really play the game, they’re skillful. I think sometimes [they] think too much, [. . .] but they did a good job moving the puck and getting to those open lanes.”
Daniell Lange had two of those four goals.
“We focused on getting our shots on net and getting rebounds,” he said.
“It bounced right off my stick,” explained Lange.
Trinity Western would answer with two consecutive goals to open the second period, including a shorthanded goal by Dirk De Waal — who would finish the night with two shorthanded goals. However, Lange tied the game up on the very same power play just 16 seconds later.
Jaret Babych gave the team the lead 11:07 into the second, refusing to give up on a puck in a scrum around the net.
The two teams traded goals in the third. SFU held Trinity Western without a shot for 5:58 into the third. Spencer Unger scored on a 2-on-1, receiving a perfectly timed pass from Coltura, just two seconds after the penalty kill ended — just missing a chance for a shorthanded goal. De Waal added a shorthanded goal for the Spartans, but that would be it.
“We didn’t back down. It was a good character win for our guys,” said Coletta. “With injuries and a depleted lineup, everybody stepped up.”
Lyndon Stanwood made 19 saves on 22 shots. Silas Matthys started in net for Trinity Western and made eight saves on 13 shots. Freshman Lucas Mills relieved Matthys for the third, and made three saves on four shots.
With his two goals, Lange takes the lead in goals on the team with 10, and is tied for second in the BCIHL. Coltura had his first BCIHL multi-point night, which included two primary assists. Berry-Lamontagna leads the league in goals from a defenceman with six.
With the victory, SFU collected three of a possible four points against Trinity Western this weekend, enough to maintain a three-point lead in the BCIHL standings over the Spartans, who have a game in hand.
SFU has a break this week, not playing any games until Thursday, February 2, when they begin a stretch of three games in three nights. First SFU takes on Trinity Western at the Langley Events Centre on the Thursday. Then, SFU comes back to the Bill Copeland Sports Centre for back-to-back games, taking on Eastern Washington Friday and Selkirk College Saturday.
For the SFU home game, tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for children under 6 or for SFU students with valid ID. The game will also be streamed live on HockeyTV. Puck drop is at 7 pm for all games.
1st Star: SFU #91 Daniell Lange (2G, 0A)
2nd Star: SFU #9 Graham Smerek (1G, 2A)
3rd Star: TWU #81 Dirk De Waal (2G, 0A)
AROUND THE BCIHL: On Friday, Eastern Washington collected its first win of the season, an 8-0 victory over the University of Victoria. Eagles star Beau Walker played his first game since October 14, when he suffered an injury. EWU goaltender Austin Brinh made 23 saves for his first career shutout . . . On Saturday, Selkirk College saw six different goal scorers score as they beat UVic 6-1 in Castlegar. With the win, Selkirk College are five points back of SFU (with a game in hand), and two back from Trinity Western in second.