BURNABY, BC — The SFU Men’s Hockey Team played the role of spoilers, snapping Trinity Western’s 11-game winning streak with a 5-3 victory.
The win came after SFU survived a rough second period to put up a dominant third period, putting up four goals and outshooting TWU 12-7. It mimicked the previous games versus EWU and Selkirk, where SFU put in good late game performances after falling behind in the first.
“If that’s the recipe, maybe we’ll be sure to keep that going,” joked head coach Mark Coletta.
“We spent most of the [second] period in the box,” said Mathew Berry-Lamontagna. “We knew if we wanted to win, we’d have to come out with a strong start [to the third period]. And we did.”
Starting the third down 2-1, it took just 1:16 for Brendan Lamont to tie it up for SFU, outwaiting Spartan goaltender Silas Matthys with perfect patience to put it above the sprawling goalie.
The start of the game itself was equally as strong, with the Clan controlling much of the pace of play. Robert Izsak put in his first goal of the year and third point in three games to give SFU the 1-0 lead, cleaning up the rebound of Pavlo Zerebecky’s shot. Austin Adam’s secondary assist marked the fourth straight game he has put up a point.
The Clan had a five-on-three opportunity later in the period, but weren’t able to build on their lead going into the intermission.
SFU suffered penalty troubles in the second period, being assessed 22 penalty minutes. Elijah Vilio turned the tables on the scoreboard, putting up two goals to give Trinity Western the lead.
After Lamont’s game-tying goal, SFU had the edge. After killing off a penalty taken shortly after the goal, Brandon Tidy rushed down ice on a breakaway, but wasn’t able to make a move against Matthys. Berry-Lamontagna, however, found the puck, and one-on-one against Matthys was able to pick a spot and put it in, giving SFU the 3-2 lead.
Matthys was assessed a game misconduct after the goal, and was replaced by back-up Lucas Mills for TWU.
Trinity Western took advantage of their time on the power play to get within one with 2:55 left, but Nic Holowko’s empty-netter with 35 seconds left eliminated any chance of a comeback. Holowko has put up a point in each of his three games with the Clan.
SFU outshot Trinity Western 26-23. Lyndon Stanwood made 23 saves (.885 SV%). SFU finished 2-3 in the regular season versus the Spartans.
With the victory, SFU is now five points behind Selkirk College for second place and home ice for the playoffs. The win keeps the possibility of a top two finish for SFU alive.
The Clan will look to continue a strong second half of the season next weekend, when they play two games at home — Saturday versus Eastern Washington and on Family Day Monday against Vancouver Island.
Both games will be played at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre, where tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free for children under 6 or for SFU students with valid ID. The games will also be streamed live on HockeyTV. Puck drop is at 7 pm on Saturday and 4 pm on Family Day.
1st Star: SFU #28 Mathew Berry-Lamontagna (1G, 0A)
2nd Star: SFU #17 Brendan Lamont (1G, 0A)
3rd Star: TWU #8 Elijah Vilio (2G, 0A)
AROUND THE BCIHL: Eastern Washington dropped two on the weekend on the Island, falling 6-4 against UVic and 2-0 versus VIU. Against UVic, EWU fell to 4-0 in the first, but Beau Walker put up a hattrick in the third to get within one. Despite Walker’s fourth goal of the night in the third, they were unable to close out the win . . . Tomorrow, the two Island teams face off on a rare Sunday game at the Lake Cowichan Sports Arena. Puck drop is at 2:30 pm.