BURNABY, BC – SFU headed into Saturday’s game against the team that will be replacing them in the 2018 BCIHL playoffs.
Startling news made its way around the BCIHL Friday evening when it was announced that SFU had to forfeit the results of their previous 11 games due to an ineligible player suiting up for the Clan. As a result, the SFU Men’s Hockey team did not have enough points in the standings to still qualify for the 2018 BCIHL playoffs. Saturday’s game was being played for pride and to celebrate the contributions that the Clan seniors have made to the organization.
University of Victoria forward Jordan Evans scored the opening goal on Saturday night. SFU forward Nic Holowko tied the game on an excellent solo effort 7 minutes later. UVIC goaltender Alec Dillon was assessed a 10-minute major with mere seconds remaining in the period for crossing the red line. Zach Wear replaced Dillon for the remainder of the game.
Just 3 minutes into the second period, Holowko scored his second goal of the night with a setup from graduating forward Rob Izsak to give SFU their first lead of the evening 2-1.
With 6:45 remaining in the second period, graduating forward Pavlo Zerebecky scored shorthanded setup by another graduating forward, Mak Barden.
With the 3-1 lead heading into the third period, SFU netminder Ryan Sandrin was given the nod to relieve Lyndon Stanwood and finish off the game for SFU between the pipes. Vikes star forward Jack Palmer scored at 13:36 of the third period to give his team some life before Ryker Moreau scored on the powerplay for SFU. Austin Adam added to SFU’s goal total once more giving the Clan the 5-2 lead with 3:09 remaining in the third period and the eventual win 5-2.
Earning first star honours, Nic Holowko has enjoyed an offensive season with his new club. He finishes with 11 points through 9 games. SFU head coach Mark Coletta has been impressed with Holowko’s performance since joining the team and plans to push him even harder next season. “Nic is a very good hockey player, obviously he played defence tonight and he did a very good job on the back-end. We’ve got high hopes for him.”
This game saw a lot more physicality than a typical BCIHL game with a total of 166 PIMs assessed.
Coach Coletta is not a fan of this style of hockey but stated that he understands that games can get heated. “We never like to see that. We don’t peach that to the guys.” He continues, “our guys defended their teammates. When Mathew Berry-Lamontagna is fighting, obviously we’re not sending him out there to fight as his stats would indicate. I’m totally fine with how our guys conducted business.”
Both teams struggled with the extra man on Saturday. UVIC 0/10 and SFU 1/10.
Understandably, coach Coletta is unhappy with the league ruling and Saturday’s win didn’t soften the blow very much. “As a coach you don’t feel any better, you feel at fault, you take responsibility as the leader of the ship that you let your guys down. For me, I don’t feel any happiness with the win. I feel I let my guys down because of a technicality and a ruling we weren’t really approving of, to be honest. It’s a sad day for the league and SFU Hockey.”
Final shots were 39 to 15 in favour of the Clan. SFU goaltender Lyndon Stanwood stopped 10 of 11 shots through two periods, and his partner Ryan Sandrin stopped 3 of 4 in the final frame to secure the win for SFU.
SFU finishes the 2017-2018 BCIHL regular season with an official record of 8-16-0-1. Unofficially, the team finishes the season with a record of 18-5-0-2.