The rivalry between the Simon Fraser University Clan and Selkirk College Saints is alive and well as it was on full display Saturday November 15, 2014 at Bill Copeland Arena. SFU took advantage of a quick turnaround and returning star Jono Ceci to make amends for their two defeats in Castlegar a week previously with a hard fought 1-0 victory.
Part of the reason the Clan left Castlegar a week ago without any points was their inability to play a full 60-minute hockey game. Mark Coletta’s men rectified this wrong with a gritty all around performance Saturday night.
While Jono Ceci returned, SFU was without leading scorer Nick Sandor and captain Tyler Mah. Without two integral players, the Clan needed a few other members to step up, and they did just that.
Mike Sandor’s second period goal, which turned out to be the only one of the contest, was emblematic of the Clan’s overall performance. The Clan worked the puck down low and fore-checked Selkirk’s defense hard, which allowed Tyler Basham to get the puck out in front to a wide-open Sandor, and he made no mistake.
In order to slow the Saint’s two most explosive talents Darnell Dyck and Logan Proulx, the Clan clogged the neutral zone, which didn’t allow Selkirk many easy entries into the zone. While Clan netminder Andrew Parent was busy, stopping 32 of 32 shots for his first shutout of the season, he didn’t face too many grade A chances; except of course for his high light reel larceny of a cross crease save late in the third period. SFU’s game plan of stifling Selkirk’s fast paced attack allowed the Burnaby squad to shut down their opponent’s explosive offense.
Since there wasn’t that much scoring in the game, the rough stuff took center stage. SFU and Selkirk combined for 42 penalty minutes and there was almost always a scrum after the whistle. The amount of penalties meant that special teams were a main key to the game and while SFU’s power play looked dangerous at times, they ended up going 0 for 5 on the night. The Clan’s penalty kill picked up the slack for the offense as the unit shut down Selkirk’s vaunted power play to an 0 for 6 night.
Each team knew how important this contest was, and it showed on the ice. The win now draws the Clan back to .500 and within only 3 points of league leading Trinity Western. SFU heads out onto the road next week for two big games in Victoria against the Vikes and then returns home for a massive clash against the TWU Spartans on November 29 at Bill Copeland.