CHENEY, WA — The SFU Men’s Hockey Team heads out east this weekend in back-to-back road games against Eastern Washington University and Selkirk College Friday and Saturday.
“I think our team speed is going to come out [this] week and shine,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “If we do that, and we play physical in our d-zone, we’re going to be fine.”
SFU is looking to build upon a hot start that has seen them win four of their last five games to kick off the new year. Their most recent win came after scoring three goals in the first five minutes against UVic on Saturday, before holding on to take a 5-2.
Despite the strong start, Coletta stresses the importance of playing a 60-minute game, making sure not to get complacent.
“We’ve got to be composed, our guys have got to understand that the game is 60 minutes,” he explained. “And we chatted [after Saturday’s game] about highs and lows in individual games, in an individual period. You’ve got to manage those highs and lows and expectations.”
First up, on Friday night, SFU will take on the Eastern Washington Eagles. The Eagles have struggled this season, procuring a 1-14-1 record. However, they have been putting up strong starts recently, taking the initial lead in both of their most recent contests against Selkirk College.
Forward Beau Walker has quietly been putting up another dominant season for EWU, with 10 goals and 21 points in 13 games, good for fourth in BCIHL scoring. His 1.6 points per game is the second-most efficient performance in the league, behind only Dallas Calvin.
The Eagles are currently 11 points behind VIU for the last playoff spot, with nine games left to play. SFU currently has a 2-0 record against Eastern Washington.
SFU sits relatively comfortably in a playoff spot, but are eight points behind second place, and home ice advantage in the playoffs. The Clan, however, have two games in hand, and an immediate chance to close that gap this Saturday, when they face the team directly above them — the Selkirk College Saints.
Selkirk College opened the season with 10 straight wins and quickly asserted themselves at the top of the league. Since then, Selkirk has gone 3-4-1, and their first place spot has been taken by the red-hot Trinity Western Spartans, who have 11 straight wins.
The Saints are the most dangerous team on the power play, with 29 goals on the man advantage — 14 more than any other team. A big part of that is BCIHL leading scorer Dallas Calvin, who has 12 goals and 32 points in 16 games. Calvin, however, did not play either of the last two games for Selkirk.
Selkirk is deep team, however, with Derek McPhail and Dane Feeney appearing in eighth and ninth in BCIHL scoring. Newcomer Cole Arcuri started off his career with a bang, putting up three goals and an assist in his first three games with the team.
SFU will have a newcomer of their own, with former WHL forward Nic Holowko expected to make his debut for the Clan this weekend.
The games will be streamed live on HockeyTV. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm on Friday and 7 pm Saturday.