BURNABY, BC — This weekend, SFU will take on the top two teams in the BCIHL and will look for a share of second place themselves. Facing Trinity Western at the Langley Events Centre on Thursday, SFU returns home to take on Selkirk College Saturday.
“Structure and team speed is important for next weekend,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “Our team speed is what we pride ourselves on.”
SFU is hot right now on the heels of a four game winning streak, a span that has seen them win both on the road and at home. In their most recent victory, an 8-1 win against Vancouver Island, 10 different players made it on the scoresheet.
Jaret Babych has been on fire as of late, with four goals — including two against VIU — in the last three games. Daniell Lange put up two goals and an assist last weekend. Mak Barden — who was named the Anything Branded BCIHL Player of the Week — and Mac Colasimone found some chemistry together, putting up seven points Saturday.
A big part of SFU’s success as of late has been Lyndon Stanwood, who has found the all-star form he showed in his league debut in 2016/17. Making 60 saves on 62 shots (.968 SV%) in the last two games, his timely saves have paved the way for positive momentum swings for the Clan.
“He makes the guys comfortable when they’re out there,” said Coletta. ”He has their back, so we can take chances at both ends of the arena knowing that he’s going to be back there to make some saves.”
The building that the winning streak began in was the Langley Events Centre, with a 4-2 victory on October 26th. Typically, however, it’s a building that’s neither easy to win in or score in. SFU escaped with a 1-1-1 record at the LEC last year, and only managed four goals scored in the building.
“With Trinity, we know what to expect,” said Coletta. “They’re going to play a very controlled hockey game, so we’re going to have to beat them down.”
Trinity Western has found a dynamic offence this season, with four players sitting at sixth place in BCIHL scoring with 11 points. In addition to Evan Last, who led the league last year, freshman Brandon Potomak, veteran Dirk de Waal, and sophomore Kade Vilio in his breakout year sit with that total.
The Spartans have a deep goaltending pool, with three on the roster, who have all found success. SFU will likely see Silas Matthys, the reliable fifth-year starter with a career .921 SV%. However, backing him up is second-year netminder Lucas Mills who has managed three shutouts and a .951 SV% in nine games played over two seasons. Alistair Duncan only allowed one goal on 31 shots in his league debut on November 11th.
With a regulation victory, SFU will be able to take second place from the Spartans, as SFU is two points behind them, but with two less games played.
At the Bill Copeland Sports Centre on Saturday, SFU will look to spoil Selkirk College’s 10-game winning streak they opened the season with.
After a down year in 2016/17 that saw Selkirk College finish third place and fall out of the playoffs in the first round after four consecutive championship seasons, they are back with a vengeance.
“They’re undefeated, so right now we’ve got to prove to them that we’re right there, that we’re not going back down,” explained Coletta. “We’ve got to make sure we do our job.”
Selkirk has the league’s top two scorers. Dallas Calvin, who missed much of last year with injury, is back in fine form with 24 points in 10 games, already beating his last season’s total and on pace for a historical 60 points should he keep up the pace. Freshman Derek McPhail sits in the second spot with 11 goals and 13 points.
A big part of the Saints’ success is balanced attack that has seen all but two players get on the scoresheet. A solid goaltending duo of Brett Huber (.915 SV% in five games) and freshman Patrick Zuber (.948 SV% in four) has them with a league leading goal differential of +34.
SFU has only faced Selkirk College once this season, a disappointing 6-3 loss that saw SFU score the opening three goals in the first period, only to allow six straight in the latter frames.
Saturday’s home game will be the annual “My First Hockey Game Night.” We’ll be welcoming international students, and new Canadians to experience their first ever ice hockey game in person The rules of hockey will be available in 8 languages in the lobby, and there will be special activities to make the night a memorable one.
For the home game at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre, 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 for both games.