Bolstered by the return of veteran forward Robert Izsak, SFU picked up two important wins on the road this weekend against UVIC and VIU to kick off 2018. The games marked a pivotal point in the season for SFU, collecting 4 points provides some breathing room ahead of 4th place VIU in the BCIHL standings.
On Friday against defending champs UVIC, SFU started strong with goals from Berry-Lamontagna, Babych and Adam in the first period. The Adam goal, his 2nd of the year, came on the powerplay while Babych scores his 6th on even strength. SFU’s achilles heel in games against UVIC has been the 2nd period, dating back to last year’s playoff series against the Vikes. Friday would see a similar outcome when SFU took 4 minor penalties in the 2nd period with UVIC converting on two of its chances. SFU would recover in the third however, as Berry-Lamontagna scored his second of the night on the powerplay.
“It felt like a slow start against UVIC,” says Berry-Lamontagna. “But we got better had a good third period with the lead. Our puck movement was good and it was good to get a couple on the powerplay.”
Saturday would see a cleaner and more disciplined game from SFU, as they dominated VIU in shots and held their opponent to only one goal. A strong neutral zone forecheck kept the Mariners from gaining momentum and putting pressure on SFU. Callegari, who had a strong weekend with 3 assists, set up both Tidy and Babych for even strength goals. Lamont would score a beautiful backhand deke goal on a partial breakaway, and Bilous added a goal on the powerplay for good measure. Olson-Eyre would have the lone goal for VIU, his 4th of the season.
This Friday SFU hosts VIU for a rematch, another big game which will certainly have playoff implications.
“We need to make sure we play a full 60 this week,” says Berry-Lamontagna. “If we weather the storm when they come in flurries, we’ll be okay.”
On his return to SFU, “it was good to be back with the guys,” says Izsak. “The weekend went well, our line kept things simple and we’ll have the same plan next week.”