The Simon Fraser University Men’s Hockey team welcomed the top ranked Trinity Western Spartans to the Bill Copeland Arena for a Valentine’s Day tilt. The Clan put forth one of their more complete performances of the season en route to a tidy 3-0 victory.
The first period went as well as Head Coach Mark Coletta could have hoped. SFU got off to a fast start when Josh McKissock skated circles around the TWU zone and found himself all alone in front of the net for an easy tap in. Jono Ceci capped off the strong period with a perfectly placed shot over TWU netminder Silas Matthys’ shoulder with just 46 seconds left. SFU is 4-0 when leading after one period this season and looked to continue that trend Saturday night.
Ceci’s goal seemed to spark SFU because when the second frame got under way the home side was all over Trinity Western. SFU controlled possession of the puck on their way to outshooting TWU 14-5 in the middle period. The Burnaby club was rewarded for their performance when Tyler Basham broke in off the left wing, had his initial shot stopped, but picked up the rebound and scored on the wrap around. The second period was one of SFU’s most dominant twenty minutes all season.
SFU carried over its solid performance from the first two periods into the final frame. There wasn’t much in terms of scoring over the third period, but the Clan once again outshot their Langley rivals to the tune of 13-8. If it weren’t for Matthys, SFU would have potted a few more goals than just three.
The Clan found success with their fore check and offensive zone entries. All night the likes of McKissock, Graham Smerek, and Saylor Preston were hounding TWU’s defense. The Spartans were unable to quickly move the puck from the defensive zone to the offensive zone, and as such, were unable to find much offensive cohesiveness. In terms of entering the offensive zone, SFU was able to gain the opposing blue line with speed, which created odd man rushes and scoring opportunities.
The two rivals get right back at it next week as TWU makes the trip back to Bill Copeland for a rematch. With the standings as they are, this and next week’s game are a potential first round playoff preview. SFU will look to build upon their all around performance and carry that momentum into the playoffs.