BURNABY, BC — First time fans got their money’s worth on the annual “My First Hockey Game” night, as the SFU Men’s Hockey Team won a 3-2 overtime thriller against the league leading Selkirk College Saints.
With about three and a half minutes left in regulation, Selkirk had tied it at two, putting a sour end to a strong period by SFU that saw them score two power play goals to take the lead and outshoot the Saints 14-8.
Heading into the overtime, the stakes were high for both teams. Selkirk’s only loss of the season came the night before, and SFU was looking to split the weekend series after dropping one Thursday to Trinity Western.
With 31 seconds left in the extra frame, the man who would likely have been called to take a shot in the shootout half a minute later — Mathew Berry-Lamontagna — got the puck from Brandon Tidy. Initially, his instinct was to pass.
“I picked it up kind of funny on my backhand,” he explained. “[But] I took a look at the net and I saw I had some space, and I took a shot.”
It went in. SFU had won 3-2.
“It feels pretty cool. For myself, I’ve never hadan overtime winner before,” Berry-Lamontagna explained. “But more importantly, we showed a lot of resilience, especially coming back from them tying the game with three minutes left.
“I don’t think we panicked too much. You never want to lose two games on the weekend, so to win this one is huge.”
Going into the game short-staffed — Jaret Babych, Austin Adam (injury), Jayden Piattelli (suspension), and Eric Callegari (illness) all sat out, while Tidy, who sat out the previous game with injury, dressed as a defenceman — SFU had gritted out a victory against the league’s top team.
“I just told the boys, ‘Hey, sometimes in situations like that, opportunity arises,’” said head coach Mark Coletta. “‘[If] you rise to that occasion, you’re going to get a lot of ice time.’ So guys stepped up. There were guys playing power play, penalty kill, playing five-on-five, who with other guys in the lineup, might not get that opportunity, and they did [good]. That’s characteristic of our team right now and I think that’s a good thing.”
One of the players to take advantage of the opportunity was Ian Mackey, who got to play on the power play and be the net front presence with his big. He made the most of it, knocking in a power play marker four minutes into the third to give SFU the 2-1 lead, with assists from Berry-Lamontagna and Mak Barden.
Mackey’s goal came just 2:05 after Mac Colasimone’s first BCIHL goal — also on the power play — which had tied the game, after Selkirk scored early in the first period.
Special teams were strong on both sides of the ice, with SFU scoring two power play goals in one game for the third game in a row. SFU held Selkirk’s league-leading power play to just one on nine attempts, and held BCIHL scoring leader Dallas Calvin off the scoresheet.
Lyndon Stanwood stood tall in net, particularly on the penalty kill, making 31 saves (.939 SV%). SFU outshot Selkirk 38-33.
“It’s tough, we’ve got a lot of guys [out]. We had a lot of guys step up and play a lot of big minutes, especially on the back end,” said Berry-Lamontagna, who finished with a goal and two assists. “It’s a collective team effort.”
With the win, SFU has won five of their last six games, and sits in third place in the BCIHL with a 6-3-0 record and 12 points. They sit four points behind Trinity Western, but have two games in hand.
SFU will play game two of a three game homestand to close out the first half of the season this Friday, facing off against Vancouver Island University. SFU beat VIU 8-1 in their previous matchup this season.
This Friday is the second annual Underwear Toss to help support local charities in the Lower Mainland. Fans are encouraged to bring new and packaged underwear or socks to the game, or purchase some at the rink and when SFU scores their first goal of the game, everyone will toss them onto the ice. The underwear and socks will be collected and donated to the Surrey Urban Mission Society.
You can purchase underwear or socks to toss at the game at the Pacific Community Resources Society booth, with funds raised going to help those in need. Don’t have underwear or socks to donate? Bring new or gently used clothes to the game and we will have bins set up to collect them. The clothes will then be donated to Covenant House Vancouver.
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 game will also be streamed live on HockeyTV. Puck drop is at 7 pm.
1st Star: SFU #1 Lyndon Stanwood (31 Saves, .939 SV%)
2nd Star: SEL #29 Patrick Zubick (35 Saves, .921 SV%)
3rd Star: SFU #9 Mac Colasimone (1G, 0A)
AROUND THE BCIHL: Vancouver Island University went two for two against the University of Victoria this weekend, taking Saturday’s game 7-4 after beating them 5-2 the previous night. Gage Colpron and Michael Olson-Eyre both put up two goals for VIU on Saturday and combined for seven points.