Photo Credit: Garrett James
BURNABY, BC — Despite opening the game’s scoring with a quick two-goal lead, the SFU Men’s Hockey Team’s season ends in heartbreak as they fall 5-3 to the University of Victoria Vikes in the second game of the first round of the BCIHL playoffs.
“It was one of those games where we were playing not to lose, instead of trying to win, even when we were up 2-0,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “To [UVic’s] credit, they played well and they executed on their power play.”
The story of the game was special teams as the Vikes capitalized on the man advantage, putting up three power play goals on four opportunities. They also had a shorthanded goal.
SFU started out fast, peppering UVic goaltender Zack Wear with scoring chances.
However, shortly after, on a 5-on-3 man advantage, Shawn Mueller put up his first of two goals in the game to put UVic on the board. Defenceman Jayden Piattelli was assessed a game misconduct for a check from behind.
With just 34 seconds left, Mueller put up another power play tally to tie up the game.
In the second period, SFU had a chance to get back the lead on power play midway through the period, but UVic answered with a shorthanded goal from Brendan Volpe. Jack Palmer added a goal with 1:22 left in the frame to give UVic a 4-2 lead.
Palmer added another nearly four minutes into the third frame to give the Vikes a three-goal lead.
Despite outshooting the Vikes 18-7 in the third frame and having the goalie pulled for the final 4:20 of the game, SFU couldn’t overcome the deficit.
Jordan Liem made 17 saves. SFU outshot UVic 47-22.
It was a heartbreaking end for the Clan who had achieved first place in the regular season for the first time since the 2011/12 season.
“[We] won the league, [we] did a great job battling for six months, it was a battle with Trinity right until the end,” said Coletta. “But at the end of the day, we lost in the playoffs as a first place team — that’s disappointing.”
UVic will face Trinity Western, who had swept four-time defending champions Selkirk College on Friday, in a best-of-three this weekend for the BCIHL Championship. The schedule is to be determined.
Thank you to all of our fans, volunteers, sponsors, donors, and supporters for everything you have done for the team this season.
1st Star: UVic #34 Zack Wear (45 Saves/47 Shots, .957 SV%)
2nd Star: UVic #23 Patrick Holland (0G, 4A)
3rd Star: UVic #88 Jack Palmer (2G, 2A)