Photo Credit: Garrett James
BURNABY, BC — Joining the team as a walk-on, freshman forward Tim Chow knew there were no guarantees that he would get many minutes, or even many games. It was going to take a lot of hard work to earn the coaching staff’s trust.
“I just wanted to play hockey after my junior career, so I knew coming in that I’d be the guy outside most of the time,” said the 5’9 forward, who played three seasons with the Grandview Steelers of the PJHL. “I just work hard in practice and try to get better every day.”
The hard work appeared to pay off Saturday night as Chow scored his first BCIHL goal, and was an offensive presence all night against the four-time defending champions, the Selkirk College Saints, in a 3-1 win.
“He’s waited for his time to play, and he’s proven himself,” said head coach Mark Coletta. “He moves his feet, he’s fast, he’s crafty. He’s got a lot of upside. He’s not the biggest guy, but he gets in there — he’s gritty.”
Chow opened the scoring, putting the puck just above Selkirk College’s Brett Huber’s right pad, after receiving the pass from Darnel St Pierre.
“I got a really nice pass from Darnel, and I had some room. Probably should’ve shot it, but turned around — I was really looking for the pass the whole time — and there were four of their guys in front of the net, so I just decided to go out there and luckily, it went in,” Chow explained.
SFU was dealt a 5-on-3 with four seconds to go in the first, and spent the first 1:04 of the second period down two men. However, the penalty kill was up to the job and the only scoring opportunity during the duration remaining in the second came on a shorthanded end-to-end breakaway by Graham Smerek.
A possible Selkirk College goal was waved off midway through the second period.
The Saints did get on the board in the third, when forward Jack Mills put in his second goal in two nights to tie up the game a 1:16 in.
Jesse Mysiorek restored the lead with the eventual gamewinner with 13:24 left on the clock, with helpers from Brendan Lamont and Mathew Berry-Lamontagna. Mike Sandor shored up the lead just over two minutes later with his first goal of the season.
“The second period, we didn’t play that well, it’s tough to play three games in three nights, and you’re going to have a little bit of a sleepy period and that was it,” said Coletta. “But the third period, the way the guys battled and played was tremendous.”
Lyndon Stanwood made 19 saves on 20 shots (.950 SV%) for his ninth consecutive victory — he is undefeated on the season. Stanwood had went 108:42 without allowing a goal, spanning from the goal allowed in 6-3 victory on January 21 to the third period goal allowed.
With the win, SFU gained a perfect six points in three games, and only surrendered a point in the overtime win over Eastern Washington Friday. The Clan have built a comfortable lead for first place, with a 15-3-2 record and 32 points. The closest rival, Trinity Western, is eight points back.
While the teams making the playoffs have been determined, with Eastern Washington’s mathematical elimination the day before, spots in standings are still up for grabs, with higher positioning determining home ice in the playoffs.
And tonight might have shown a glimpse of one of SFU’s potential playoff performers. Chow, while a prolific scorer for the Steelers in the regular season, he had another gear in the playoffs. In the regular season, he had 38 goals and 121 points in 118 games played (.332 goals-per-game, 1.03 points-per-game), but had 24 goals and 37 points in 33 playoff games (.727 goals-per-game, 1.12 points-per-game).
Next weekend, SFU heads to Tempe, Arizona to take on the NCAA Division I Arizona State Sun Devils in back-to-back exhibition games Friday and Saturday. The Clan resume BCIHL action the following Friday, facing the University of Victoria on the road, before returning home the next night to take on Eastern Washington.
1st Star: SFU #14 Tim Chow (1G, 0A)
2nd Star: SFU #8 Jesse Mysiorek (1G, 0A, GWG)
3rd Star: SFU #1 Lyndon Stanwood (19 Saves, .950 SV%)
AROUND THE BCIHL: The Eastern Washington Eagles collected their first consecutive points of the season. A night after a heartbreaking loss versus SFU in overtime, and being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the Eagles continued a trend of strong play in a 3-2 overtime win against Trinity Western. A night after putting up a highlight reel goal, Tyler Zandhuisen continued his hot streak by scoring the overtime winner. Austin Brinh made 28 saves on 30 shots (.933 SV%) in the victory.