Photo Credit: Damon James
After a tough home loss, the SFU Men’s Hockey Team looks to get back on track this Saturday against the Eastern Washington University Eagles, in game two of a three game homestand.
SFU had opened the season perfect on the road, winning games against Eastern Washington and Selkirk College to 2-0. The home opener appeared to be more of the same when SFU was holding a 2-0 lead in the third period in a rematch against Selkirk College.
However, Selkirk surged back in the third period with five unanswered goals in the span of 12:36 to take the game 5-2.
“We’ve got to be better — everybody, players and coaches,” said Coletta. “We’ve got to be prepared like we were last week, when we went on the road. We were prepared, we had energy, we had jump, we had bite. We just have to bring that back.”
The Clan will have a tough challenge against an Eastern Washington team looking for their first win of the season, with the three losses coming at home.
“They’ve got two losses this weekend at UVic, so they’re going to be coming in hungry for a win. It’s going to be tough for us to make sure we’re prepared and ready to go,” said Coletta.
Despite outshooting UVic 62-43 and 44-31, the Eagles fell 4-2 and 8-4 Friday and Saturday night.
Two-time defending BCIHL scoring leader Beau Walker was injured in Friday’s game and is unlikely to play for Eastern Washington. He did not play Saturday, and has been held pointless in two games played.
The Eagles have relied on points from their blueline, with three of their five goal scorers being defencemen. Captain Tanner Hawes leads the team with two goals and five points, while rookie defenceman Austin Breen is close behind with two goals and three points.
Having just played Eastern Washington a week ago, the Clan expect an intense match-up. Series like this could be the difference in the BCIHL playoff race come March.
“It’s creates a little bit of a rivalry,” said Coletta, of facing the same team in such a short proximity. “You can separate yourselves in the head-to-head matchups. You beat the team twice, three times in a row, you give yourself a six point spread — that’s tough to come back on.”
SFU will likely be without the services of forward Adam Callegari, who missed Saturday’s game versus Selkirk with an upper body injury. Callegari, along with Scott Patterson, lead the team in points with four. Defenceman Darnel St Pierre is probable for Saturday.
This Saturday also marks our “My First Hockey Game” night, where an emphasis will be placed on introducing new Canadians and visitors to the game of hockey, with free handouts of hockey rules printed in various different languages. SFU students get in free with student ID. Puck drop is at 7 pm. The game will also be streamed live on FASTHockey.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Scott Patterson — SFU
(1G, 3A, 3GP) (first season in the BCIHL)
For two years, BCIHL fans have known the name of Eastern Washington’s Beau Walker, an NCAA Division I transfer, as the best pure scorer in the league. Now, SFU have some Div I firing power of their own with Patterson, who had spent the past two seasons at Lake Superior State. In three games, he has a goal and three assists, good for a share of the lead for SFU team scoring. With a deadly shot and serious speed, it’s only a matter of time before Patterson explodes offensively.
Tanner Hawes — EWU
(2G, 3A, 3GP) (2015/16: 2G, 16A, 24 GP)
With Beau Walker likely out, Eastern Washington will have to find a way to score by committee. And though it is highly unlikely Hawes will continue scoring at nearly a goal-per-game — each season he has topped out with two goals — he’s a driver of offence. With 18 points last season, Hawes will be one of those counted on by the Eagles to put up points in Walker’s absence. A fourth year veteran, and newly minted captain, he’ll also be counted on to lead the Eagles to their first win.